The Gorgeous Summer Micro-Trend That Will Be Everywhere in No Time

Ruffle clothing y2k fashion trend


Courtesy of Kim Shui; Courtesy of Blumarine

Fashion historians can tell you that every decade has a defining trend. The '70s had platforms, the '80s had shoulder pads, and the '90s had chainmail dresses. And then, there are the aughts which, arguably, have managed to be seared into our collective memories in a way that no former decade did before. That was partly due to the rise of divisive trends like low-rise hemlines, trucker hats, and everything covered in excessive amounts of rhinestones (you can't honestly forget them even if you tried). So you can understand our collective surprise when this decade managed to find a way to dominate the runways again. 

It's worth noting that all trends eventually come back in style (even if we retire them for a bit), but it doesn't mean each one is worth wearing again. When it comes to this era, it can be tricky to find pieces that manage to look good in the long run, much less match a more minimalist aesthetic. And while I adore seeing the fashion set wearing '00s-inspired outfits, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I've found it hard to want to wear anything from this era. That is until I saw the return of one specific trend: ruffled clothing.

I'm willing to say that ruffled clothing is the best trend from this period. And to prove my theory, I've researched how ruffled pieces have resurfaced in recent collections and shopped out the best clothing with ruffles at every price point. If you're as anti-aughts as I was, I'm betting these ruffle pieces will convert you to the cause like they did for me. 

Ruffles on the Runway

Ruffle clothing y2k fashion trend


Courtesy of Blumarine; Courtesy of Saint Laurent

As stated before, nostalgia was a dominant force among the spring/summer 2022 collections, and in turn, we've seen a boom in apparel inspired by this era. While the fashion set may have first frocked to the idea of all things micro, low-rise, and cropped, another trend in the mix deserved its dues: ruffles. But don't be fooled—these aren't the cottagecore or overtly traditional ruffles that first come to mind; instead, they often got a more grown-up take in recent collections. You can see that through the sultry candy-colored halter dresses in Blumarine's S/S 2022 collection or Saint Laurent's F/W 2022 collection that featured a black ruffled gown styled with a moto jacket. 

Ruffle clothing y2k fashion trend


Imaxtree/ Coperani; Courtesy of Collina Strada

These ruffles take inspiration from our favorite childhood trends but are by no means childish. The reenvisioning of ruffles leans into more "bad girl" aesthetics through micro hemlines, body-hugging silhouettes, and ultra-sheer chiffon. It's also all about the styling itself, as you want to embrace your inner baddie when styling this trend for the summer. Think styling a chiffon ruffled dress with glass heels or a full-length sheer ruffle duster with a bikini and knee-high boots.

Ruffle clothing y2k fashion trend


Courtesy of Kim Shui; Courtesy of Giambattista Valli

If you're still not convinced that ruffle clothing is where it's at this summer, let me share some quick stats with you. According to Klarna, ruffle clothing has seen a 68% increase in purchases over the past four months. More shoppers are buying into this trend, and summer is the ideal time to embrace this style. Of course, it won't be for everyone—in fact, in true '00s fashion, the return of this style is bound to ruffle some feathers. But if you shop the right pieces and style them right, you'll do the ruffling in a good way. 

Shop Ruffled Clothing

Ruffle clothing y2k fashion trend


Courtesy of Kim Shui
Under $300:

Style this over jeans or a swimsuit, and you’ve got the perfect summer outfit.

You can pair this with jeans, skirts, or swimwear and it will look good no matter what. 

I wouldn’t mind wearing this on the Amalfi Coast. 

Minimalists, here’s your chance to adopt this trend seamlessly. 

Cheetah print is very '00s, so you might as well lean into the vibe and go for it. 

The ruffle neckline on this dress is so flattering. 

The contrasting ruffle trim on this cardigan is so cute. 

Two trends major trends incorporated into one piece? Love to see it. 

Attending a wedding this summer? This dress will be perfect for the occasion. 

A skirt with a more minimal take on ruffles, but still magical. 

Imagine styling this with linen trousers and sandals. Chic, right?

Meet your new favorite miniskirt. 

Ruffles are the perfect way to spice up your swimwear this summer. 

Mango knows the way to steal a girl's heart. 

Ruffle clothing y2k fashion trend


Courtesy of Blumarine

Nothing I love more than a ruffled hemline. 

Definitely can see Carrie Bradshaw wearing this dress.

Consider this dress as my closing argument that ruffles (when done right) are the perfect trend for the summer.