4 Real Ways to Wear a Puffy-Sleeve Top IRL
As much as I hate to generalize, I think it's safe to assume that the workwear rut is a very familiar place for many women. Even if you don't dress for an office, I imagine you've struggled with breaking an all-too repetitive outfit routine at one point or another. No matter where we're going or what we're dressing for, we all have our go-to combos: for me it's often a button-down shirt and jeans, midi skirt and sweater, or waist-cinching dress with mules. Easy, simple looks we know we can lean on when rushing out the door.
Well, as much as I thought I had my combos down pat, I quickly realized after starting a new job four weeks ago that my "fail-safe" looks were anything but. The dress I thought would be effortless felt overdone, the trousers I thought were sleek felt stuffy, and my assortment of knits felt a little humdrum. I needed something that felt smart but fashion-forward, and versatile enough that I could wear it a few different ways. That's when I landed on the most darling Puff-Sleeve Button-Down Top ($22, originally $44) from the POPSUGAR Collection at Kohl's.
Now, let me preface this next part by saying that I am borderline obsessed with white tops from oversize button-downs to crewneck tees. OK, you're prefaced. While my penchant for white tops is strong, this classic-with-a-twist style can work for just about every woman out there and for various occasions from the office to weekend brunch and Spring get-togethers with friends. With playful puffy sleeves, the silhouette is right up my alley in terms of femininity and tempered drama, pairing easily with midi skirts, jeans, and pants. It's the exact modern update I'm looking for when it comes to a smart, office-appropriate piece — just nuanced enough that it's interesting but not distracting or unprofessional.
While I do understand how the shape can feel intense for those who are less than volume inclined, the lightweight cotton fabric keeps the top from feeling overly sweet and trendy. But to further prove how versatile, polished, and easy to wear this puffy sleeve top is, I styled it four different ways and documented the journey for your outfit ideating pleasure.
Ahead, witness four office-approved looks featuring the cutest Puff-Sleeve Button-Down Top. Plus, shop the fresh pieces I chose to pair with it.
My puffy sleeve top journey started slow. In other words, I layered the white shirt beneath a yellow cardigan with gingham pants, heeled slingbacks, and a geometric bag. Styling the shirt loose over the pants for a casual-cool effect, I pushed up my sleeves as an ode to the top's voluminous shape. Sure, it's subtle. But great for those inching their way into the world of volume dressing.
On Laura: POPSUGAR at Kohl's puff-sleeve button-down top, Little Moon Rosella cardigan sweater, Wilfred kick flare pants, Yuzefi bag, Charles & Keith slingback pumps.
For a sleek accent, I mixed in medium-size hoops in yellow gold which is my everyday go-to.
On Laura: POPSUGAR at Kohl's puff-sleeve button-down top, Little Moon Rosella cardigan sweater, Monica Vinader hoop earrings.
Wilfred Kick Flare Pant High-Waisted Gingham Pant
Charles & Keith Taupe Linen Sculptural Heel Slingback Pumps
Putting my ultra-feminine side on display, this outfit formula is a workweek favorite. My collection of floral-print midi skirts is vast, but this pleated maxi felt smarter than, say, a ruffled version and in line with the tailored nature of the top. Keeping the skirt and top as the focal point, I kept my accessories light and tonal, opting for an ivory bag and white mules.
On Laura: POPSUGAR at Kohl's puff-sleeve button-down top, Zimmermann skirt, Loewe bag, and Dorateymur mules.
For an eye-catching pop, I played off the colors in the skirt with mismatched stone earrings in jade green.
On Laura: POPSUGAR at Kohl's puff-sleeve button-down top, Zimmermann skirt, and SVNR earrings.
For a dressed-down look, I teamed my puffy sleeve top with '90s-inspired jeans and block-heel sandals. Craving a transitional layer with a splash of color, I tossed a colorblock sweater over my shoulders for easy-chic.
On Laura: POPSUGAR at Kohl's puff-sleeve button-down top, Agolde jeans, PH5 sweater, Charles & Keith sandals.
A linked pair of golden hoops tied it all together for a polished finish.
On Laura: POPSUGAR at Kohl's puff-sleeve button-down top, Agolde jeans, Ariel Gordon hoop earrings.
Agolde Parker Easy Straight Jean in Placebo
Charles & Keith Blush Wide Buckle Slingback Heels
Midi skirts are my absolute favorite, so I revisited the combo, this time opting for a wrap silhouette. I'm also partial to tonal neutrals, so I went with a natural oat shade in linen and added in ivory, block-heel sandals. For a fun twist, I reached for a rainbow-stripe bag to liven up my otherwise muted palette.
On Laura: POPSUGAR at Kohl's puff-sleeve button-down top, OZMA skirt, Charles & Keith sandals, Michino Paris bag.
I can't get enough of the modern pearl trend, so I finished this outfit with a delicate but noticeable mobile set.
On Laura: POPSUGAR at Kohl's puff-sleeve button-down top, OZMA skirt, Zoë Chicco earrings.
Are you convinced to give this versatile $33 top a try? If I've done my job, the answer is yes!