Raise your hand if you wore a bubble skirt or dress in the ‘80s. My hand is raised. It’s a skirt season so they’re trending again, but not in a mainstream way like they did back in 1986. Bubble and balloon skirts are fringe trending this time round, and are just as fabulous. 

The bubble skirt or dress has a double layer of fabric that’s tucked back under at the hem to create a voluminous bubbled effect at the bottom. Outfits 1 and 2 showcase a bubble skirt and dress. The balloon skirt is a cousin to the bubble. It doesn’t have the double layer so there’s a regular hem. The architectural shape is created with pleats and flared insets that balloon out and taper back in. Outfits 3 and 4 showcase balloon skirts.

1. Bubbled and Shirted

A white bubble midi skirt is combined with an oversized blue striped shirt that’s tied at the waist to showcase the waist of the skirt and give the outfit some structure. Oversized shirts tend to tie well at the waist because there’s sufficient fabric to make a tie. The look is completed with dainty flat black sandals that match the model’s black sunnies and dark hair. I see a black, metallic or cream bag complete the look.

Bubbled and Shirted

2. Bubble Frock

Here’s a red bubble dress with a dressy integrity. The bubble of the skirt is repeated in the bubble of the sleeves. Bubble cubed. It’s combined with strappy tan high heeled sandals. Feel free to add dressy flats instead, and metallic would be nice. Add a bag in a colour that works with the palette of the outfit and you’re done.

Bubble Frock

More examples of dressy and casual bubble and balloon dresses across a range of lengths and colours.

Organza Balloon Dress
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3. Ballooned Co-Ord

This look showcases two trends. A black and white pinstriped balloon skirt is combined with a matching black top that repeats the pinstriped pattern to create a set, or co-ord. Notably, the top is worn out and over the skirt, which is a favourite way to wear this type of skirt with my clientele. The top isn’t too long, which lengthens the leg line of the outfit. The column of colour adds vertical integrity too. Black cage sandals are the footwear of choice, although I can see all sorts of sandal and boot styles complete this outfit with panache. Add a bag that tickles your fancy.

Ballooned Co-Ord

4. Ballooned with Edge

Last, a mustard balloon skirt is combined with a boxy white shirt with cold shoulders. It’s asymmetrically half-tucked to create a glimpse of waist. The asymmetry of the half-tuck complements the asymmetry of the skirt. Chunky, heavy black loafers that bookend the model’s hair are a fashion forward nod to ‘90s trends. A black bag can work well too. Add jewellery, eyewear and watch as desired.

Ballooned with Edge