The History of the Ruffle in Fashion: The Ultra-Feminine Touch in 2019


Ruffles fashion history is more complicated then you’d think, and they always seem to appear back on modern clothing. Since they are one of 2019’s biggest trend, let us tell you more about this fun fashion detail, including tips on how to wear them this summer!

What do you think of when you think about what ruffle meaning? Maybe a little 50’s girl with blonde ringlets, wearing a baby blue, ruffled dress with Mary-Jane shoes underneath. Or one of those Southern Belles in old movies, with long, white dresses with ruffled details. When you think about it, clothes with ruffles fashion may seem outdated and old-fashioned. Truth is, they haven’t always been feminine, and they are much cooler and cutting edge than you think.

Ruffles were once unisex

It all started in 16th century Spain, when soldiers often slashed off the sleeves of the top layer of clothes, to reveal the garment underneath. Garment makers started to incorporate this into their clothing and added a flexible string to make the fabric wrinkle, even more, to give a stronger ruffle. Clothes where often correcting and uncomfortable around then and the posture-correcting as ruffle definition became one of those often used clothing details during the Queen Elizabeth I era. Those of high standing and royal blood, both male and female, wore ruffled clothing with sometimes as much as an internal wire to keep everything in place.

Victorian England

In the 18th century, the ruffles details were incorporated in sleeves and ties and became a bit more gentle. The ruffle was still everywhere, and this time around also gained popularity amongst lower-class citizens. Victorian women wore complicated, dramatic dresses with bustles, tiers, ruffles ribbons and lace, and the dandy’s made a fashion statement with ruffled collars and neckties, which gave them a bit of a decadent and feminine look.

Modern times

In the 20th century up until now, the ruffles history steered away from male clothes and slowly became a feminine fashion detail. In the 50’s it became heavily associated with girliness, innocence, and sweetness, further emphasizing the woman’s quiet, meek role in society. In the ’80s ruffles started to become bigger and more ‘out there’. Maybe you remember those wild wedding dresses, often combined with big, curly hair?

Stay woke, ruffle

And now we’re in 2019, and there is no way the ruffle still stands for a feminine innocence. Designers like Karl Lagerfeld started working with the power ruffle: a daring, bold fashion detail that highlights the confident, outspoken and bold female. Ruffles are also often used to create a sultry exotic, or a playful look to spice up dresses, skirts, and shirts. They’re flirty, yet royal, and suggest a powerful, feminine force. On the beach, at work, at a party: ruffles equal fierceness everywhere. #Yasssqueen!

How to combine them this summer

Ruffles are making a comeback once again this year, as the ultimate highlight of your summer wardrobe. Go for romantic and wear minidresses with ruffles, or maxidresses with ruffled shoulder detail. If you’re the sporty type, rock the ruffles on shorts and combine them with a white or grey shirt and sneakers or sandals. Do you like going out jumpsuits? Or just throw on your ruffled swimwear, and be a queen on the beach!

Shop ruffles at LèMert for your summer vacation wardrobe

This ultra-feminine detail screams exotic and fierce, which is why they make an appearance in our 2019 collections. All items are versatile and can be styled in various different ways. So they make an ideal addition to your summer vacation wardrobe!

You can find them on our Joya Bralette top, Joya Denim Bralette top and Volante midi skirt.

Are you adding ruffle-style clothing to your summer wardrobe this year? Tell us how you’d style them! @lemertofficial