PYT: Wings of a Butterfly

By Lumay Wang • Sep 3rd, 2009 • Category: Obsessions of the Week, Style   

What happens when you combine dolman sleeves as seen at Alexis Mabille with an interest in ruffles like at Juan Carlos Obando? Only a dolman flutter sleeve, no less! During my travels to Asia this past month, I saw these sleeves literally everywhere I went from the daring streets of Tokyo to the rural roads of Shandong province in China. This ruffled sleeve is a growing trend as designers explore a newfound curiosity in combining shoulders and volume. Simply glance at a look from Christian Lacroix’s fall collection to get a hint of what I’m talking about.

Several variations of a dolman flutter sleeve exist, but the most popular one that I have witnessed uses a ruffle to decorate the sleeve as it starts from the shoulder following the seam down to around the waist. Pros include an elongated torso, shortened upper arms, and minimization of the shoulders. Cons include widening of the torso and the creation of a flatter bust. So, this look has to be carefully selected by the wearer depending on what illusion she wants to create on her body. If you have a short torso and wider shoulders, this might be for you, but if you have a small bust and a relatively wider circumference, this style will look unflattering.

If you’re worried about adding extra pounds to your frame but really want to pull off this look, try some style tricks. From picking darker hues to wrapping a belt around the waist, there are many ways to tame the weight-adding ruffles. As ruffles in general pick up speed, you, the discerning shopper, will certainly see gathered fabric decorating any inch of the body. As much as I love an intricate detail, it is up to you to choose wisely. Pick flattering cuts. Buy quality sewn garments. One of my greatest pet peeves is seeing a badly sewn hem, and these couldn’t stand out more in a ruffle hem. Make sure the thread is the same color as the fabric and that seams are evenly stitched.

And here are this week’s picks:

Central Park West “Tristan” top ($110, - Despite my hesitation with synthetic fabrics such as polyester, the design and color or this top has charmed me. Not forgetting last week’s PYT topic, this fancy shirt features the always-flattering bateau neck. It comes in ivory and a bluish purple, shying away from trendier, bright neon alternatives. The cinched waist is a plus as is the V back. Three Dots also makes a great basic flutter sleeved top.

Milly shift dress ($365, - Reincarnate a vintage feel with a cream lace dress. The sleeves softly flow down in gentle harmony with the delicate lace. Neither the ruffles nor the intricate pattern overpower or detract from the other. This shift is a perfect transitional piece; add stockings and heavier shoes for an autumn look.

Tsumori Chisato “Avanca” cardigan ($275, - Easy and breezy, the linen material coupled with the fluttering dolman sleeves embody the last of summer and the beginning of fall. Though you may only be able to wear this sweater for a short while, keep it in your closet for beach vacations this winter and for next summer. It’s sure to be a casual hit.


Tags: , ruffles

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One Comment

  1. I hadn’t tuned into this trend, and it definitely gives me pause in terms of figure flattery … but I love these tips on making it work.

    September 3rd, 2009 at 6:24 am

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