If you haven’t seen Napoleon Dynamite, you have tragically missed out on a fashion film icon: Deb Bradshaw. Sweet Debbie is an awkward high schooler who is styled to look…a bit dorky. However, her fashion choices are more on-the-nose for today than the costume designer could’ve imagined then. Deb wears a loose pink-striped polo shirt in most of her scenes. (Thanks to Miuccia Prada S/S20, the polo is having a moment once again.) The artisanal, handmade jewelry Deb makes, wears, and sells, would go gangbusters in an instagram shop. My favorite bit of fashion fortune telling she did is when she predicted the rise of the puffy sleeve dress. Iconic.
As you can see below, a statement sleeve can dress up even the most mundane everyday activities. Household chores but make it ~fashion~ amiright?
Keep scrolling to see some of my favorite puffy sleeve dresses I’ve ever worn, and some just dying to be in YOUR closet too!
This summer we have been honing in more than ever on the fashion of A Lars Girl. If there is one thing us Lars girls could fill our closets with forever (and wear nothing else) it would be a puffy sleeve dress.
The puffy sleeve dress has been the dress of 2020 and 2019, and it doesn’t look like the crazy times have halted its popularity. If anything, it’s made me realize how versatile this dress can be. If you’re a regular around here, you know that I love dresses and wear them almost exclusively. I can’t have enough flowy gowns. It’s so simple to throw on a dress. Outfit done. Despite the simplicity, there’s still so much room for variation and personalization. Patterns, silhouettes, accessories, and styling all get the chance to shine against the backdrop of a funky dress. The puff-sleeved variety is no exception.
Romantic & Versatile
If you aren’t convinced, let me make this even clearer. The puffy sleeve dress is incredibly romantic and timeless – I get major Princess Bride vibes. Or remember in the Anne of Green Gables series when Anne finally gets the puffy-sleeve dress of her dreams? Yet these dresses feel trendy, modern, and actually wearable. Pair your billowy cuffed gown with some sneakers and you are ready to go anywhere. Explore an international city and stop at the grocery store in the same ‘fit! Toss on some statement heels + jewelry and you can show up as the belle of any ball. Church, gallery openings, weddings, date night, everywhere.
I wore a navy puffy sleeve dress from Zara (similar to this one) with some hot pink mules and a seashell necklace to pick up a friend at the airport. I felt fit to board a jet to Milan, Paris or Tokyo. (Okay, the styling might have been a bit much but I haven’t changed out of my pajamas in weeks.)
Wear it with Ease
Before you get any lofty ideas about who I am and how I dress, let me bring things back down to earth. It’s summer. It’s hot. I’m sweaty. Except in a puffy sleeve dress. They’re super comfortable, airy, and not clingy at all. The airiness keeps you cool, and on the off chance you do break a sweat, no one will be able to tell. You’ll be able to enjoy your time outdoors all summer long. The dress is great in the winter too! I’m planning to layer the same dress I mentioned earlier with a turtleneck underneath.
Sure the dress above doesn’t quite have puffed sleeves, but any dress with statement sleeves can have the same affect. Does it get better than this?? A structural wardrobe piece that is actually wearable in different settings and climates is hard to find. As you’ll see below, I will even garden in a good dress!
I thank the fashion gods for the puffy sleeve dress.
Amazing puffy sleeve dresses available now
Below you will find a dress for every occasion. If I haven’t yet convinced you that you should be wearing a dress like this to mop your floors (and do everything else on your to-do list) you’ll find some more dressy options as well. Like this kelly green beauty, um hello! Is this La La Land?! Or this classy option in black. Even I will wear black if it has a puffed sleeve.
For inspiration on how to style your puffy sleeve dress, check out my fashion Pinterest board here!
All mood board photo sources can be found here.