The Future of Sleeves

Forecasters, those mysterious folks who predict the rise and fall of popularity for fashion trends have hinted at the decline of off the shoulder tops and increase in popularity of sleeve detail. Any and every sleeve detail. In fact, sleeve detail is all the rage this fall. To be honest, I’m happy to hear that because strapless bras have never been my favorite.

I’ve been experimenting with more than one trend this year. I also know their lifespan is limited so look for ones that may have more staying power than others.Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life wearing bell sleeve topThis blouse was on clearance when I bought it and now sold out. Because it’s black, I’ll get more wear out of it than if it were patterned or a memorable color.

This look was perfect for a day of running around, a doctor appointment and lunch out at our favorite deli. The temps cooled slightly so black became possible and even polyester was tolerable. Jennifer Connolly of a well Styled Life wearing bell sleeved topI was in a minimalistic mood but wanted some small amount feminine detailing and this blouse fits the bill. I kept everything else simple so the blouse stood out. Jennifer Connolly of A well Styled Life modeling bell sleeves

This bell sleeve blouse is one of the more intelligent versions I’ve tried because the ruffle starts high on my forearm and ends above my wrist. Of course, I’m not rolling out pastry in this blouse but it stays out of the way very well. Many bell sleeves are so long they would drive me crazy!Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled life wearing v-neck bell sleeved top

I have a thing for the backs of garments. Most people see us coming and going and the last impression we leave is usually the back of our outfit… so it makes sense to have some detail happening there. I love the deep V both front and back.

Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life wearing bell sleeved top and slim pants

I chose a simple necklace that duplicates the V-neckline and silver hoops. I passed on a bracelet because the bell sleeve had enough detail on the wrist for my taste that day.


Have you embraced sleeve detail? Do you add a small amount of trend to your look to keep modern?

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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  1. This is the perfect bell sleeve! I would wear them more often if I could find this length. I don’t intentionally by a top for back detail but I consider it a bonus if I can find it.

  2. I’ve admired your French Kande necklaces for some time. They caught my eye and intrigued me because I used to teach French! but was hesitant to buy without actually seeing them in person. I was shopping recently in Louisville, Ky and happened to find it in a boutique there. I only purchased the one long necklace and passed on the shorter one. Do you wear them both together very often? Am wondering if I should’ve bought the short one also.Loved the bracelets too but don’t think I’d ever wear them with the necklace.

    1. I have worn them together but prefer wearing a bracelet with one necklace. I’m short so too many necklaces can over power me.

  3. Jennifer, your post today really gave me something to truly consider. I never think very much about the back of my outfit — but your idea that the last impression we make sometimes is our back makes me rethink that!! I’ll be checking front and back from now on! Your outfit today is great — fun and fresh!

  4. You look awesome in this post!!!! Not sure I’ll go for the bell sleeve; too much for my 5’2″ frame!!!

  5. I’m glad to hear this about sleeve details. I have a couple and haven’t got enough wear out of them yet. I have used hair bands to keep my bell sleeves from dangling into food. Why do they make them so impractally long!

  6. This post is a good example of someone with very fair coloring wearing black and looking great. I love the sleeves on you, especially since they’re not too long.

  7. jodie filogomo says:

    I’ve been loving this detail too Jennifer. In fact, the blouse I just bought had these sleeves, and I ended up shortening them about 3 inches so they were realistically functional!!

    1. I see sleeves that end 6 inches below finger tip and wonder how people wear them!! They’re very theatrical looking but not practical.

  8. How do you wear bell sleeves+ jacket?

    1. I’m not sure it makes sense to wear with a jacket that you plan to keep on. I’ve rolled sweater sleeves to above the bell, but for a jacket I’d just grab hold and slip into the arms. Not optimum but it works for when you remove your coat.

  9. Love this look. Black is always my go to when I am in a hurry. Can you give me details on the sandals, love them.

  10. Just wanted to comment that you look great in this post and that you made me (sort of) reconsider my total dislike of bell sleeves! I consider being able to dismiss trends a benefit of getting older. I really dislike fashion trends that make clothes uncomfortable, or make the average person look bad (like wide legged cropped pants, in my opinion). I was putting bell sleeves in this category until I saw your photo. Beautiful!

    1. Lol, Thanks Karen! Uncomfortable clothes, trend or not, are out for me!

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