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How to Wear J. Crew’s Print Puff Sleeve Top

The biggest void in many women’s wardrobes this time of year is a simple, but cute and pretty top.

Something more substantial than a tee-shirt, but not overly complicated, that you can pair with simple bottoms to create a complete outfit. 

So I wasn’t surprised when this affordable navy and white v-neck top with a subtle puff sleeve from our J.Crew Factory round-up was our best seller.

Smocked Crinkle Puff-Sleeve Top

Smocked crinkle puff-sleeve top


Smocked Crinkle Puff-Sleeve Top, $39.50 

Let’s talk about the top.

Done in a tight navy and white floral pattern, with a flattering-for-everyone v-neck, you can pick this up in XXS – 3X. If you are between sizes, go up one. 

Don’t let the puff sleeve freak you out. It’s subtle adding more shape than dramatic flare. So it will build your shoulders out a bit, but the v neck will pull the eye back in. 

Priced at $39.50

How to Wear It

Three outfits featuring a puff sleeve floral top

In today’s How to Wear it, we’re highlighting three looks for different occasions.

Some of these items will look familiar since they are reader favorites. And we’re introducing new, seasonal finds to help you organically build out your wardrobe with super wearable pieces.

With Shorts

Puff Sleeve floral top, white shorts, rattan bag, navy leather sandals, and cat eye sunglasses


Stretch Twill Shorts, $78 | Leather Slide Sandals, $125 | Rattan Shoulder Bag, $35 | Cat Eye Sunglasses, $180 

Take this pretty little top and a pair of crisp white shorts for an easy and chic casual summer look. 

Above I’m using the SPANX Stretch Twill Shorts. On the more expensive end of the shorts we’ve featured this season, but worth it if you have the budget. I’ve been happy with every purchase I’ve made from SPANX this year. 

These are pull on (but don’t look it) and available in XS – 3X, running true to size

Another option is any short from Talbots (similar in price). Our petite readers in particular love their fit

Finally, if you prefer a more conservative cut, you can absolutely pair the top with a Bermuda short. J.Crew has a nice pair, also loved by our readers, on sale right now for 15% off. 

Related: How to Wear Bermuda Shorts

Next, I wanted a lightweight, navy shoe and was happy to come across these Bernardo leather sandals. They are better than a flip flop but give the same feeling. 

You could also wear the Jack Rodger Sandals we featured earlier this month. 

Then, this faux leather and rattan shoulder bag adds some interest and texture to the outfit. You can pick it up for only $35 at New York and Co.

Finally, elevate the whole look with a pair of designer sunglasses, but don’t pay full price. In Sunday Sales we featured these Tom Ford Cat Eye Sunnies, at OFF Fifth -they have the BEST selection of discounted sunglasses.

With Navy Ankle Pants

Floral puff sleeve top, navy pants, pearl ear jackets, navy slingbacks, and tan leather tote


Ankle Pants, $89 | Slingback Pump, $130 | Ear Jacket Studs, $148 | Leather tote, $278 

Heading to work? 

Dressing professionally in the heat is the worst, even if it’s just for a few days a week. 

Tops like this are great because you don’t need a layer to feel finished. Put it on, and you’re done. 

I’m pairing it with the Ann Taylor Ankle Pants in navy here. We always feature these because they are under $100, come in various sizes and cuts (regular, petite, curvy, and tall), and work for many readers. 

Then, a sling-back heel is pretty classic, but with a block heel, they look modern too. We like this option from Sam Edelman

For accessories, we’re going simple and classic with a twist. 

These pearl jacket studs are divine. I love it when a pearl earring is done in a modern way. If you picked up the Julie Vos Penelope Studs, they would be lovely here too

For a bag, I just discovered the “System Tote” from one of our favorite brands, Cuyana. It’s sleek, versatile, and customizable. This would be my go-to if I were in an office a few days a week.

With White Jeans

Floral Puff sleeve top, white jeans, tan crossbody, white wedge sandals

High Waisted Jeans, $40 | Wedge Sandals, $145 | Mini Crossbody Bag, $118 

Last, we can’t have a How to Wear it without reminding you that EVERYTHING works with white jeans. 

Here, I’m using the Old Navy High-Waisted, Well-Dressed Life wardrobe staple. But don’t forget, we have a couple of favorites for all sizes

For shoes, these wedge sandals were super popular last week. Available in white (above) and tan. 

And then this easy mini crossbody from Madewell. 

But you can make this your own with any shoe and bag combination. For example, a. lovely combination would be if you picked up this leather slide from Tuckernuck and paired it with this woven crossbody from Madewell

52 Outfits in 2022!

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Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

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How to Wear J. Crew\'s Print Puff Sleeve Top

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Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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Thursday 16th of June 2022

I have the system tote - I love the concept (and love the bag) but the straps do not hold up. I purchased last October and they were fraying by December. Props to their customer service department who sent me a new bag and I sent back the old one. The new straps are fraying just as much. It's beautiful but if you're carrying a computer in the bag for work I don't think it holds up well for the money that you pay. The other components I purchased (inside flap bag, longer strap and laptop insert) still look gorgeous.

Megan Kristel

Thursday 16th of June 2022

Great to know! Hopefully they fix the issue going forward. Thanks Elizabeth!


Wednesday 15th of June 2022

Great outfits! For the various outfits, do you envision the shirt tucked in, untucked, or half tucked?! How would any of the "tucks" work better/not based on body type? Thank you!


Wednesday 15th of June 2022

Is it possible to show pictures of the outfits on real people/a person? I can’t tell from the separates if the shirts should go in or out or where the pants should hit on the shoes. This question applies to all the outfits not just this cute shirt.

Megan Kristel

Wednesday 15th of June 2022

While I would love to be able to do the, we don't have the budget to hire models. This is very much a one woman show.


Wednesday 15th of June 2022

I bought the Ann Taylor ankle pants based on your recommendation. Id love to have this top to go with them. It’s beautiful. Unfortunately it doesn’t come in petite sizes. Do you have any similar recommendation for petites?