Big Fashion Statements | The Puff Sleeve Dress

When Napoleon Dynamite uttered the words, “I like your sleeves, they’re real big” it was like the birth of life for one of my favourite fashion pieces - the puffy sleeve. When searching for fashion inspiration, there will always be a nostalgic influence to my preferences and as “disney like” as it looks, there is no other piece than a puffy sleeve as my go-to statement piece.

Yes, to all the queens out there who are similar or who like to dress a little bit extra, prepare to fall head over heels on the most loved romantic trend piece every fashion girl should reign supreme in their closets. The statement puff-sleeve dress certainly does not shy away from attention with it’s pumped up volumes this season, especially taking on a new personality this year with its rounded, tailoring which makes it more feminine.  

The 80’s Puff Sleeve Trend Revival

Pink Puff Sleeve Dress Fashion Week
(Image Source: Vogue UK)

It’s a known fact that many stylist’s love this on-going trend with dressing because the puff sleeve is a win-win situation. When you emphasize the shoulder, it creates a dramatic illusion for your waist or center point to appear much smaller making it proportioned and thin. Yes, you heard it here folks, it’s a hack. For such dramatic dresses, different styles feature square neck tops, floral prints and lace details covered with bodice accents. It’s all about modernizing your take on a favourite nostalgic piece for an uber-feminine look.

80's trend womens puffy sleeve
(Image Source: Not Jess Fashion)

Now, you wouldn't think that an 80’s trend revival like this would be versatile, but surprisingly it is. As we start to see top trends 2020 to try this year, especially an inspired 80’s outfit for women, the sweet prom-like silhouette is fast becoming popular. Let’s take a look at how we can style these volumized sleeves for any formal occasion you have coming up such as the races, as a wedding guest or a statement hen’s party look. The style can be daunting to pull off, but if you can meet exaggeration with some restraint, you can magically combine fashion cohesion, making a fashion statement. For this spotted 80's dress, pair with vintage accessories and cat-eye sunglasses for a unique combination or easily work in chunky sneakers to add that touch of street cred.

Modern Sheer Dress Sleeve

Sheer Top Dress Puffy Sleeve 80's outfit
(Image Source: Comer Blog)

For the girl who loves the fantasy of a dramatic sleeve and displays of brilliant amounts of maximalism floating cloud-like on your shoulders; the modern puff sleeve dress is all sugar and spice. There is no doubt when you wear a puff sleeve that you feel some sort of Disney princess aesthetic, but how do we modernize this look? Simply choose a style that is fitted around the bodice, ultimately snatching your waist (love that) and choose a midi length paired with strap mules. It’s important to balance and tone down on the bottom to make the dress your statement piece.

Sheer Dress Sleeve Puff Dress Party Looks
(Image Source: Delaney)

For someone who is a little more adventurous, make a bold statement and lavish on a contemporary designed piece for party season. From floral lace details to patterned top embellishments, elevate the puff sleeve trend with sheer dressing as an out-of-the-box party look. Simply layer a silk slip underneath a polka dot sheer top for an overstated and alluring statement. High neck lines like this exudes sensibility and sophistication, yet offers that unexpected cheeky hint. Either way, we live for this dress style to pair with combat boots for contrast or leather accents such as belts to give it some edge.

Formal Wedding Guest Outfit Looks

Prom Dress 80's Womens Outfits
(Image Source: My Peep Toes)

If cool girl edge with heartbreak vibes is what you’re going for, puffy sleeves has no restraints if you want to elevate your summer wedding guest look with billowing shoulders. This combination is all about theatrical fashion effects ranging from silky materials, to printed florals for royal opulence. The romantic puff sleeve dress is as whimsical as it seems, taking it on this year to be as swoon-worthy as our disney counterparts for formal occasion wear. When puffy sleeves may be a little too fashion, choose an off-the shoulder design for a young and fresh summer take on the trend.

Floral Prints in Wrap Tops

Floral Wrap Tops Summer 80's outfit
(Image Source: Sincerely Jules)

When you expect to see this trend in exaggerated volumes and excessive shoulders, how do we make puffy sleeves to work for our everyday wardrobe? no fuss. Wear puffy sleeves as a white wrap top. This design features cropped styles to replace a “classic crisp shirt” that perfectly pairs with denim jeans or trousers for that effortless business casual work wardrobe. If you're opting for a fun top to wear for a summer party, opt for a floral print in your wrap blouse for a casual and easy piece to wear on the weekend. A wrap top For an ultra flattering look, opt for a slim fit, v-neck wrap style with tie details to balance it’s playfulness and versatility to style with high-waisted skirts and shorts.