11 statement sleeve dresses for every occasion (as if we needed an excuse)

Posted by for Fashion

Statement sleeves are big news this season. From perfect puffball sleeves to bulbous balloons, this fun and fantastical shape is transforming everyday dresses to catwalk looks.

Stepping into a new season always holds the opportunity for reinvention. While, of course, many fashion trends are a rework of catwalks and eras of the past, the newness that designers breathe into old favourites is what keeps us coming back for more. And a/w 2020 certainly feels like it is all about the dress. 

Although it feels like we have established a few firm favourite silhouettes, designers have been busy fine tuning their favourites to ease us into the end of 2020.

Statement sleeve dresses: Chanel a/w 2020 Getty Images
Statement sleeve dresses: Chanel a/w 2020 Getty Images

Having spent far too much of s/s 2020 under lockdown, it feels like some of the best trends that the season had to offer were slightly overlooked. Maybe a preference for loungewear over new season must-haves means you might have missed out on some great style edits? But luckily some of these trends are back for a second outing.

Puff sleeves were big news last season. Statement sleeve dresses were embraced on the catwalks by the likes of Fendi, Max Mara, Dries Van Noten and Chanel (to name just a few), and it seems the go big or go home mentality was one designers took to heart when it came a/w.

Statement sleeve dresses: Fendi a/w 2020
Statement sleeve dresses: Fendi a/w 2020

From perfect puffballs to bulbous balloon shapes and vintage inspired leg of muttons, sleeve styles this season are set to dance between the sublime to the ridiculous, and we’re loving it.

The trend has been beautifully intertwined with some of our favourite and most trusted dress shapes, helping to update much loved tea, a-line, mini, maxi and shirt dress silhouettes. So let your sleeves do the talking, look for classic dress styles that you know work for you, and bask in the playfulness of this fun look. 

  • Arket

    Statement sleeve dresses: Arket
    Statement sleeve dresses: Arket

    We’re all guilty of reaching for a black dress, it’s just such an easy purchase, but why not opt for this frilled statement sleeve one as a way of reinventing your favourite favourite staple for a/w 2020.

    Shop Arket dress, £69

  • Kai Collective

    Statement sleeve dresses: Kai Collective
    Statement sleeve dresses: Kai Collective

    One of our favourite classic silhouettes, the shirt dress gets a whole new lease of life with stunning statement sleeves and vegan leather fabric.

    Shop Kai Collective shirt dress, £220

  • Mango

    Statement sleeve dresses: Mango
    Statement sleeve dresses: Mango

    It’s never too early to stock up on sequins and this party perfect dress with ballooned sleeves is great for shimmying the night away.

    Shop Mango sequin dress, £99.99

  • DÔEN

    Statement sleeve dresses: DÔEN
    Statement sleeve dresses: DÔEN

    DÔEN creates such a gorgeous selection of boho inspired dresses that it stands to reason they’re also excellent at executing pretty voluminous sleeves.This gentle puff sleeve gives a nod to the trend without being too much. 

    Shop DÔEN dress, £228

  • The Kooples

    Statement sleeve dresses: The Kooples
    Statement sleeve dresses: The Kooples

    This is a great new season overhaul of the classic utility dress. While the dress silhouette is form fitting the dramatic oversized sleeves gives a new twist to this little black dress basic. 

    Shop The Kooples dress, £238

  • Anna Scolz

    Statement sleeve dresses: Anna Scholz
    Statement sleeve dresses: Anna Scholz

    While the balloon sleeve is a big deal this season, don’t forget to look out for other voluminous statement sleeves such as frilled, fluted and kimono styles as a way of transforming classic dress shapes. 

    Shop Anna Scholz paisley dress, £195

  • Rixo

    Statement sleeve dresses: Rixo
    Statement sleeve dresses: Rixo

    The leg of mutton sleeve is great for those that love a voluminous sleeve with a tapered finish. This shape is so easy to wear as you get the swishy feels of a balloon sleeve but the neatness of a fitted cuff.

    Shop Rixo dress, £265

  • Ganni

    Statement sleeve dresses: Ganni
    Statement sleeve dresses: Ganni

    Leopard print has become something of a print staple now but these perfect little puffball sleeves bring these easy a-line silhouette bang up to date.

    Shop Ganni dress, £215

  • Sika

    Statement sleeve dresses: Sika
    Statement sleeve dresses: Sika

    This batik dress is absolutely stunning and the statement frilled short sleeve is certainly one way to ensure you’ll turn heads. This gorgeous striped dress is a lovely maxi shape that is perfect for special occasions but equally stunning on a summer evening or holiday alfresco dinner.

    Shop, Sika dress, £195

  • Rhode

    Statement sleeve dresses: Rhode
    Statement sleeve dresses: Rhode

    The kind of dress shape that is dangerously addictive as this cute button fronted dress with balloon sleeve shape and optional waist tie belt comes in numerous colours and prints, you have been warned.

    Shop Rhode dress, £337

  • & Other Stories

    With working from home still very much a reality for lots of people marrying workwear attire that is also super comfortable is very much high up on the agenda. This voluminous shirt dress with set in statement sleeve definitely ticks the box.

    Shop & Other Stories dress, £69

Hero Image: Kai Collective / Getty Images: Chanel a/w 2020

Further Images: Brand’s own

Share this article