Best puff-sleeve dress


Puff-sleeve dresses don’t always have zippers, snaps or hooks. To avoid messing up your hair when pulling it over your head, either style hair after dressing or choose a simple ponytail or bun.

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Which puff sleeve dress is best?

Looking for a fun and flirty dress that is both stylish and easy to wear? The puff-sleeve dress is quickly growing in popularity. This style of dress looks great on most everyone at any age. With effortless style being the main appeal, the top choice for this type of dress is the PRETTYGARDEN Casual Ruffle Puff-Sleeve Midi Dress. From the length of the skirt to the subtle puff on the short sleeves, this dress is flowy and ideal for everyday wear.

What to know before you buy a puff-sleeve dress

Puff-sleeve style

The puff sleeves we know today are not the same prom dress puffs of the 1980s. While those sleeves have their own special place in our hearts, the modern take is toned down. 

Puff sleeves are made by gathering fabric at the shoulder and sleeve hem. They can have either a plain cuff or elasticized frill cuff. Frill cuffs are more common on short sleeve puffs, whereas plain cuffs are generally found on longer or mid-length sleeves. Depending on the sleeve length, they can be pushed up and adjusted to your preference. 

Dress lengths

Puff-sleeve dresses come in a variety of lengths, such as knee, midi or tea, and maxi. This variation in length gives you plenty of options when shopping, making it easier to find one that best suits your style and shape. Longer maxi dresses tend to have more limited styles, whereas shorter lengths can be straight or fit and flare.

How to accessorize 

The great thing about dresses is that they can be easily customized with accessories. If a puff-sleeve dress is a little too roomy, try adding a belt to give you more shape without being too constricting or bulky. Along with the belt, a cowboy hat is a great accessory, and it gives a western look to your outfit. Complete your look by adding a crossbody bag and some minimal jewelry, like a long necklace and bracelet.

What to look for in a quality puff-sleeve dress

Wear to work

Puff-sleeve dresses are usually casual, but can be versatile enough to wear to work. Double-check your work’s dress code beforehand if you have doubts, but when styled appropriately, puff-sleeve dresses with a modest neckline are often work-appropriate. For styling, try swapping out sandals for flats and add a cardigan for an attractive office look. 

Comfortable fit

A huge plus with puff-sleeve dresses is comfort. Whether the style is tiered, fit and flare or maxi, puff sleeve dresses provide the right amount of legroom, making them very comfortable. The effortless design makes it easy to throw this dress on and run out the door. When trying on puff-sleeve dresses, note that the fit should not be snug anywhere except at the cuffs. 


The necklines on puff-sleeve dresses vary from scoop to square and everything in between. Current trends are the crew neck and high neck. Square necklines are usually seen with puff-sleeve dresses that can be worn off the shoulder, as this creates an elegant line across the chest area. The crew neck style is more modest and ideal for everyday wear. A V-neck or scoop neckline is casual, but with an element of sophistication. 

How much you can expect to spend on a puff-sleeve dress

Puff-sleeve dresses can be both affordable and expensive, depending on brand, fabric and style. Most dresses range in cost from $16-$60.

Puff-sleeve dress FAQ

Can you wear a slip underneath the dress?

A. Yes. Half slips work really well with these dresses. They offer a second layer when the dress fabric is a little sheer or you want to give your dress more depth. 

What shoes look best with this kind of dress?

A. Many different kinds of footwear can be worn with puff-sleeve dresses. The most popular shoes people tend to wear are sandals, tennis shoes or sneakers, and clogs. 

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

Top puff-sleeve dress

PRETTYGARDEN Casual Ruffle Puff Sleeve Midi Dress

PRETTYGARDEN Casual Ruffle Puff-Sleeve Midi Dress

What you need to know: This feminine, yet casual dress can be easily upscaled with fun accessories. 

What you’ll love: This dress is both roomy and lightweight, with a retro fit that complements many body types. The midi-length skirt is ideal for showing off wedges or sandals.

What you should consider: Some users said this dress was baggy in the body and too tight in the sleeves. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top puff-sleeve dress for the money

Lark & Ro Puff Sleeve Fit and Flare Dress

Lark & Ro Puff Sleeve Fit-and-Flare Dress

What you need to know: Budget-friendly, this cute and casual is great for the office.

What you’ll love: Gathers at the shoulders and bust line create a flattering fit. With small puff sleeves and a knee-length hem, this dress is great for spring or summer.

What you should consider: Users said the fabric was too thin and the stitched bust line was too high. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

ZESICA Floral Print Square Neck Ruffle Maxi Dress

ZESICA Floral-Print Square-Neck Ruffle Maxi Dress

What you need to know: This dress works well for traveling and is designed in an adorable, retro 1970s style. 

What you’ll love: The short sleeves have just the right amount of puff. The fitted shirred bodice and flowy skirt are flattering on many body types, especially those looking for maternity wear. 

What you should consider: If you have a larger size bust, you may want to consider ordering a size up. Users also mentioned that the elastic wears out after a while. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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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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