Feminine flounces add the finishing touches this season – and from playful swimsuits to cocktail frocks, the high street has something for every frill-seeker

From rippled Renaissance collars to New Romantic flounces; the ruffle has reinvented itself more often than Madonna. And appropriately, given the plurality of modern fashion, this season's takes on the detail are multifarious and therefore egalitarian. There is a perfect ruffle for everyone.

Fancy some haute-trash, Eighties-style rufflage? Balmain served up bodiced micro dresses in black, white or shocking pink, with flirtatiously frilly skirts. Feeling romantic, but reluctant to sacrifice sex appeal? Cavalli showed floor-grazing and buttock-skimming dresses in tiered sheer, wafty fabrics (any resemblance to a Timotei advert is purely intentional). A more graceful romance was on offer at Chanel, where Karl Lagerfeld created long net skirts in nude, grey, black and white with multiple ruffles. Think flamenco dancers who have toned down their love of colour in a bid to join the ballet. Luella's frills were girly, while at Philip Lim they had an understated urban feel. They are also truly a trend for all seasons – for autumn/winter at Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs created frou-frou cocktail frocks that felt like a luxe take on Texan prom dresses circa 1985. In a good way.

Frills don't just evoke diverse moods, however, they also adorn every item you can think of. Nod to the trend with sandals featuring curlicued leather, a frilled bag or a flourish on swimwear. Just avoid frilled skirts around the hip – strictly for five year-olds. For the more flamboyant, wedding season is the perfect excuse to flounce about, so to speak. However, to avoid that WAG-at-the-races or mid-Noughties boho look, keep the length short and accessories simple. The same principle applies to separates. Team a tiered skirt with a grey marl T-shirt, which will keep the look modern, or a ruffled top with a pair of pale jeans with a slim cut. Only put a frilly shirt with harem trousers if you want to be mistaken for Pierrot.