Close up of pink puff sleeve dress with green flowers

Why Puff Sleeves Are The Best Transeasonal Style Staple

Fashion /

Balloon sleeves for summer? We’re gassed.

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You might have thought that the days of this 80s-inspired comeback trend were numbered but supersized sleeves are here to stay. Puff sleeves and balloon sleeves (potato/potato, but if you’re being picky the balloon sleeve gathers back to arm-width, while the puff sleeve may not) are now everywhere, from the runways to the high street. And since they’ve been a firm fixture on the design radar for several years now, the chances are you’ll have a few pieces from last season to recycle, too. Looking to add to your wardrobe? Choose your item and up, up and away; balloon sleeves are sure to instantly lift your spirits.

We first caught wind of the puff sleeve trend in 2018, when it solidified a home for itself on the runway with the likes of Balenciaga, Simone Rocha and Fendi all bringing the iconic design to their collections for SS18. Since then, the trend has had an unwavering place in our wardrobes – first on Victorian-style shirts and dresses, then as part of the Cottagecore era and now as oversized theatrical statements. The bigger, the better.

Puff sleeves are a transeasonal style staple that you can wear throughout the year; from dainty spring dresses and summery crop tops to dressy shirts perfect for layering and party-ready velvet bodysuits. As they say, the perfect trends are the ones that stick around for years to come…

As always, keep the planet in mind when shopping the latest trends. Re-wearing old clothes is the best way to be sustainable, but if you can’t avoid it then shop consciously at responsible retailers, as well as rental and resale sites.

The Country & Town House Responsible Buyers’ Guide

Puff Sleeves To Try Now

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White puff sleeve dress

Simone Rocha

Beaded Lace and Silk Minidress, £ 1,495,

Woman in black velvet puff sleeve top and black leather trousers on gold background


Luka Velvet Top, £142.50,

Multi-coloured puff sleeve mini dress


Capucine Puff Sleeve Mini Dress, £297,

Long floral dress with long sleeves

Needle & Thread

Floral Wonder Ankle Gown, £375,

Pink midi dress with see-through sleeves

Ted Baker

Lharra Midi Dress in Dusky Pink (UK14), rent from £47,

Orange puff sleeve top

Cecilie Bahnsen

Faith Puff-Sleeve Cotton-Poplin Top, £790,

Blue long silky dress with lace sleeves and lapels


V-Neck Midi Dress in Aqua, £255,

Silver mini dress

ROTATE Birger Christensen

Alma Short Dress in Silver (UK6), rent from £39,

Model in pink one-shoulder puff sleeve crop top

The Naked Laundry

Crop Top in Blush, £40,

Blue floral mini dress

Self Portrait

Blue Floral Watercolour Taffet (UK10), rent from £55,

Featured image: Simone Rocha SS23 (c) Daniel Sims