Crushing over different types of puff sleeves? Here's how to style them!

COVER STORY / 2019-10-30

Crushing over different types of puff sleeves? Here's how to style them!

It’s time to forget the look-at-me bralettes and skirts for Spring ‘20. This season, fashion’s focus is purely on a new kind of arm candy: sleeves. Exaggerated proportions and details adding interest to even the simplest of looks are trending hot. ‘Extra’ sleeves had a gala time in 2020. And this year, they are delivering riveting maximalism through puffed sleeves, which is straight-up trendy. Puffy sleeves are the kind of avant-garde fashion detail you probably dreamt of sporting while watching princess movies in your childhood. Those lavish ball gowns which were incomplete without serious puffy sleeves are a real trend now.

ULLA JOHNSON Gemma Lace-trimmed Blouse

ULLA JOHNSON Lissa Ruched Embroidered Satin Blouse

Puffy sleeves promise to become even more pervasive in 2020. From Street style to the Runway, you can find this trend being embraced everywhere and we’re not surprised. This shouldered excellence oozes the style of vintage dynasty and pageantry of royalty, instantly, in one go. Major spring-summer fashion weeks of 2020 have brought us even more exaggerated and interesting iterations of the puffy sleeve than in 2020. Whether you prefer to make a subtle statement like to push boundaries when it comes to eye-catching style, this fashion trend has something for everyone to fit your aesthetic. Exude the drama, and sport this trend with a modern twist ‘cause we’ve got you covered with the trendiest puffed sleeves and styles to pick!

MAGGIE MARILYN Sweet Like Honey Open-back Knitted Top


As we head into the colder months, it’s time to embrace full-length skirts, dresses and pants. Puff sleeve tops, when paired with formal pants, can provide an effortless way to stay comfortable and on-trend. This shoulder detailing adds an attention-grabbing element to an otherwise simple outfit. You can technically wear your short or long puff-sleeve blouse with any kind of bottom that you want to. For work, pair these blouses with a bodycon skirt or paper bag waisted trousers for the perfect look.

GANNI Broderie Anglaise Eyelet Lace High Neck Tie Blouse

DEREK LAM 10 CROSBY Plaid Balloon Sleeve Back Lace-Up Shirt

Casual wear

Off-shoulder tops pair really well with puffed sleeves and some of the world's best-dressed celebrities are also jumping at this style. The sleeves are often combined with a square or sweetheart neckline that lends a very flirty and feminine look. Wear a beret and you’re almost Parisian in this romantic style! 

It’s no secret that neon and animal print is huge this year and back in fashion with a bang. Here’s your cue to wear the puffed up sleeves mixed with these trends.

ULLA JOHNSON Pia V-neck Balloon Sleeve Top

MSGM Puff Sleeved Deep V Tie-neck Bodysuit

This is a vintage inspired look that has a modern touch of athleisure in the form of white sneakers. Pair a basic puffed sleeves top with a denim pinafore and you’re good to go!

For Weekend Brunch

Did we forget to mention why are puff sleeves so great for the colder times ahead? Because it looks even better in long-sleeve silhouettes and knit materials. Gorgeous, fall colors like marsala, olive green, red and marigold yellow in puffy designs can easily help your current weekend look transition to the next season if you wear them with the right layers. Your shoulders will love all the extra space for breathing and cloud-like feeling of this exaggerated silhouette. Shop this pillowy goodness below and wear your styles on your ‘sleeves’, literally!

You can also choose a top with one-puffed-sleeve for some extra daytime glamour.

RACHEL COMEY Sambuco Puff Sleeve Linen-blend Top

ULLA JOHNSON Terese Hand Stitched Floral Blouse

MAGGIE MARILYN Stop To Smell The Roses Satin Blouse

SEA Petra Plaid Wool-blend Jumpsuit

For Night Parties

The rule-of-thumb – when in doubt, wear black, applies right with puffy sleeves as well. Styling a black puff sleeve with an effortless midi skirt makes for the ideal brunch-to-bar-to-basically-anywhere look. To add some extra vintage drama, remember that the very Blair Waldorf – chunky headband are trending this year!

SOLACE LONDON Ellice Off-the-shoulder Puff Sleeve Maxi Dress

An all-metallic dress with enlarged puffy sleeves is straight out of everyone’s 1980s vintage fashion dreams!

IRO Serifos One-Shoulder Asymmetrical Studded Top

Puffy sleeves are becoming increasingly omnipresent, and looks like they aren’t going anywhere for a while. So, it’s an investment of a good kind to buy some puffy sleeve pieces this year. Shop these must-haves below: