Let’s talk about puff sleeves…
I feel like this is one of those trends that you either LOVE or HATE. Personally, I love them. I love the subtle nod to the 80s (the best decade in my opinion) and the drama they add to an outfit. I also love that while puff sleeves are statement-making and dramatic. They also are extremely feminine and draw attention to your face and your smile when you wear them.
I think a lot of hesitation around this trend is that most people don’t know how to wear puff sleeves so I’m here to break it all down to make you more comfortable with this statement sleeve trend.
How to Wear Puff Sleeves
Pay Attention to Proportions
I think one of the most important styling tips to keep in mind when creating an outfit around a puff sleeve top is to pay attention to the proportions of the rest of your outfit. If you’re adding drama on top, then keep it simply on the bottom.
There are a few ways that you can easily do this. If you’re wearing voluminous sleeves then keep what you’re wearing on the bottom slimmer such as a straight leg pant or pencil skirt. Alternatively, if you’re wearing more subtle puff sleeves you can create a balance with a wider bottom pant like a flare.
It’s all about not overwhelming your particular body and playing with proportions and balance that works best for you!
Accentuate Your Waist
I think a lot of people are afraid to wear puff sleeves, particularly puff sleeve dresses, because their minds immediately go to the prairie dress look. And while I’m a fan of the oversized, shapeless dress look, it’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea and it can be quite overwhelming.
The easiest way to avoid this is to always accentuate your waist! If you’re wearing a puff sleeve top make sure to tuck it into your bottoms to draw attention to the smallest part of your body. If you’re wearing a puff sleeve dress (especially maxi dresses) then use a belt to accentuate your waist and to create an hourglass figure.
Don’t Be Afraid to Show Some Skin
Puff sleeves tend to have a LOT of material. So don’t be afraid to skimp on the material somewhere else and show some skin. Whether that means you pair a top with balloon sleeves with a mini skirt to show off your legs, or maybe it’s a puff sleeve dress with a low cut, sweetheart neckline. Don’t be afraid to show a little skin to balance the extra material on your shoulders.
Puff Sleeve Outfit Ideas
Puff sleeve top/straight leg jeans/platform sandals
Blogger, Salty Lashes, is the casual puff sleeve outfit QUEEN and one of her favorite ways to style puff sleeve and bishop sleeve tops is by pairing them with straight leg jeans & platform sandals! I don’t know about you, but I’ll definitely be recreating these 2 looks this coming Spring!
Puff Sleeve Printed Dress & Wedges
Blogger, Krystin Lee, has ultra-feminine style and her collection of puff sleeve dresses is enviable to say the least! I love that while her dresses are loud she styles them perfectly with simple accessories and always accentuates her waist!
Neutral Puff Sleeve Sweater & skinny pants
Blogger, Amy Jackson from Fashion Jackson, wears neutrals like no other, but her neutrals are anything but boring. I love how she paired these 2 neutral puff sleeve sweaters with slim-fitting pants so that your eye immediately goes to the voluminous sleeves and shoulders. Keeping your outfit neutral or monochromatic makes trying a new trend like puff sleeves a little less intimidating.
Puff Sleeve top & Midi Skirt
Bloggers, Navy Grace & Skirt the Rules, paired their puff sleeve blouses with flowy midi skirts for the perfect Spring look! I love that both of them kept their tops solid and neutral while going for a print like floral or polka dot on their skirts!
Looking for more outfit inspiration? Check out my fashion archives!