The Bold And The Beautiful: Puff Sleeves Are The OTT Trend Of The Season

3 min read

Perfect for social distancing, puff sleeves reign supreme for S/S21, so get ready for even more shoulder action.

When the puff sleeve trend started popping up on both catwalks and our Instagram feeds a few seasons back, it was clear from the outset this was no fleeting trend. Romantic and feminine yet offering an eclectic edge to our day-to-day ensembles, the larger-than-life silhouette is back with a bang once more for S/S21, further fuelling our obsession for fashion’s favourite sleeve silhouette.


What was once restricted to Victorian-inspired shirts and romantic day dresses – which is still the case with Erdem’s S/S21 collection – these unmissable oversized figures have now expanded to anything that has a sleeve. One just has to cast an eye over the catwalks, which were full to the brim with elongated puffs of fabric, for proof. Cecilie Bahnsen crafted her billowing dresses in black for a moody feel, while over at Loewe, Jonathan Anderson played with proportions throughout, with puffed up sleeves playing a starring role in shirt dresses and cotton-twill coats. Elsewhere, we saw cropped jackets and poet blouses with balloon sleeves at Isabel Marant and luxe leather dresses at Gabriela Hearst, while at Altuzarra, even the trusty trench coat got a not-so-humble upgrade, with dramatic effect.


Certainly a statement, and perhaps not one everyone will be comfortable making, the key to ensuring it works for the everyday is by picking a dress that is otherwise minimal, or teaming a shirt with simple separates – these volumised sleeves pack all the punch that you need. Tiffany Hsu, head of buying for womenswear at Mytheresa agrees, telling MOJEH: “When working this trend, keep the rest of your look minimal. Opt for dresses in clean A-line shapes so the sleeves can really shine, or pair tops with neutral pants or a high-waisted skirt.” The good news is that billowing dresses in breezy fabrics are ideal for our hotter UAE climes, so they work all year round too, and for all body types. “The great thing about this trend is that it can work for anyone, as long as you feel comfortable and confident in it,” adds Tiffany.


While billowing sleeves might be a trend that is showing no sign of deflating, items with staying power are a smarter investment, especially with today’s focus of opting for clothes with stylistic longevity rather than fast fashion that lasts just one season. What’s more, they are perfect for the modern-day video calls we’ve become so accustomed to, allowing us to go casual from the waist-down while still having fun with our look. “My favourite thing about this trend is that it’s extremely playful and always reminds you of summer and celebration, as it’s so fun to wear,” says Tiffany. “It instantly puts you in a positive mood and you get an extra boost when all eyes are on you, so it’s a win-win in my book.” There’s no denying that this trend is big, and let’s face it, it’s only going to get bigger.

Featured image: CatwalkPix

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  • Words by Naomi Chadderton