No way are all ruffles standard. Because there are so many different kinds, a whole book could be written in praise of them. As you've probably figured out from the above photo, ruffles can be worn head to toe on bodice, sleeve, skirt or train. And don't forget those accessories. I've seen shoes, purses, gloves, hats and veils layered in ruffles. Below are just a few treatments, mostly skirts, celebrating the ruffle.

Elisabeth B

Above is not a ruffle so much as pick-up or bustling effect creating a lower ruffle as bustling does.

Asymmetrical ruffles


Most ruffles run horizontally; the ones on the Sarah Houston gown above fall vertically instead creating a cascading kind of waterfall effect.

Christian Lacroix
Looks like Lacroix innovated some sort of ribbon ruffle above. That's what geniuses do . . .

Joan Shum
Max Chaoul

These skirts by Joan Shum and Max Chaoul have ruching treatments. Ruching is one form of ruffling. The ruffle is typically center gathered rather than top gathered. Many gowns in the 1930s era had ruched sleeves, skirts and trains.

Ritva Westenius
Max Chaoul

Max Chaoul bordered the asymmetrical ruffles on the above gown with white satin ribbon.

Denise Frigerio
The photos above and below have pleated ruffles. Generally pleateds are made out of light, crisp fabrics like organza and have lettuce hemlines, producing that Fortunyesque pleat effect.

Denise Frigerio

The bias cut ruffles above are not gathered up top to create a pouffy effect. Instead they're typically cut in a circular pattern on the bias so they fall gently. Many gowns from the 1930s are famous for their layers of bias cut ruffles
Francesca Zurlo
This Zurlo gown above is a combination of gathered ruffles and lace.


My favorite--lace ruffles. There are 14 tiers in all here. Borders like this in Chantilly and Peau d'ange are particularly beautiful