Bell Sleeves – When Trends Go Too Far?

February 5

When your blog is focused on new fashion, you see some alarming trends come through. Sometimes, I can only stare in bewilderment as my Instagram feed fills with the latest odd item, like I’m the last non-zombie person in a dystopian wasteland who does not own a furry sandal or rose gold sneakers.

One trend that’s coming in hot for spring 2017 is bell sleeves. Sometimes this trend is mixed with last year’s off-the-shoulder trend, creating a garment that is perfect for the woman who has skinny shoulders and fat wrists.

As all trends go, this one can look innocuous in small doses. In fact, some bell-sleeve items are totally work appropriate:

Bell sleeve spring 2017 trend wear to work

1: Black dress  // 2: White pom pom top ($21) // 3: Houndstooth bell sleeve dress //

However, the trend quickly became a mockery of itself, spawning the offspring below:

Spring 2017 trend: bell sleeve wrap tops

1: Gray top ($20) // White tiered bell sleeve top ($21) // Pink top ($23)

How are you supposed to take anyone who wears this seriously? How are you supposed to walk up to the woman wearing the white monstrosity above and say, “Hey Karen in accounting, can I get my tax forms back when you finally disentangle yourself from the jellyfish that are consuming your arms?”

And when the trend is taken to the extreme, the clothing looks like a downright hazard:

Bell sleeve spring 2017 trend

1: Blue gingham dress // 2: Black and white top // 3: White flare sleeve top with bows ($43)

“Oh Karen, I’m so glad you found that picnic blanket that I misplaced! You seem to be wearing it!” At this point, I think the only people that could get away with wearing a trend like this are bloggers who don’t have do any work during the day. How do you type at a computer with such large sleeves covering your fingers? Or write legibly without smearing your ink? If women want to be taken seriously in the office, we can’t go to meetings looking like we have giant flappers for hands, and we shouldn’t look like we are reenacting that romance novel with the hunky pirates on the cover.

But even as I puzzle over how absurd this trend is—who the hell needs 2 yards of fabric for one sleeve?—maybe this trend is actually the ultimate ninja garment. Maybe covering our fingers is a type of office subterfuge, where you cover your work so that Greg can’t steal your ideas and take credit for them. Men can’t manspread on the subway when your sleeves take over the entire subway bench.

And even as I complain about this wasteful trend, I kinda want that white top with the giant sleeves and the unnecessary bows. Giant bell sleeves may not be the most practical, but I would be happy to indulge in a micro-trend that allows me to swoosh around like I have something hidden in my wizard robe sleeves.

  • Surabhi Ranjan

    This was hilarious. I love these posts where you literally say what I’ve been thinking about. Keep up the genuinity <3

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it! 😉 Will do!