Bell sleeve dresses are proving a hit for the summer season. And the great news is this style statement is continuing for the autumn too. We’ve already got some great ideas arriving from favourite supplier Frank Lyman. That means there is no need to worry about bingo wings or wobbly arm issues any more! That has to be good news. In addition, the other great thing about bell sleeves is they tend to be light and airy – perfect for those of us going through the joys of hot flushes!

The bell sleeve has a lot of history and dates back to France in the 1500s. Aristocratic ladies favoured this look for its prettiness and elegance. Look at paintings in French chateaus and stately homes and you will often see a nod to the bell sleeve fashion.

What is a bell sleeve?

A bell sleeve can be long or short and flares towards the bottom. In terms of length, they can sit anywhere from the elbow to cover the tops of your arms or can fall to the wrist. However, don’t get them mixed up with butterfly sleeves. These are shorter and as a result, cover the biceps of your arms only.

This season, the look is relevant in day dresses, evening and cocktail dresses as well as wedding guest dresses. In addition, if you are on the lookout for real statement, some bell sleeves feature dramatic detailing. However, you need to be confident to pull this off.  Often, I find more petite women may find some bell sleeve shapes overpowering. Therefore, if you are a smaller frame, bell sleeves that stop at the elbow rather than the wrist can be a better look for you.

Furthermore, the other great thing about bell sleeves is they are an edgier way of covering your arms. You will see that they don’t look frumpy or dated like some long, straight sleeves can do.

Most of all, here’s one final and noteworthy tip. Beware if soup is on the menu! A bell sleeve dunked in you mullagatawny is not a good look!