how to wear: the puff sleeve

So far, I've been really welcoming of the 80's revival - I mean, some of my best memories were carried out in spandex bike shorts and day-glo, so a return to these elements in everyday attire can only bring about a nostalgia for days more carefree. However, I was a little bit sceptical when I saw a shoot that included this Chloe dress in the January issue of US Harper's Bazaar.

Ah, the puff sleeve. Perhaps the most potent symbol of 80's excess, the puff sleeve had a way of turning up in every wedding and prom photo of that decade, and it seemed as though the bigger and more embellished, the better. I had thought that this was a trend that was destined never to return, one that was so clownish and impractical that it could never work in a contemporary aesthetic - but clearly, I was wrong.

And the funny thing is, the more I've looked at this picture, the more the puff sleeve seems to work. First of all, it's a unique way of incorporating the current volume trend into an outfit for the smaller-framed who might otherwise be swallowed by it, or those who are tired of the bubble / tulip / egg-shaped skirts that have been knocking round for the last few seasons. Also, the mood of the new season clearly seems to be 'anything goes' - so why not? Inflated sleeves are fun, tongue-in-cheek conversation pieces, and as long as the rest of the outfit is kept simple, there's no reason not to experiment with them. Plus, the bigger the sleeve, the smaller the arm appears - which, after a month of holiday gluttony, can only be a good thing.
*photo courtesy of style.com*

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