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Are Puff Sleeve Blouses in Style?

Puffy Ruffle Sleeve Blouse

The answer is a resounding YES! 2020 was the year of the sweatpants and loungewear (and for some, all-day pajamas). In 2021 women are ready to get out and get stylish and ready to dive into fashion again. Women want to feel pretty and unique, and puff sleeve tops are just the way to do it.

The puff sleeve trend has been around for centuries, and more and more the puffy sleeve is becoming a favorite among designers. In a fashion era where almost anything goes, puffy sleeves are no exception. No longer are voluminous puffy sleeves reserved for the high fashion haute couture houses, or the heavy clunky giant sleeves of the 80’s. They are now widely accepted and cherished by women of all ages, shapes and sizes. Today there are so many more choices when it comes to blouses with puff sleeves.

What is a Puff Sleeve?

Puff Sleeves White- Diane Bailey DesignsThe name says it all. A puff sleeve is any sleeve with a puffed feature that adds volume and fullness. Anything that puffs and pulls the sleeve away from the arm is considered a puff or puffy sleeve. The puff can be placed at the top, bottom or anywhere in between on the sleeve, and it can also be on long or short sleeves. A puff sleeve can be anything from subtle and whimsical to dramatic. The puff is often gathered at some point and can also have ruffles or tiers.

There are many different styles and versions of a puff sleeve. Puffed sleeves give movement and volume in just the right places and add an interesting focal point to any outfit. The puffed volume creates a romantic silhouette giving it a Victorian-inspired aesthetic.

Why a Puff Sleeve Top is Flattering

Puffy sleeves work well with just about any body shape or size, but placement matters. Using the visual illusion to draw the eye to different proportions of the body, a puff sleeve can create a more flattering silhouette by accentuating all the right places. With the right placement they can make shoulders look wider or narrower, slim the waist or hip area, and give more or less fullness to the bust area.

A puff sleeve blouse that is focused on the shoulder can widen a shoulder, but when placed closer to the neck, gives a narrowing shoulder effect. A puff sleeve at the top of the arm can help a woman look taller, or when placed at the end of the sleeve can make her look less tall. For the fuller figure woman or the pear shaped woman, a puffed sleeve at the top helps draw the eye from the waist, helping create the illusion of a narrower waist and an hourglass figure.

Puff Sleeves Front Pink Stripe- Diane Bailey Designs Puff sleeves can be worn by women with a wide range of bust sizes. Depending on the desired effect, the puff sleeve can accentuate or help tone down the emphasis in the chest area. Placed at the top to draw attention to the bust, or place the puff at the bottom to understate the bust. Generally, larger bust sizes are suited to puffy along with a V-neck or lower neckline. No matter what the body shape and size is, it is best to avoid a puff sleeve at the top with a straight neckline, unless the waist is gathered. With the puff at the bottom it is easier to wear a straight or high neckline.

What to Pair with a Puff Sleeve Blouse

A blouse with a puff sleeve can transform almost any outfit to an elevated piece that works in any situation, day or night. Whether dressing up or for everyday, the puff sleeve can significantly alter an outfit in a great way. A puffed sleeve can be worn on almost any top, dress, or coat, by any size regular or plus size. Puff sleeves can work with any sleeve length, but keep in mind the shorter the sleeve the less puff. They can work well with just about any type of bottom as well. Keep the bottom simple to avoid clashing or working against the effect of the sleeve.

Heels look amazing with puff sleeves, especially when trying to elongate the body. Keep jewelry minimalistic or none at all, choosing modest or subtle pieces. Avoid chunky statement necklaces as they tend to give a choppy, unflattering look that works against the flattering sleeve. Instead, opt for something very simple. The exception to this is the puff sleeve blouse with a plunging or V-neck. A choker can add a very dramatic, romantic feel to the outfit. It is also best to stay away from heavy, chunky bracelets. Any bracelet should be very simple and limited to one or two at most. Never wear bracelets with a sleeve that has the puff at the bottom.

Add a Puff Sleeve Blouse to Your Wardrobe

Puff Sleeves Front Candy Stripe- Diane Bailey Designs

Wearing a puff sleeve blouse can seem daunting, but following these rules makes it easy to pull off. Puff sleeves are quite a statement. They show confidence and a fairly strong sense of self. Anne of Green Gables had it right all along… “Puffed sleeves are so fashionable now. It would give me such a thrill, Marilla, just to wear a dress with puffed sleeves,” Anne pleads. She was right then and it is still true today. Snap up a few of our puff sleeve blouses to add variety and spice up your wardrobe.

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