For Whom the Bell Tolls??? You...Me?

I grew up in the 60s and 70s, so while I was in high school, the trend in pants and jeans was the "bell bottom".  Believe me...some of the bells on the legs of jeans were really wide...and some with elaborate fabrics inset.   Well designers are "ringing those bells again", only this time they are giving them to us a little higher the sleeves.  Over a year ago the runways in Paris were inundated with voluminous sleeves. Every type of bell sleeve imaginable was on display.  Bell sleeves, Bishop's sleeves, Juliet sleeves, Poet sleeves,  even the Huge at the top and narrow at the bottom...Leg-O-Mutton sleeve.  Whichever designer you might be watching...their sleeves were getting bigger and bigger.  Voluminous sleeves are not to be kept at arm’s length anymore — they were the most prominent trend on the Parisian runways, and have been for well over a year now.   Retailers are tempting you to take them home to your closets now. Most of us aren't daring enough to wear those exaggerated styles. And most of us don't frequent any establishments or affairs where that overstated and exaggerated look is the expected trend. But, no matter what the exact style — leg-of-mutton, bishop, poet, Juliet — puffy sleeves usually conjure a sense of the past..for me it is high school in the 1970s.  But, during fall couture, designers found fresh, modern ways to reference them and tone them down a bit (like they always do).  Once that happens, they have a tendency to find a place with us...inour "every day style"...and eventually make it home to our closets.  Fun for us!

This burgundy bell sleeve blouse above is Soulmates from Dillards ( a recent purchase) with Old Navy boyfriend jeans (blue denim)  The white jeans are Baccini from Steinmart.  The lace up pumps are Amelia Grace that I bought at Steinmart. The necklace is from an obsession around these parts...Sam Moon. (I had to come back and comment on one pair of sandals.  In a couple of these pictures I am wearing a kind of "corky" look platform wedge sandal.  THE MOST COMFORTABLE SHOE EVER!  The pair in this picture is my 5th pair.  I broke my 4th pair in the Caribbean this past July and for the last two days of our cruise, i kept thinking....I have to get home and find another pair.  It is getting more difficult.  They are by Onex and they are my absolute favorite shoe!)

I don't know if you all can see all of the acorns on my deck, but it is almost impossible to walk these days for all of the "nuts" on the ground.  Ugh!!

And just and FYI...I always have my hair in my eyes....that is just where it gravitates

a couple more of mine. the fist is from blue and white stripe husband is definitely a shoulder man (SheIn Group Limited).  In the middle the gray stripe is from SheIn Group Limited also from And the Black on the right is from and both have a really nice selection bell designs in tops and dresses.

If You're Going Big Keep The Rest Simple

A word of advice in wearing a bell sleeve blouse or dress ...if you buy a top or a dress with a big sleeve, keep everything else slim and simple.  the body of the blouse or dress should be slim and trim. If you wear a larger bell on a top, then keep the body of the blouse slim and pair it with slim pants or jeans.  If you wear a top with a lot of volume on it and pair it with blousy type pants, you get a bit of a clown costume look.  You know the one - big and fluffy on the top & big and fluffy on the bottom.  Not a good look on anyone, except maybe the clown.

This look is a fun new addition for fall in some great colors and patterns.  Try some out for your own unique style.  There is a "bell" out there for just about everyone and I kind of like that they are conjuring up some retro vibes.

Blessings to all of you!

Cathy Budjenska

Jesus said, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world."  John 16:33