While it's hard to move for sale dregs at this time of year there is probably one look that you may have already noticed taking over the High Street; the statement sleeve. It's not one of the most practical around I must say as care must be taken not to dangle your cuffs in your dinner but once you have mastered this a statement sleeve will bring your wardrobe bang up-to-date. The statement takes many forms from billowing arms to tie details to pleated cuffs so there is something for everyone. Please do be aware though that a flared sleeve will add overall width to your top half so keep everything else simple and fitted.
As usual there are options aplenty on the High Street so here are a few of the pieces that have caught my eye.
Puffed sleeves sweater - Mango £39.99
This jumper by Mango takes big sleeves to a whole new level. You'll be hard pushed to get a coat over this - always thinking of the practicalities - so layer a denim shirt underneath for added warmth. I would also accessorise this with statement earrings or layered necklaces and a strong lip to lift the colour. By the way, if you haven't checked Mango out recently do so as they have some great pieces. Personally I don't find their stores a welcome shopping experience so I mostly peruse them online.
Embroidered scallop shirt - Topshop £36
Another detail that is everywhere is embroidery and this Topshop shirt brings you a double trend whammy. The statement cuff is an easy way to wear the sleeve look and you can always add a jumper over the top and have the cuffs poking out if you want to divert focus from the embroidery.
Daisy print dress - Oasis £50
The sleeve doesn't have to be limited to a top, dresses are getting a makeover too. Oasis has some lovely floral pieces in at the moment and this dress is a great update to a classic LBD. Wear with tights and ankle boots now and swap for bare legs and sandals when the sun finally makes an appearance.
Red stripe tie-sleeve top - Zara £29.99
If you also want to add a pattern to your statement sleeve then this Zara blouse is a dream. I love the heron print and the fresh red stripe packs a real punch. It isn't in stock yet but you can sign up for email notification. Wear it with jeans or a fitted skirt and it will look great with shorts in the summer. I would keep the rest of your outfit quite neutral - navy, white, grey, tan - to ensure this top doesn't fight for centre stage.
Tie sleeve top - Topshop £29
For every crazy version of a trend there is always a clean and simple one. This top by Topshop is a wardrobe staple. It also comes in white and pale pink. I have tried this and it does come up a little short so you may want to layer it over a white or black vest. This is your no-brainer, chuck-it-on-with-everything option.
Animal print flute sleeve top - Warehouse £32
Another brand that is hinting at exciting things to come is Warehouse. Emma Cook signed on as the new Creative Director and debuted her collection last autumn. Her design skills are a welcome addition to the High Street stalwart and I can't wait to see what happens over the coming months. This fluted sleeve top in an updated leopard print just screams spring to me. Good work, Warehouse, keep it coming.
Pure cotton striped poplin shirt - M&S £39.50
I'm going to finish on two striped options. This M&S shirt is a great update on a classic shape and fabric. It is also available in white. It does come up large so you may need to size down. M&S have some exciting designs on the horizon and I am expecting great things from this beloved retailer this year......
Voluminous shirt - & Other Stories £55
And this striped offering from & Other Stories gives you an altogether different look. I would keep this as a smart option and wear with tailored trousers (please not black; give navy or grey a try) as I tried it on with blue jeans and I felt very late 80s. All that was missing was my perm and frosted pink lipstick. It is a lovely shirt though and the billowing sleeves are not shown off to full effect in this photo.
There are a few options for you to be getting along with. I don't recommend major shopping sprees at this time of the year as the shops aren't fully committing to their spring collections yet so everything is quite neutral. That said it is a good time to go and have a mass trying-on session and if you do need some neutral updaters in your wardrobe then by all means buy now. I'm off to practise eating soup with my cuffs undone.