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How To Make Frills Look Less Girlish

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Cascading frills danced down the runways of many designers for AW16 and SS17. Given that the international catwalks are a venue for theatre as much as fashion, frills and ruffles can feel about as real-life friendly as couture. But like most trends, taking frills from the catwalk to your closet involves a little bit of reimagining. Here are a few ideas for making frills and ruffles feel less, well, frilly.

Give a subtle nod to the trend with this check dress. The frill detailing on each sleeve is enough to suggest an awareness of what’s on the catwalks without having to shout about it. It elevates this piece from a nice staple to a new-season must-have.

Check dress with ruffled sleeves, €39.95 at Zara

Wear your ruffles with something very utilitarian such as denims. This dilutes down the girlishness of the frills and brings a more urban feel to the entire outfit.

Flower lace dress, €85 at & Other Stories

Embrace monochrome. Simple black and white looks sophisticated and unfussy so it can allow for some feminine detailing. Even with these elaborate sleeves, this top still feels very modern and contemporary.

Top with pleated sleeve detail, €59.95 at Massimo Dutti

Adding a subtle ruffle to a pared-back top creates interest without overwhelming the classic shape of this day-to-night basic. The look works best when styled without accessories, as the small frill is enough to punctuate this minimalist aesthetic. Anything more would look confused.

Sky print ruffle top, €95 at Mint Velvet

If you don’t want to balance the girlishness of a ruffle with something boyish, then add a touch of sex appeal to your outfit. This one-shoulder dress negates any frilly, girly associations because it’s such a sensuous, sophisticated style.

Pleated dress, €150 at uterque.com

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