Body Concious | Rocking Ruffles

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

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S2011| Emilio Pucci

Ruffles, much like the graphic prints of the season, add detail to a garment, but more than that, they also add volume.

They are dramatic, and bring attention to the area. With this in mind you can use ruffles to your advantage, by incorporating them in areas that you may find, well, lacking.

The size of the ruffles that you don should coincide with how much drama you wish to attract to that specific area.

How to Make Ruffles Work for You

Generally speaking, the placement of the ruffles will depend on your body shape – Pear, Inverted Triangle, Apple, Hourglass or Athletic – As ruffles, along with other embellishment trends like as feathers for example, work at attracting attention to an area, which, as a result, then removes the focus from other areas that you’d prefer not to play up as much.

The basic rules that apply when working the ruffles, feathers or embellishment trends on the above body shapes are as follows:


Shoulders, chest and waist proportionally smaller than hips and thighs.

S2011 | Valentino

Focus ruffles in your top half, and keep lower half simple.

Ruffles located along interesting necklines like boat, and cold shoulder styles, draw attention away from lower half.


Proportionately larger top half. Wider shoulders, little or no hips, slim legs

S2011 | Giorgio Armani

Balance broad shoulders with ruffled volume on lower half. Create the illusion of a waist by adding a belt.


Proportionately larger waistline. Smaller shoulders, chest and hips. Slim legs.

S2011 | Alberta Ferretti

Whereas adding a belt a tied waistband will draw attention and add weight to the midsection,  ruched fabric in the the midsection area works at both camouflaging and minimizing waist.

Intricate necklines, and asymmetrical hems will also help divert attention away from midsection

Horizontal ruffles placed off center gives the illusion of an elongated torso. Alternatively, ruffle detail may be placed along V-neckline and/ or along hemline (either at knee or floor grazing, not in-between).


Proportionately smaller waist, chest and hips are wider and somewhat balance each other.

S2011 | Prada

This body shape naturally has volume in the desired places. Add ruffles in areas that do not put the flow in imbalance, like at the hem of a knee length pencil skirt ala Prada.


No areas are particularly wider, or narrower than the rest. Negligible difference between chest, waist and hip measurements.

S2011 | Jill Sanders

A blank canvas – add ruffles wherever there is desire to add more volume

  • Up top to enhance cleavage
  • Around waist to make a statement or
  • Around hips to add curves.


1. A smart way to wear ruffles is to wear small ones horizontally on a sheath dress silhouette – considered to be  universally flattering. This way, like stripes, the ruffles elongate rather than widen.
2. Ruffles, like feathers or jeweled embellishments, are noisy beings.  So that you do not start answering yourself, at least not in public, keep accessories minimal and  makeup natural.

b Freakin’Fabulous

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