Your Friendly Guide to Rocking Balloon Sleeves this Summer

Since the ’80s were back in fashion last year, the big sleeves trend just doesn’t seem to be fading anytime soon. And to be honest with you, I am (still) completely in love with this trend and the whole modern Victorian vibe that radiates from it! Doesn’t every girl dreams of becoming a princess at least once in their life, right? Now is your chance.

These regal sleeves make one of the best additions to add a little drama into your outfit. One thing for sure these sleeves have the power to instantly attract people’s attention, and you might want to know the best way to style them!

How big is too big?

Darling, there’s no rule for that. Unless if you need to wear a coat or blazer over it, otherwise there is no limit to spread the drama! Your confidence is the key here. You can start off with smaller puffs first, and build it up from there.

@mvb
@kaicollective

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Hegia de Boer (@heyhegia) on

Storets – Holly Half Puff Sleeve Top
Pixie Market – Mint Multi Button Puff Shirt

Long or short?

You can wear them on any arm length you prefer, from short, medium (around ¾ length), or long. Shorter and medium length balloon sleeves tend to give the cute and girly impression with some prairie vibes, while longer ones appear to feel more royal-like.

Short:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by AnneLaure Mais Moreau (@adenorah) on

@juliempl
Reformation – Framboise Top

Medium:

@barbarakristoffersen
@imparfaiteparis
Reformation – Luna Top

The long balloon sleeves can make the most dramatic silhouette, and they are able to showcase some more beautiful details. I always choose the ones that have cute cuffs (especially with some irresistible cute buttons!)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ana In Paris (@anainparis) on

This type of long balloon sleeves is also commonly known as “bishop sleeves”. I think everybody on Insta is already in love with this silk blouse from Orseund Iris, as worn by Marie von Behrens, Xenia Adonts, and Maria Bernad.

@mvb
@xeniaadonts

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by María Bernad (@maria_bernad) on

Orseund Iris Night Out Top Champagne

Experiment with materials

Different fabrics will create a completely different silhouette. Sheer and more translucent fabrics like chiffon and silk create a more subtle effect and graceful movement. We see this fabric a lot in vintage pieces, especially from the ’70s and ’80s.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lucia Zolea (@luciazolea) on

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lovisa Barkman (@lovisabarkman) on

Zara – Tulle Plumetis Top
Pixie Market – Eyelet Collar Blouse

The thicker fabrics like cotton will create a more bold statement and a daring silhouette.

@maria_bernad

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Hegia de Boer (@heyhegia) on

Stolen Stores – Timeless Victorian in White

Play with proportion

Since the balloon sleeves will already occupy a big part of your outfit, let’s keep everything else simple to balance the proportion out. In case you have them on a top, you can wear it paired with straight denim (you can check our article about denim here if you haven’t) or tailored pants.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Morning light in the Yvette blouse ❤️

A post shared by Lucia Zolea (@luciazolea) on

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Na Nin Vintage (@naninvintage) on

@jessalizzy
& Other stories- Cropped Cotton Blend Plaid Trousers

Styling it with shorts can work so well too, just like Livia Auer and Laurence Fortin-Cote do.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by 𝑳𝑰𝑽𝑰𝑨 𝑨𝑼𝑬𝑹 (@livia_auer) on

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Laurence (@laurencefortincote) on

Mango – Buttoned high-waist shorts

Balloon sleeves dress also make a super cute option for a summer outfit! Pair it with strappy sandals and tiny bags like Mary L Jean, or play it casual with your favorite pair of Dr Martens like Matilda Djerf did here, you will look like a doll.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mary L Jean (@maryljean) on

@matildadjerf
& Other Stories – Embroidered Cotton Dress With Puff Sleeves
Shona Joy – Hamilton Linen Fitted Mini Dress
Storets – Effie Marie Sleeves Dress