No matter what the "happening now" fashion trend is, there are two distinct clothing detailing features that I reach for on the racks time and again: eyelet lace and ruching. I believe, my love of eyelet started with a trip to a senior center to visit a relative. As I sat in the lobby, a woman next to me was actually embroidering eyelets into a handkerchief. The careful detailing of her hand-stitching was impeccable. It was art on fabric. The image of that fabric stayed with me and I unconsciously began to gravitate toward clothing that featured the beauty of the embroidery. I now own an eyelet skirt, several blouses, a few dresses...I could go on. One warning: Eyelet has the tendency to look a little "cutesy" if too much of it is worn at one time. When I bought an eyelet dress, I made sure that the styling and shape of the dress was simple and less dramatic, like a sheath, for instance.
My love of ruching came from a straightforward fashion crisis. I really wanted a dress that I could wear and not have to suck my stomach in while standing so straight that my back hurt. While walking around in endless stores, I came upon the perfect garment and at the same time, my fashion dreams came true. Ruching is essentially the graceful, loose gathering of fabric in a manner that, if done properly, can camouflage whatever you perceive to be your figure flaws. For me, an important event, one too many cupcakes coupled with a week without a workout (the deadly 3W's) equaled either a new set of Spanx or a dress that skimmed the body but took away the focus of my sinful ways. The delicious red dress by Teri Jon (above left) is a classic example of ruching but in my opinion, Donna Karan is the queen of draping and gathering lush fabrics (right). She understands a woman's body and designs to celebrate it with truly wearable, stylish garments. Since ruched separates are readily available at all price points for day and evening wear, you can easily incorporate a few comfortable options into your wardrobe. Feeling a little ruched from time to time is just fine.
Photos courtesy of saks.com