Smocking as an embroidery technique has been around since the Middle Ages. But for most of us, smocked clothing recalls a peak-‘90s fashion moment. For a very brief pre-Y2K period, I lived in a spaghetti-strap smocked tube top from the mall, which I styled with JNCO jeans and Spice Girls-inspired platform shoes.
Unsurprisingly, I haven’t worn smocking since. However, having spotted the elastic-stitching finish on everything from prairie dresses to tees this summer, I’m starting to reconsider the universal appeal of this youthful, low-maintenance trend. Platforms and JNCOs optional.