Which puff-sleeve sweaters are best?

Puff-sleeve sweaters are cute, cozy and a step up from regular sweaters. These sweaters have lived in the fashion world for a while. They made a comeback in 2018 and have been trending ever since. The GRACE KARIN Women’s Pullover Sweater is a mix of modern and classic with its dainty puff sleeves and unique knit pattern, making it a great option for anyone wanting something that is easy to wear. 

What to know before you buy a puff-sleeve sweater

Puff-sleeve style

Puff sleeves have been around for centuries, with the elegant fashion trend trickling down from the elite and the wealthy to the common person as the textile industry grew. These ruched shoulders have changed many times, but in the 1980s, puff sleeves had a big moment, with the trend re-emerging in everything from prom dresses to blouses and sweaters. Puff sleeves can be small and minimal or large and voluminous. Fabric is gathered at the shoulder with ruching to create a puff; however, some sleeves may include shoulder pads to accentuate the puffs even more. 

Which knits to look for

Sweaters are typically made from cotton or a blend. Other commonly used fabrics include acrylic, nylon and viscose. Depending on the thickness of the fabric and how big you want your puff sleeves, certain fabrics do better than others. Thicker fabrics like cotton or wool create a puff, but they may not be as noticeable as puff sleeves made with acrylic or nylon. How much fabric is gathered to create the ruching effect can also determine how large the puff sleeves are. 

What to wear with a puff-sleeve sweater 

The great thing about puff-sleeve sweaters is that they can be worn at work, home and everywhere in between. And puff sleeve sweaters can be dressed up or down when you pair them with other clothing. For example, a timeless, effortless look is made when wearing one of these sweaters with a pair of jeans and Steve Madden boots. There are endless options, so feel free to mix and match a puff-sleeve sweater with other clothes like a mini skirt or jeggings. 

What to look for in a quality puff-sleeve sweater

Minimal or no pilling 

Sweater season means being warm and cozy, but it doesn’t come without its issues. Puff-sleeve sweaters are pretty easy to clean and care for, but lots of wearing and washing can put stress on the fibers, causing pilling. Pilling happens when shorter fibers are tangled together, so frequent cleaning is not recommended. Since most sweaters are made from short fibers like cotton, pilling is likely to happen, but it can be prevented with proper care. Puff-sleeve sweaters made from blends are less likely to pill.

Versatile styling

As mentioned earlier, these sweaters can be very versatile, but most people prefer a sweater with a smaller puff. Smaller puff sleeves transition well from daytime casual to nighttime glam, whereas larger puffs are a more dramatic look and can be more difficult to dress down. With the right pairing of simple garments, bold puff sleeves can be toned down somewhat. But some enjoy the exaggerated look from larger puff sleeves, so styling comes down to preference and mood. But no matter the puff size, these sweaters can be worn almost anywhere, anytime. 

Comfortable fit and design

Puff-sleeve sweaters are typically very comfortable. These sweaters are made from soft fabrics that are mostly lightweight and non-irritating. These sweaters are made to wear all day, so their structure and design are made to keep you warm and stylish. 

How much you can expect to spend on puff-sleeve sweater

Puff-sleeve sweaters typically cost anywhere between $20-$100 depending on the designer and retail store. 

Puff-sleeve sweater FAQ

How can I prevent my sweater from pilling?

A. Pilling can happen when sweaters are worn and washed repeatedly over time. Short fibers like acrylic and cotton are more prone to pilling than silk fibers. Regardless of fabric, washing your sweater inside out and hanging to dry helps prevent most sweaters from pilling. 

What will make the puff sleeves bigger?

A. If the puff sleeves on your sweater are too small for your liking, you can always insert shoulder pads by sewing them on the inside or using small amounts of fabric glue near the sweater seams. 

What’s the best puff-sleeve sweater to buy?

Top puff-sleeve sweater 

GRACE KARIN Womens Pullover Sweater

GRACE KARIN Women’s Pullover Sweater 

What you need to know: This is a light knit sweater that is great for transitioning from fall to winter. 

What you’ll love: The beautifully stitched pattern on this sweater is a unique detail, with bell-shaped sleeves and a ribbed neckline and hemline to complete the look. 

What you should consider: Users mentioned that this sweater is pretty thin and recommend layering due to the see-through stitched pattern. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top puff-sleeve sweater for the money

Lark & Ro Women's Premium Mid-Weight Blend Puff

Lark & Ro Women’s Premium Mid-Weight Blend Puff

What you need to know: This sweater has the right amount of puff in the sleeves, making it a staple piece for office or casual wear.

What you’ll love: The button accents near the turtleneck on the sweater add a sophisticated touch, giving this sweater a modern look at a decent price point. 

What you should consider: It is not a thick knit sweater and does not have very long sleeves, making it more ideal for fall than winter. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Ralph Lauren Puff-Sleeve Cotton-Blend Sweater

Ralph Lauren Puff-Sleeve Cotton-Blend Sweater

What you need to know: This is a sweater with a classic contemporary style that is synonymous with the Ralph Lauren label. 

What you’ll love: It can easily become a staple piece in your wardrobe thanks to its ability to pair well with other garments. 

What you should consider: This sweater is on the more expensive end compared to others. 

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s

 

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Shelby Sears writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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