How 3 STYLECASTER Editors Style Statement Sleeves

How 3 STYLECASTER Editors Style Statement Sleeves
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Photo: Tory Rust/STYLECASTER

While we’ve all heard of “business in the front, party in the back,” for the past few seasons, sleeves have been the real main event. Whether they’re billowy and bell-shaped, flouncy and pleated, or so voluminous they can barely be stuffed in your jacket, these sleeves do far more than just shield your arms from the elements (and, tbh, sometimes the cool ones don’t actually do the best job of that).

MORE: 25 Ways to Wear the Bell-Sleeve Trend

Fashion girls are falling hard for the trend—not since Anne Shirley finally got her puff-sleeve dress (c’mon, “Anne of Green Gables,” anyone?) has anyone harbored quite so much enthusiasm for ample-armed clothing. IRL, however, the look can seem tricky to pull off. For one, there are the practical matters, such as negotiating less-roomy outerwear and eating without letting your wrists get anywhere near your food.

Then there’s the styling aspect. If you, like me, grew up hearing shoulder pads talked about with a collective shudder, the idea of extra volume up top—even if it’s not strictly of the ’80s variety—will always provoke a little wariness. But with so many fun tops, dresses, and jackets with supersize sleeves on the (virtual) shelves right now, it seems as good a time as any to experiment, don’t you think?

MORE: 3 Unexpected Ways to Style a Turtleneck

Below, see how two fellow editors and I styled some of our favorite statement-sleeve pieces of the moment, and shop the looks to try out the trend for yourself.

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“Off-the-shoulder tops are a staple of mine in the summer, and styling them over a warm turtleneck instantly makes them appropriate for the wintertime, too! I could totally see myself wearing this to a holiday party; it’s a nice alternative to the usual dress.”—Corinna Wong, editorial intern

Caroline Constas Gabriella Bustier Top, $276.50 (was $395); at Shopbop

Turtleneck, model's own; similar here

The Mick Pant, $325; at Cienne

Photo: Tory Rust/STYLECASTER
Photo: Tory Rust/STYLECASTER
Photo: Tory Rust/STYLECASTER

These huge sleeves might look like a huge hindrance, but they didn’t really impede my day-to-day at all—except that they let a lot of cold air in when I’m outside. To keep my forearms warm (which is a thing! I swear!) I layered a slim-fit turtleneck underneath and draped my leather jacket on top. There was no way these sleeves, even with the elbow-ties, were fitting inside.”—Lauren Caruso, site director

Martine Top, $105; at Style Mafia

Jacket, model's own; similar here

Jeans, model's own; similar here

E2 Pointed Slide, $145; at Everlane

Photo: Tory Rust/STYLECASTER
Photo: Tory Rust/STYLECASTER
Photo: Tory Rust/STYLECASTER

"This is my approximation of a suit, which should give you some idea of how much time I've spent working in corporate America (yeah, not a ton…). On its own, the blazer has a very witchy vibe—like something Morticia might wear if 'The Addams Family' were set in Manhattan circa 2016—and while sometimes I'm all for that, on this occasion I decided to go the other direction with a sporty Timo Weiland hoodie and these weird-but-amazing Giles pants I got on sale last year from Matches Fashion. I'm a big fan of graphic colors and interesting shapes in fashion, and this outfit has both—plus, the bell sleeves make any gesture seem way more dramatic."—Hilary George-Parkin, fashion editor

Aesop Blazer, $169; at Style Mafia

Hoodie, model's own; similar here

Pants, model's own; similar here

Liliana Boot, $425; at Perla Formentini

Photo: Tory Rust/STYLECASTER
Photo: Tory Rust/STYLECASTER
Photo: Tory Rust/STYLECASTER

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