Girly or glam: How to wear the puff sleeves trend

Turn up the volume with statement sleeves for summer, says Katie Wright.

Given that we do so much socialising on Zoom these days, it seems fitting that one of summer’s biggest trends is all about dressing from the waist up.

Perhaps that’s why puff-sleeved shirts and blouses have become so popular. After appearing on the SS20 catwalks last year at Richard Quinn, Marc Jacobs and Rejina Pyo, we’re now seeing voluminous silhouettes all over the high street.

Whether short sleeved or long, these frothy tops generally fall into one of two camps.

There are the Victoriana-inspired blouses with high necks crafted from lace or broderie anglaise fabrics in neutral and pastel hues.

Ideal for teaming with floaty midi skirts and linen shorts, these prim and proper pieces are the grown-up way to do statement sleeves.

Then there are the bright, retro-style separates that inject a bit of Eighties glam into your wardrobe.

Tick another summer trend box by choosing a pink puff-sleeved top and teaming it with faded denim jeans or that other Eighties favourite – the ra-ra skirt – for a party-ready ensemble (even if the party you’re going to is the online kind).

From demure to dramatic, here are the best puff sleeve pieces on the high street…

Oliver Bonas Broderie Anglaise White High Neck Blouse; Chambray Denim Paper Bag Waist class=
(Oliver Bonas/PA)

Oliver Bonas Broderie Anglaise White High Neck Blouse, £49.50; Chambray Denim Paper Bag Waist Trousers, £59.50


Topshop Lilac Gingham Puff Sleeve Blouse, £22 (was £29)


Abbey Clancy x Lipsy Lace Puff Sleeve Blouse, £35, Next


Coast Pink Blouse (available July 21), £29.50; Blush Crepe Trousers, £29.50 (was £59)

(Miss Selfridge/PA)

Miss Selfridge Pink Poplin 1 Shoulder Blouse, £11 (was £22); Pink Poplin Ruffle Mini Skirt, £12.50 (was £25)


Monsoon Cassidy Crinkle Puff Sleeve Blouse, £25 (was £50)

(New Look/PA)

New Look Pink Organza Puff Sleeve Peplum Top, £10.49