Fluted Hems

Years of experience tell us that right now you're in the middle of a summer wardrobe rut, and as a result, you're probably dying for a new season-straddling trend to shake things up. That's where the fluted hem comes in. Not to be confused with similar fishtail styles or peplums, the figure-flattering fluted skirt is slim along the waist and hips, with a flared, ruffled hem hitting anywhere from mid-thigh to right above the knee. Today's Trend Report breaks down which stylephiles are currently in tune with this transitional piece befitting a range of ages and occasions, and why this feminine silhouette should be at the top of your wardrobe essentials list!

On The Runway
The fluted skirt played a major role in the Etro F/W 12 show, as nearly every dress in the collection showcased this silhouette. The Cotton Net and Printed Viscose Cady Dress ($2182) shown here offers a decidedly modern take on '20s dressing, thanks to the alluring combination of netted sleeves, of-the-moment paisley print, and the combination of a dropped waist and flared skirt. Though the overall look has a dash of edge, it is unmistakably ladylike. In addition to the retro versions at Etro, the fluted hem made a few modern and youthful appearances at DKNY! In the look featured above, a flippy skirt and scattered floral print give the Majestic Blue Silk Stretch Long Sleeve Dress ($395, select DKNY locations) a sense of playfulness, while black accents, including the wide Black Leather Bandeau Belt ($165, select DKNY locations), prevent the outfit from feeling too sweet-perfect for the stylish city girl.

On The Red Carpet/At Events
WHO: Chloe Moretz
WHAT: Hitting the red carpet at the Los Angeles premiere of Dark Shadows back in May.
WEAR: Stella McCartney Midnight Fine Silk Jacquard Ramona Dress ($1148); Jimmy Choo Lance Sandals ($675).
WHY: A striking royal blue hue and jacquard print make this summer favourite a pitch-perfect choice for fall.

WHO: Solange Knowles
WHAT: Arriving at the Acne flagship store opening dinner in New York two months ago.
WEAR: Acne Sweet Fluid Top ($230) in Rust and Skirt (price upon request); Chanel bag.
WHY: Pairing a two-tone fluted skirt with a bright blouse results in an elegant colour-block look.

WHO: Lily Kwong
WHAT: Celebrating the 2011 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award recipients in New York earlier this year.
WEAR: Altuzarra Scorpion Indian Print Top with Embroideries ($650) and Black Canvas Devi Skirt ($795).
WHY: Styling a fluted silhouette with a tucked-in top helps elongate the torso for an ultra-flattering outcome.

On The Streets
WHO: Jennifer Connelly
WHAT: Photographed out in New York two months ago.
WEAR: Stella McCartney Black Mix Cady Virginia Dress ($1285, 212.255.1556); Givenchy Embellished Hagfish Heels ($1490).
WHY: A fitted, long-sleeve bodice in a neutral hue makes a chic and sleek contrast to a flared hemline.

Get The Look/Skirts
Bearing in mind all the ways in which the fall runways and today's ladies addressed this silhouette, we've corralled some shopable products to help you achieve the look with ease. For those who like their skirts on the abbreviated side, try Forever 21's Flounced Ribbed Skirt ($13), Tara Jamon's A-Line Skirt ($240), or Versace's bright red Flared Wool Skirt ($795); any of these options would look chic worn with a tucked-in printed top a la Kwong. While a mini version is ideal for cocktail hour or a dinner party, the fluted skirt can be quite sophisticated as well! For example, Boden's Flippy Cord Skirt ($78) and Tracey Reese's Gingham Flare Skirt ($245) are top-notch choices for an upcoming board meeting or on any occasion that requires a polished look.

Get The Look/Dresses
We're excited to tell you that there are loads of stylish dresses to try too! For casual daytime affairs, we recommend snagging Three Floor's Flare Dress ($165) or Topshop's Squirrel Print Collar Dress ($92), both of which come in sprightly colours that scream "afternoon poolside soiree." Office-appropriate options include Issa's Flared Ribbed Knitted Tank Dress ($600) and Theory's Knit Fit-and-Flare Dress ($295). Wear them bare-legged now with a pair of chic pumps, then swap in opaque tights and ankle booties come fall. Finally, if you're looking for an iteration to suit your after-hours events, Nanette Lepore's Queen of Wands Dress ($398) and DKNY's Strapless Dress with Seam Details ($395) are bound to get loads of compliments!

Photos of Lily Kwong and Solange Knowles, courtesy of Billy Farrell Agency; Photo of Chloe Moretz, courtesy of Getty Images; Photo of Jennifer Connelly, courtesy of Splash News; Etro runway photo, courtesy of Etro; DKNY runway photo, courtesy of DKNY.