The Puffed-Sleeve Sweater: The perfect party top this season

If you’re anything like me, you would rather be under-dressed than over-dressed. I love a good sparkly top or velvet mini dress as much as the next girl, but only if I’m going downtown for upscale cocktails. When it comes to the numerous, more low-key gatherings that fill the month of December,

I want to wear something that makes a more subtle statement: something that feels a little feminine and festive, but still cozy and approachable.

When I saw this gorgeous puffed-sleeve sweater by one of my favorite Los Angeles designers, & Other Stories, I knew this sweater was going to be my go-to look for casual holiday get-togethers.

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This particular sweater is sadly no longer available, but the puffed-sleeves trend is going strong, and many high-quality brands are offering their own take on this Edwardian-inspired, romantic look. Some of my picks include:

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I decided to lean into the ladylike silhouette of the puffed sleeves, so I tucked it into some fitted Levi’s and styled it with the Everlane Day Heels (in natural suede) and a structured vintage bag that I recently found at one of my favorite vintage stores in San Diego, La Loupe Vintage. I love light and bright neutrals, and this bag paired beautifully with this ensemble’s soft color palette, but with an added little pop of color from the amber-colored Bakelite handles (for those of you who haven’t come across Bakelite, it was a precursor to plastic in the midcentury).

3 ways to style a puffed-sleeve sweater:

  • Polished (seen in this post): Tuck it into a pair of pants that are cropped-length and fitted at the waist (for example, straight-leg jeans or a sailor pant); pair with closed-toe shoes and a structured bag; keep jewelry simple and delicate.
  • Urban/Casual (perhaps I will shown in a different post?): Wear untucked with a midi-length skirt (I would do something similar to the Naomi skirt by Realisation Par, as featured in this post.); pair with converse or the chunky dad-shoe and a leather tote bag; skip jewelry, except for maybe a signet ring (like the one that I have by Wolf Circus.)
  • Rustic and Cozy: Tuck only the front of the sweater into a pair of skinny black or grey jeans; pair with chelsea boots and a beanie.

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In my favorite childhood book, Anne of Green Gables, Anne saw beauty everywhere. However, she longed to not only observe beauty, but to participate in it by wearing what she saw as quintessentially feminine and lovely: puffed sleeves!

When this trend started popping up, I smiled, immediately thinking of Anne and how I still relate to the imaginative loveliness she discovered in every aspect of life.

Whether you decide to try this style in vibrant colors or light, muted shades (like the ones I tend to reach for!), the puffed-sleeve look is a contemporary nod to our inner-romantic, to the part of us that goes beyond the merely practical and embraces whimsy and wonder.

 

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Style details:

Sweater: & Other Stories (currently unavailable; shop similar here)

Jeans: Levi’s (upcycled by Free People; shop similar Levi’s with lapetitefemme.shop)

Shoes: Everlane (shop here)

Necklace: Graffiti Beach (shop here)

Bag: Vintage, shopped from La Loupe Vintage in San Diego

Let me know in the comments if you’re interested in seeing this sweater styled in a few different ways! I want to know what you are interested in seeing!

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