This Utilitarian Trend Makes My Feminine Style Feel So Much Sportier
My style has always skewed feminine. I've forever favored dresses over pants, heels over flats, and pretty much any top with a puffy sleeve or flourish. While in the past couple of years I've developed more minimalist tendencies and wear basics like jeans and tees more than ever before, my outfits habitually feel formal or prim when, on many occasions, I'd prefer them to feel more relaxed and "cooler," if you will.
What's more, as of late when I do find myself in the mood to pluck a printed midi dress or whimsical skirt from my closet, each one feels a bit too fussy, even for occasions like a nice dinner, girls' night, or day of important meetings. Perhaps it's the result of living in Manhattan for 10 years — function is very key when you're taking the subway and speed walking through the city blocks on the daily — but recently, I can't seem to figure my way around the feminine staples I've been stuck on for years. For, me it's not as simple as swapping out my heels for sneakers and calling it a day (trust me, I've tried). It takes a certain type of detail or juxtaposition to make me feel at ease with a downplayed look.
That's where ruched clothing comes into play, a microtrend riffing off Spring's major utilitarian movement. From cinched silhouettes to scrunched seams and elasticized hemlines, Spring's take on ruching is much sportier than romantic iterations of seasons past. At 3.1 Phillip Lim, Bottega Veneta, and Givenchy, we saw drawstring waists and necklines as an unexpected twist to dresses and leather separates, while Salvatore Ferragamo and Stella McCartney gave us athleisure-driven pieces like hoodies and trenches with gathered hems. Both scenarios piqued my interest as a subtle way to transform the polished and feminine staples in my wardrobe. With the help of a few ruched pieces, I knew I could assemble several "me" outfits with a fresh and sporty spin.
So, that's exactly what I did in the photos ahead. I put Spring's ruched clothing trend to the test via five outfits ranging from casual to dressy. While four out of the five looks admittedly still skew feminine, they come with a forward feel that's transformative for those accustomed to ultrafemme style. Scroll on to see all five of my looks. If you're as into the ruched trend as I am, shop all the pieces you'll need to re-create each one on your own.