How to Style a Statement Sleeve Sweater

How To Style a Statement Sleeve Sweater

The statement sleeve has been a huge trend this year, and doesn’t show any sign of going away. If you’ve been clothes shopping at all in the last few months, you’ll no doubt have seen that the stores are full of sweaters with bell sleeves, balloon sleeves, ruffle sleeves and more.

I’m a little late to the party I know, but decided to finally jump on the bandwagon and embrace a bold sleeve myself. I think that it just adds a nice, fun touch, and elevates an everyday sweater to something a bit more interesting.

The only challenge is how to wear these gorgeous sleeves (without crossing that fine line between playful and plain silly!)

For that reason,  I’ve put together some advice that make styling statement sleeves a cinch. So if you’re just getting started like me, here are a three easy tips to help master the trend until you’re ready to take it to the next level 🙂

#1 Keep the rest of your outfit streamlined

There are a couple of reasons that a clean silhouette works well with statement sleeves. Firstly, it allows your sleeves to stand out and be the star of the show! Secondly, it keeps your outfit from looking overly busy – you want to avoid too many competing elements.

Skinny jeans are always a go-to for me. On a side note, I’m not sure what I’ll do if they ever go out of fashion, since 90% of my outfits seem to comprise skinny jeans!

Anyhow, back to topic – if skinnies aren’t for you, the some slim fitting girlfriend jeans would also look fab with a chunkier knit. For the office, I love the look of tailored trousers with statement sleeves.

I styled my sweater with some over the knee boots  (mainly because I’ve been looking for any excuse to wear them!) but it would have paired equally well with some cute ankle booties or polished flats.

So you really have a ton of different options, but the key is to balance the statement sleeves with other more sleek pieces.How To Style a Statement Sleeve Sweater How To Style a Statement Sleeve Sweater

Sweater // Jeans // Boots // Sunglasses – similar

#2 Treat the trend like a classic

There’s often a sweet spot where trend meets classic, and the same can be true of statement sleeve sweaters.

If I’m going to invest in a trend, that may or may not stick around, I want to be sure that I  get as much wear out of it as possible. Pieces that are more classic in nature tend to have greater versatility and are generally easier to style.

One of the easiest ways to achieve a classic look is with color. Opting for a neutral hue such as white, grey (my fave!) or black, will guarantee a polished aesthetic. Oh, and these days I’m also treating blush pink, which you can find in the stores everywhere, as a neutral.

It probably goes without saying, but it’s best to steer clear of loud prints!

#3 Simplify your accessories

In an ideal world, I would have been holding a cute satchel or sporting a cross-body bag in these pics, but the only bag I had to hand was my gargantuan diaper bag, which didn’t really complement the look!

Aside from a nice, classic bag, I would opt for some simple jewelry – a couple of dainty rings and a pendant necklace would complete the look perfectly, without taking away from the main feature of the outfit.

And of course sunglasses – I rarely go anywhere without my trusted sunnies 🙂


One final piece of advice – be wary of sleeve length. The sleeves on the Banana Republic sweater that I’m wearing are just about as long as I’d be willing to go. Any longer and I know that they’d be getting in the way of things and driving me mad. Likewise, they’re not too big that they’re draping all over the place.

Here are some more great options for classic statement sleeve sweaters (all under $100!):

What do you think? Love the statement sleeve sweater trend? How do you wear yours if so?!

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  • Reply Ashlee

    This sweater is so cute!! Love those sleeves!

    October 28, 2017 at 7:15 pm
    • Reply Polly

      Thanks Ashlee!

      October 29, 2017 at 3:25 pm
  • Reply Sarah

    Thanks for the styling tips! I love fun items like these but I always feel like I end up looking to fussy and like I’m trying too hard. I’ll feel more confident after your post!

    October 28, 2017 at 7:35 pm
    • Reply Polly

      I’m definitely the same but have been trying to get out of my comfort zone a bit more!

      October 29, 2017 at 3:27 pm
  • Reply Natasha

    I love your bell sleeve. This is definitely one of my favorite trends of the year. I recently paired my bell sleeve top with some distressed denim and nude heels with dainty jewelry.

    October 28, 2017 at 8:45 pm
    • Reply Polly

      That sounds gorgeous!

      October 29, 2017 at 3:27 pm
  • Reply Gabby

    Great tips! I tend to stay away from bulkier tops or sleeves because I’m short and more on the curvy side and I don’t want to look bulky. I think these tips may help a lot!

    October 29, 2017 at 9:39 am
    • Reply Polly

      I’m vertically challenged too (!) and have read that a three-quarter length bell sleeve can be super flattering!

      October 29, 2017 at 3:31 pm
  • Reply Anna

    I love this look, and especially those high boots! I need a pair for myself!

    October 29, 2017 at 5:17 pm
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