SS17 trends: The statement sleeve; a fashion buyers dream

Fashion buyer trend consultancy

As those of you that follow my Instagram stories will know I've been a little unsure about the statement sleeve. I was born in the 80's so they're slightly too reminiscent of perms and shoulder pads for my liking! 

My gut instinct has been that exaggerated sleeves are a bit of a fad and too fussy to suit my style. Whilst I still think all of that's true I do understand why they're everywhere at the moment.

In many ways, a trend like this is a fashion buyer's dream; a statement piece that customers have to buy into as they won't have a similar item already in their wardrobe.

This an easy trend for young fashion but definitely trickier for other sectors, particularly for mature customers. I can imagine that when the SS17 catwalks started coming through, that half the UK's buying teams were as excited as the other half were in despair.

For young fashion brands, the volume sleeve is SS17's must-have item. It's easy, for their customer, to buy into it as it's a quick fashion fix to add to their wardrobe. Every blogger on Instagram's been seen wearing one the last few months so they seem to be an easy sell. 

On the other hand, many older customers don't like it when they 'did it the first time', the 80's feel of this trend and the inherently unflattering shape could be off-putting. I believe, though, that when designed cleverly, the volume sleeve can suit most shapes.

Trend forecasting statement sleeve nicole davidson fashion buyer

Personally, I'm now a convert. This Zara number is surprisingly flattering, especially when I turned it around so the V was at the front and double tied the belt rather than leave it flouncing around (adding unnecessary extra volume to my middle!). 

I was surprised by how good it felt to wear this top, it was nice to wear something a bit flouncy and fun for a change! I think a trend like this works well for me when I pair it back with jeans and flats. 

From a trend forecasting point of view, I don't think the statement sleeve will be around for more than a couple of seasons (it's no skinny jean trend!) but I'll be enjoying it while it lasts. 

Trend forecasting SS17 fashion buyer consultancy