How I adapt the new sleeve trend

How I adapt the new sleeve trend

How I adapt the new Bell sleeve trend. Never say never where fashion is concerned. At first I was not at all sure about the ever increasing trend for tops with elaborate sleeve detail. However I was ordering my new pair of exercise pants as I promised I would in my recent post Getting fit after a long break. Whilst I was on the MarksandSpencer site I thought I would have a “browse” as one does. This internet shopping can be very addictive. I find it helps to be disciplined and know what you are looking for before you start otherwise time can just disappear and nothing else gets done. On this occasion I got lucky and discovered two tie sleeve tops. I thought why not at least give them a try.

DETAIL IN IMAGE: Stripe Bell sleeve top MarksandSpencer (UK & US) // Navy wide leg trousers MeandEm last season similar. (small size only reduced from £165 to £82).

I definitely expected to find that they did not suit me and I would have to return them. But no!

Navy sweater worn with Bell sleeve shirt

I was agreeably surprised. They fitted very well, where made of cotton not synthetic fabric.I really loved them. I decided to keep both. Here I am wearing the stripe blue style. I will show you the lighter blue spotted one in another post. It will go very well with white linen trousers for the summer.

Above I have added a chunky knit navy sweater from MeandEm. I bought mine in their recent sale. The navy is sold out. They still have the cream left (reduced from £165 to £82). They have a wide selection of similar styles.

Bell sleeve stripe top

The sporty stripe trousers I am wearing are by MeandEm (reduced from £135 to £94). The stripe V-neck tie sleeve top  by MarksandSpencer

I acknowledge that this look may not work for everybody especially if you are petite. However I think it is sometimes good to experiment and get out of ones comfort zone.


The stunning photos were taken at Kew Botanical Gardens. Definitely a place to visit, especially in the Spring when the azaleas are in bloom. My photographer was the talented Laura Hines. You must follow her on Instagram. Here photos are outstanding.


  1. 13th February 2017 / 14:03

    I haven’t tried this trend yet either, but seeing it on you makes me want to reconsider!!
    I especially like it under the sweater—what a great look!

  2. 13th February 2017 / 14:51

    I love the sleeves poking out at the bottom of the sweater! I’m always hesitant with these as I think the extra fabric will just get in the way, generally. But you make it look perfect! The “top” trend I see and just love, but at our age cannot ever wear, is the off the shoulder, elastic band blouse. My daughter just tried one at J Crew and it was adorable. But only for the young!!!

    • 14th February 2017 / 09:27

      Hi Libby

      Thanks for your comment. I don’t find that the sleeves get in the way although as I have said I probably would not do the housework wearing it.
      I did wear the off a shoulder top last year and like it in France. I find that the trick is only to pull the elastic to the edge of the shoulders definitely not too far down.

  3. Sue
    13th February 2017 / 15:15

    I have been looking for a top like that. You wear it so well! When I followed the link I was pleased to find it was affordable, but I would not have purchased it based on the picture. It looks much better on you.

  4. Margo
    13th February 2017 / 16:36

    My goodness. I have bought that top from Marks and ME and EM track pants. Great minds think alike! I was really surprised how well the top looked and fitted and look forward to seeing your second one
    Best wishes

    • 14th February 2017 / 09:23

      Hi Margo

      Coincidence. Hope you are enjoying wearing both.

  5. Lucretia Roletta
    13th February 2017 / 22:57

    Looks good with your sweater. The sleeves would drive me crazy!! Get in my way except when standing still.

    • 14th February 2017 / 09:19

      Hi Lucretia

      I must admit that I have not done a lot of cooking in my new tops. For most other tasks I find that the sleeves are fine. They can turn back if necessary.

  6. Sharon Daly
    14th February 2017 / 18:13

    The photo of you in the navy sweater shows off your beauty and personality. That photographer is terrific, and so are you. I follow yur styling tips here in the US, even though we don’t have the UK retailers. Thanks!

    • 14th February 2017 / 19:39

      Thank you Sharon. I do try and add some US retailers into the mix. Marks & Spencer do have a dedicated US site.

  7. Ann
    14th February 2017 / 19:16

    Uh, worn while … washing dishes? Wiping down the kitchen sink? Wiping down the bathroom sink? Washing my hands? Cooking? At table reaching across a plate of food other than a cheese sandwich?

    Not to mention … using the facilities!

  8. 14th February 2017 / 20:09

    I just bought myself a top with that kind of sleevs, but I haven’t used it yet. It has been too cold in Norway the last days and wool is the right thing just now. Even so it feels a bit like spring in the sunshine. You look very smart in your outfit and I agree, no housework with those sleeves.

  9. Duchesse
    14th February 2017 / 21:34

    My neighbour ignited one of those sleeves on her gas stove and suffered second and a few areas of third degree burns requiring skin grafts. Pretty blouse but- take care.

    • 15th February 2017 / 17:29

      What with all the comments I thought that I would test drive the top today while I looked after my 18 month old grandson. I have been wearing exactly the same outfit as in the photo except I swapped the trousers for an old pair so that I could crawl around the floor. The top + sleeves has performed fine. I just turned the flutted sleeves back and pushed them up to do the cooking and washing up. No problems. I would say that I have quite long arms so the sleeves end just above my wrist. If they were longer I think they would be a nuisance.
      It is ages since I have heard of perilous attire. I remember back in the 50s nightwear was flammable until they changed the law. Anybody else wearing hazardous vestments? Too long trouser hems could cause tripping!

  10. 15th February 2017 / 15:55

    Beautiful photos Josephine… you look absolutely wonderful 🙂 xx

  11. Ariss
    16th February 2017 / 05:42

    I am amused by all the comments about cooking, housecleaning, etc. Who would actually wear nice clothes to do those things?

    You look great!

    • 16th February 2017 / 16:52

      I am with you on this one Ariss. I think I will take my tops to France where I have a more leisurely lifestyle. I will be wearing my old jeans and T shirt to clean my house this Saturday morning!

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