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Smocked fabric, which first saw a rise in the 1940s (think puffed-sleeve girls' dresses), then soared to new heights in the '70s (think billowy-sleeved maxi dresses), then bottomed out in the '90s (think popcorn tops…shudder), is back, baby, and it’s looking better than ever. Here are six 2018-approved ways to embrace the recycled trend. 

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jessie loeffler randall wearing a smocked dress

The Smocked Dress Bodice

Body-con dresses are great for showing off your curves, but unfortunately they’re also great for showing off bumps, lumps and panty lines. Smocked fabric creates a similar body-hugging silhouette but is much more forgiving when it comes to creating a smooth, flattering line.

Get the look: Navy Days ($79); Free People ($129); Cece ($149); Rhode Resort ($425)

The Printed Tank

The rouching effect creates a cool distortion on prints and patterns and can even provide enough support for you to go braless (if that’s your thing). A snug fit also helps to balance out voluminous shorts, skirts and pants.

Get the look: Forever 21 ($16); Ganni ($87); Banjanan ($130); Stella Jean ($252)

The Waist Detail

Consider this the easiest way to get a nipped-waist dress to fit your body like a glove (plus, smocking looks much more luxe than plain elastic).

Get the look: Navy Days ($105); Eloquii ($140); Majorelle ($168); Rails ($178)

The Off-the-Shoulder Top

Finally, we can raise our arms in an OTS blouse and not have to immediately pull the neckline back down to readjust! Smocking helps everything stay right where it belongs, so you can show off that clavicle all day long.

Get the look: Old Navy ($30); Torrid ($59); Vince Camuto ($119); Central Park West ($152); Caroline Constas ($395)

The Smocked Waist Skirt

Like maternity pants…but socially acceptable for the non-pregnant set.

Get the look: The Fifth Label ($48); Lovers + Friends ($110); Rebecca Minkoff ($118); Innika Choo ($230); Parker ($238)

sequins and stripes wearing a black smocked top

The Solid Tank

Choose solid colors to give your curves a smooth, clean line. Now go forth in style and comfort.

Get the look: Abercrombie & Fitch ($34); 1.State ($69); Likely ($148); Rebecca Taylor ($158)

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