Why Puff Sleeves Are The Best Transeasonal Style Staple
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Why Puff Sleeves Are The Best Transeasonal Style Staple

Balloon sleeves for summer? We’re gassed.

You might have thought that the days of this 80s-inspired comeback trend were numbered, but (fortunately) supersized sleeves are here to stay. Choose your piece and up, up and away; balloon sleeves are sure to lift your spirits. Looking for inspiration? See our edit of puff sleeve dresses, blouses and tops below.

What Are Puff Sleeves?

As the name would suggest, puff sleeves are the result of gathering fabric around the shoulders and cuffs to create an inflated silhouette on the arms. 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.

We (more recently) 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. It would seem the motto remains ‘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…

SS23 Trend: Puff Sleeves To Try Now

Keen to try the trend? Find some inspiration with our edit below. 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

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Woman in blue dress


Gabrielle Plunge Midi Dress, £484, ajeworld.com

Woman in white lace shirt

Holland Cooper

Broderie Lace Shirt, £149, hollandcooper.com

Woman in black puff sleeve top


Meadowlark Top, £168, thereformation.com

Woman in pink floral dress

Free People

For Love & Lemons Isadora Midi Dress, £258, freepeople.com

Woman in white jumpsuit with black flower print

Stella McCartney

Elle Envers Printed Belted Jumpsuit (Size UK 8), rent from £180.60, hurrcollective.com

Long floral dress with long sleeves

Needle & Thread

Floral Wonder Ankle Gown, £375, needleandthread.com

Pink midi dress with see-through sleeves

Ted Baker

Lharra Midi Dress in Dusky Pink (Size UK 14), rent from £51.24, hurrcollective.com

Blue long silky dress with lace sleeves and lapels


V-Neck Midi Dress in Aqua, £255, rixo.co.uk

Silver mini dress

ROTATE Birger Christensen

Alma Short Dress in Silver (Multiple Sizes), rent from £39, rotaro.co.uk

Model in pink one-shoulder puff sleeve crop top

The Naked Laundry

Crop Top in Blush, £35, thenakedlaundry.com

Blue floral mini dress

Self Portrait

Blue Floral Watercolour Taffeta Dress (Size UK 10), rent from £58.30, hurrcollective.com

Featured image: Simone Rocha SS23 (c) Daniel Sims