There are a lot of highly Instagrammable fashion trends happening these days: tie-dye, neon, snake print, vacation hats. But only one has stolen my heart and blown up my follower count: ultra-puffy sleeves. I developed a strong affinity for this renaissance-y, Disney Princess–esque trend last summer. The whimsical shape perfectly aligned with my quirky sense of style while simultaneously shrouding my upper arms (for which I harbor a mild loathing—stubbornly soft triceps are just my cross to bear!). As many of my favorite brands (Reformation, Staud, & Other Stories) began rolling out puffy-sleeved shirts and dresses by the dozen, I proceeded to donate my paychecks to them and post each one on Instagram. As these things tend to happen, puffy sleeves started to become part of my “brand” (as much as I have a brand, anyway), and the more puffy-sleeve outfits I posted, the more followers I gained, who then started DM’ing me puffy-sleeve items they thought I’d like, which I would purchase and post, creating a positive feedback loop of puff, post, follow, puff, post, follow.
Over the course of my endeavors in the puff space, I’ve attracted over 2000 followers to my humble account. Not bad for a sleeve! Curious to see which balloonish styles have earned me the most IG engagement? Keep scrolling for my puffy picks.
Yellow + turquoise is one of my favorite summery color combos. That in puffy sleeve form? Whimsical perfection.
Can’t get enough matching sets. This nautical vibe screams vacation.
Staud’s bags and shoes totally overshadow its low-key incredible selection of puffy sleeves. I’ve been wearing this tomato-red crop top everywhere lately.
I’m obsessed with the subtle yellow-and-blue trim on this billowy-sleeved, tie-front treasure.
Reformation rules the puffy-sleeve kingdom. This little blue number is just one of many princessy tops I have from the brand.
I scored this one-of-a-kind royal blue gem from Ref’s vintage store on Melrose in L.A.
A puffy-sleeve white linen crop top goes with just about everything. When I have no idea what to wear, I default to this top and my Madewell Perfect Summer Jeans.
Aussie brand Eggie has so many cute puffy-sleeve dresses for under $100. I wore this one twice a week last summer. The cost per wear is too good to be true.
Another find from Ref’s vintage store. This fun taffeta top is serving retro ’80s realness.
This is more of a puffy shoulder but still has the same effect. I love the subtle bell-sleeve detail on this Ref dress.
A subtler puff for those who don’t want to go full-on Ariel from The Little Mermaid. How cute is that gingham print?
Gotta love a puffy-sleeve sweater for chilly nights! This salmon pick from & Other Stories is no longer in stock, but the one below is.
Want more of my style faves? Next up: 14 Hair Accessories That Instantly Elevate My Short Cut