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Ruched clothing is extremely tricky terrain. If properly executed, the technique can magically flatter all body types and make for some cool, avant-garde texture. However, if not, it can create a seriously tacky eyesore. That’s why I’ve pulled together some figure flattering and fashion forward ideas for how to incorporate ruching into your garments, as well as a few patterns that utilize the look in a simple, non-distracting way.

Give these four patterns, each with different ruched detail, a try:

The Dress with Side Gathers helps camouflage your mid-section with both a cross over bust detail and ruched sides.

If you want to err on the side of simplicity, both the Jersey Dress and Jersey Top incorporate only subtle ruching from the neckline down through the waist.

Or if you want to be a little more daring, the Draped Knee Skirt is a more creative way to incorporate the ruched/draped look on a simple silhouette.

Images clockwise from top left: dresses by Catherine Malandrino, Michael Kors and Alexander Wang, sweater by Surface to Air, skirt by 3.1 Phillip Lim, BurdaStyle’s Draped Knee-Length skirt, top by Rick Owens DRKSHDW, dress by Burberry Prorsum.


  • Meme_large

    Jan 5, 2011, 01.19 AMby bootycrewqueen

    I don’t know, I just don’t think I have the patience for ruching.

  • April_me_large

    Dec 30, 2010, 02.59 PMby von-nation

    I would love to learn how to ruch a skirt or dress, if only there were more sewing classes near my place…

  • Missing

    Nov 29, 2010, 12.19 AMby specialk

    Love ruching! It is one of the more feminine styles that compliment plus size ladies. Being a plus size lady myself, id love to be able to see or find patterns that go up to a 16-18.

  • 5196510037_0646d0f80e_o_large

    Nov 25, 2010, 05.48 PMby kelepso

    I’d like to try ruching on mens clothes in a subtle, less feminine why.

  • Fase_large

    Nov 10, 2010, 09.27 PMby themisslinds

    I’m looking forward to seeing some awesome ruched projects from you guys

  • Missing

    Nov 10, 2010, 01.45 PMby Sharon Grant

    I love the brown top too. I think the design trick is to have an under layer that is just a plain sleeve and then add the ruched layer on top, fitting it to the plain sleeve piece. :) I have some brown modal knit that is calling!

    1 Reply
    • Img_0313_-_copy_large

      Dec 27, 2010, 07.50 PMby cccc44

      That may work, but is not necessary. You could drape and cut an oversized should round and ruch (gather) it to a normal sleeve pattern size. That way you don’t have too much bulk and it remains breezy.

  • Vatten_large

    Nov 10, 2010, 09.20 AMby ichigogirl

    And I love the grey skirt by 3.1 Phillip Lim… makes me seriously want to be a copy cat…! I wonder what the back looks like, hm.

  • Naburdaprofil_large

    Nov 5, 2010, 10.51 PMby janul

    I love the brown top with ruched sleeves…

    • This is a question
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