The Crown, Bridgerton, and now Poor Things, courtly dress has dominated our screens for the past few years, and at some point, we’ve all wondered what it would feel like to dress like an heiress too. It's time to ditch your Y2K diamantes, swap out your low-rise jeans and kick off your cowgirl girl boots because this year we’re finally leaving the 2000s behind and looking even further back for outfit inspiration – enter the Victorian era! There has been a reinvigorated interest in all things period and the fashion pack is donning opulent ensembles – think pearls, corsets, hoop skirts, and bustles, but best of all larger-than-life sleeves. So, pull on your petticoats and put your best foot forward as we step back into the past!

A Victorian staple the raglan, fluted, leg o’ mutton, bishop, puffed, balloon or whatever you want to call it sleeve has been a particular stand out in film and fashion alike. Originally coined the “leg o’ mutton” sleeve in the Victorian period due to its resemblance to a tied leg of meat, it made an especially notable appearance in Yorgos Lanthimos’s latest surrealist film Poor Things. The Because team visited The Costumes of Poor Things exhibition at the Barbican which showcases the original wardrobe from the film designed by Holly Waddington to get a closer look at these costumes in all their glory.

The costumes worn by Bella Baxter, the protagonist played by Emma Stone, ranged from constricting corsets, colourful co-ord dress coats and sweeping dresses, most finished with a matching pair of ballooning sleeves. Holly Waddington approached the design of this film’s wardrobe with the intention of differentiating it from that of other films in the genre, such as the classic Pride and Prejudice or Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette.

Poor Things is both a journey back to the past and a peek into the future, so she decided a typical period wardrobe wouldn’t quite cut it. While every look retained an obvious Victorian theme, each was punctuated with futuristic details that alluded to the time-transcendent nature of the film. One look worn by Bella Baxter boasts baby-blue frills and embellishments but is resolved with a sleek pair of futuristic 1960s Courreges-inspired boots.

Puffy sleeves were seen in all shapes and sizes, and in a striking yellow look, they were lined with plastic polyurethane frills, a subtle Sci-Fi nod, while others billowed at the shoulder and funnelled down at the wrist in a rich red jacquard. The costumes in Poor Things translated classic, maximalist Victorian styles into a modern-day (albeit impractical) context.

If there's one thing we’ve learnt from Poor Things, it's that minimalism is overrated, so if you struggle to get your sleeves through the doorway it's a sign you're on the right track! Taking inspo from Bella Baxter’s bountiful wardrobe, the Because team has compiled an edit of perfect puffy sleeves!