The women’s fashion trend for Pre-Fall 2021: the puff shoulder

The women's fashion trend for Pre-Fall 2021: the puff shoulder

Puff shoulders have become an indispensable part of contemporary women’s fashion, and will remain so during the upcoming Pre-Fall 2021 season. Puffed sleeves, with their signature round details on the shoulder that sometimes extend to the sleeve, add a little volume to any top or dress.

We saw a number of different versions of this trend in the upcoming Pre-Fall collections. Philosophy added dramatic puff shoulders to feminine mini dresses, while JW Anderson created a classic silhouette using draped puff shoulders. Proenza Schouler gave the trend a bold update with a high-neck black leather dress with pleated puff shoulders. Others, such as Tory Burch, Alberta Ferretti and La DoubleJ, made extensive use of puff shoulders throughout the collection, with understated puff details and balloon sleeves.

The puff shoulder itself is not new. It has been a regular feature in designer collections since spring 2018 and has become increasingly popular ever since. The look appears to have peaked in Fall 2020 in terms of size and regularity. Many designers, including Alexander McQueen, Fendi, Gabriela Hearst, Miu Miu, Paco Rabanne and Rodarte, created eye-catching voluminous puff sleeves.

Proenza Schouler, Pre-Fall 2021

Consumers are currently eager to buy puff sleeves from almost any retailer. Prices range from an average of $ 120 for one of the 490 styles that American department store Bloomingdale’s carries to an average of $ 19 for a copy of fast fashion brands such as Nasty Gal with tops, dresses and jackets with puff shoulders to choose from.

The women's fashion trend for Pre-Fall 2021: the puff shoulderJW Anderson, Pre-Fall 2021

The puff sleeve look from Pre-Fall 2021

While the current stock of puff sleeves reflects demand for volume well, it seems that puff will shrink somewhat over time. Larger puff shoulders are now on sale at retailers, and the Pre-Fall 2021 collections feature significantly smaller puff shoulders compared to the looks we saw before.

Puff shoulders turn a simple style into a statement piece that allows wearers to exude strength and confidence. The sentiment behind the trend still plays a major role, but due to the pandemic, consumers now seem to prefer more modest and comfortable styles.

Images: JW Anderson and Proenza Schouler (Pre-Fall 2021) Catwalk Pictures.

This article previously appeared on Translation and editing: Wendela van den Broek

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