10 Cute Puff Sleeve Top Outfit Ideas & Styling Tips

Recently, I was going through my summer wardrobe and realized that most of my summer pieces feature some sort of sleeve design - whether it’s small puffs, big puffs, balloon sleeves, or just exaggerated sleeve detail.

So, I wanted to do a dedicated style guide about sleeves to give you some puff sleeve top outfit ideas. Keep reading to learn how to style puff sleeves!

What to wear with a puff sleeve top

1. Feminine vs edgy

Here, I’m wearing a cropped floral top with a tiny puff sleeve. I paired this top with some ripped mom jeans, and I think that the juxtaposition between the cutesy, girly top paired. The more chunky bottoms makes the outfit interesting and creates some nice contrast.

What not to wear with a puff sleeve top

Here is an example of something that doesn’t go. I styled the top with a red lace skirt which is also something very feminine and quite a statement piece.

These two pieces are competing with each other for attention, so when you have a puff sleeve top or a top that is in a statement color or a very statement cut, try to simplify the rest of your outfit so that your top can do the talking.

Wearing a puff sleeve top with sneakers

2. Sneaker surprise

In this look, I just paired the puff sleeve blouse with a simple satin skirt. This is a very feminine look and I think it works well because the top is in a muted color, and so is the skirt.

I still wanted to bring a surprise factor, so I’m wearing my Air Force 1’s on my feet. I love pairing a cute top with a midi skirt and a chunky pair of sneakers that help dress down an otherwise pretty fancy outfit.

How to style a puff sleeve blouse

3. Pulling out colors

In this look, I paired the top with some white jeans to bring out the color of the top. I left it untucked because it has a tie in the back, so it creates a peplum effect which is also really slimming and flattering for a puff sleeve top. 

Styling a sheer puff-sleeve top

4. Don't fear the sheer

Moving on to the sheer category. This top gives me a princessy, Dior vibe. One way you can style tops like these is to keep the bottoms in line with the feminine vibe of the top.

Here, I paired the top with a satin skirt, and I really like how seamless and cohesive the outfit is. Don’t be afraid of buying something sheer, especially if you go for a darker color. Sheer tops can be very flattering for your body. 

How to layer a puff sleeve top

5. Play with layering

Here I paired a sheer blouse with a jumpsuit. If you’re not sure what to wear under sheer tops and you don’t want to layer a tank top underneath, or you’re not comfortable to just wear a bra then I highly recommend first wearing it over a jumpsuit. 

Tying a puff-sleeve shirt at the waist

You can also tie it at the front like this to make a sheer blouse into an outerwear, layering piece for summer evenings when it gets a little bit chilly. 

Layering a puff-sleeve shirt under a jumpsuit

You can also wear it underneath a jumpsuit as well. Both of these pieces work well with the jumpsuit because they have exaggerated sleeves.

As the jumpsuit is slimming, the outfit doesn’t create an excessive amount of volume all over your body. I also quite like the contrast between the sleeves and the slimness of the jumpsuit. 

Matching a detailed balloon sleeve with simple shorts

6. Details vs simplicity

Then we have tops that have some sleeve detail but nothing super obvious. I would say this is more of a balloon sleeve.

Because this top is already very detailed, on the bottom I’m just wearing a simple pair of shorts; I think that is the best way for the top to shine. I didn’t tuck the top in because it has beautiful detail around the bottom of it. 

Monochrome puff sleeve top outfit

7. Go monochrome

Next up, we’re going for more structured puff sleeves. This is a great example because it’s double-lined and opaque, so the volume is more obvious when you wear something like this.

If you’re not comfortable going wild with an exaggerated puff sleeve, I would just go for a monochromatic look. Here I’m wearing a white-on-white look, which is so timeless and classic. I love the texture of this top and I feel like all of the detail is pretty subtle.

How to wear puff sleeves

8. Balance sleeves with your waist

Moving onto a sleeve that is bigger than the size of my head! With something that is so exaggerated, obviously, this top will be the statement focal point of your outfit.

If you’re worried about adding too much volume to your outfit, then paired it with a v-neckline jumpsuit which visually directs the attention to your waist.

A jumpsuit like this will visually make your waist look slimmer because the sleeves are so exaggerated. I feel very powerful and confident in this outfit. 

How to style a puff sleeve top

9. Nail the silhouette

This top I paired with wide-leg, very voluminous pants. The reason this outfit works is because the top is cropped, and the pants are very high-waisted, so my waist area is cinched in.

I really like this effect of something very voluminous on the top and the bottom with a skinny waistline, it is a great silhouette and can help to hide a lot of your imperfections. 

Puff sleeve top outfit ideas

10. Go for a dress

If you’re just dipping your foot in the water when it comes to puff-sleeve tops and think that they might be too much for you or you aren’t sure you would style them with, I recommend going with a puff sleeve dress because a dress is an outfit already prepared for you.

This dress is very summery, breathable, and flowy. It gives off a carefree yet stylish vibe.

How to style puff sleeves

This dress is a little bit more slimming and figure-hugging. There are a lot of options when it comes to dresses with exaggerated sleeve detail.

Puff sleeve top outfit ideas

I think that puff sleeves are universally flattering, and I hope that this style guide has given you some puff sleeve outfit ideas.

Going for a top or dress with puffy sleeves is a great way to bring personality into your looks and there are many different types of puffy-sleeved tops and dresses out there.

Let me know which was your favorite styling tip in the comments below.

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