Congratulations! You made it through a brutal winter, and now the single-digit temperatures are finally behind you. The moment spring officially arrives, there’s no form of relief so great as packing away your heavy knits. Goodbye sweaters, and hello to the must-try warm weather look for 2019: the romantic puff sleeve trend — whether it be in the form of a dress, top, or jacket. The pretty style is perfect for those ready to retire their more utilitarian winter staples for something a bit more fun. “The puff-sleeve is here to stay this spring," says stylist Jasmine Betancourt. "The silhouette makes [one] feel more confident and elegant.”
The latest resurgence of this Pretty Woman-approved style was evident on the Spring/Summer 2019 runways of designers like Marc Jacobs and Ulla Johnson, with designs running the gamut from ladylike dresses to dramatic retro-inspired tops. “We’re seeing a lot of brands take on the uber-feminine late ‘90s trend,” says Caroline Maguire, Fashion Director at Shopbop. “Sleeves are getting puffier and sweet prom-like silhouettes are becoming more common.” Since the trend can ready ultra-girly to begin with, styles in saturated pink and yellow hues are the perfect way to lean into a romantic look. “The pink color perfectly compliments these styles," Maguire adds. "[It's] a departure from last spring’s heavy prints.” But, if bright hues aren't really you're thing and you want a more pared back way to tackle the trend, takes in denim or linen are the way to go.
Ahead, you’ll find a handful of puff sleeve outfit ideas so you can road-test the trend yourself.
Dress up an easy jumpsuit by layering it over a puff-sleeve top. Opt for a shirt in the same color or fabric as the jumpsuit to add edge to a simple one-piece. Throw on a pair of white sneakers for the ultimate cool-girl-approved puff-sleeve ensemble.
Belted jackets and structured silhouettes pervaded the streets of fashion month, so a belted puff-sleeve blazer is the perfect marriage of two major trends. An oversized leather belt can rework the shape of the boxy blazer, while still accenting the dramatic sleeve. Plus, a puff-sleeve blazer can transform athletic bike shorts into something surprisingly polished. Add an on-trend tiny bag in a matching color and bejeweled mules for a bit of contrast.
If you’re not ready for ultra dramatic volume, try a long-sleeve dress with a subtle puff sleeve. Add vibrant accessories like a neon bag and leopard boots. “I love styling my puff-sleeve with a leopard silk skirt or if I'm wearing jeans my leopard belt,” Betancourt says.
Fashion girls can’t get enough of the head-to-toe color trend. Embrace spring by mixing a few hues in a pastel palette. A ‘90s-inspired dress in sea-foam green packs quite a punch when paired with electric pink pumps. A dainty chain belt adds just the right amount of elegance to this bright ensemble.
Throw a puff-sleeve shirt atop cool jeans to strike the perfect balance between edgy and romantic. The sheer sleeve gives a Victorian twist to a more modern look.
Need a fresh way to rock a Canadian Tuxedo? Try a puff-sleeve denim top in the same wash as your jeans. Adding a western-belt and tall, sleek boots adds an edgier touch. And to finish: “We’re seeing lots of structured lady-bags for spring which pair perfectly with the puff-sleeve trend,” Maguire notes.
Combine two retro trends at once by choosing a dress in a fun polka dot print. Keep your outfit monochromatic and accessorize with a pearl-beaded bag and PVC mules. If you’re looking for a bit more glam, throw on a pearl-embellished headband to finish.
For a casual-cute daytime look, style cool mom jeans with a short-sleeve top. Simple details like a western-inspired belt instantly elevate the look. “The puff-sleeve top can be worn with a light pair of vintage Levi's jeans with some mules,” Betancourt says.
For a cool night out look wear a lacy bra underneath a sheer top. “Add a simple pair of statement earrings to spice up your outfit,” Betancourt adds. A colorful crystal pair in a floral design is the ultimate spring-worthy accessory.