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What Is ‘Jellyfishing’ Fashion Trend? A Look At The Newest Extreme Silhouette Trend

Near-freezing temperatures usually require a little more than casual layering to stay toasty warm. Although it is a sacrifice, incorporating bulkier knits and heavier coats is usually the way we keep cozy as winter takes its toll.

But if you’re on the fence this winter season about whether or not to slip into the chunkiest puffier you can find, we have good news–the bulky look is trending. But your oversized items are also part of a balancing act.

By embracing this winter’s newest fashion trend–jellyfishing–you can bid farewell to thin, chintzy coats and hello to warmth. No, it’s not jellyfishing with SpongeBob. Rather, it’s to go big or go home with wearing your puffiest coat or oversized sweater with slim-fitting bottoms, creating a unique bell-shaped jellyfish appearance with a tentacle-like illusion.

So, if you think you are already pulling off this winter trend by slipping on last year’s puffer over skinny jeans or leggings, think again. There’s a right and a wrong way to jellyfish this winter. Here are some tips to keep in mind. 

What Is Jellyfishing?

Jellyfishing is all about balancing while creating an extreme silhouette. While the puffier shape ensures optimal coziness, the bottom half looks super chic with the ideal amount of contrast in proportion.

“Styling larger outerwear with smaller bottoms is a great example of the ‘extreme silhouette’ trend that we are seeing so much of this season–think oversized outerwear, extreme lug sole boots and loafers, and soft volume handbags,” Jessica Richards, an NYC-based trend forecaster and fashion consultant, told InStyle.

Richards further explained that the jellyfishing trend has some deeper roots. “It’s driven by our post-lockdown desire for presence in our dressing, while also wearing elements of practicality,” said Richards.

Although ideal with winter weather staples, Stephanie Gisondi-Little, an LA-based personal stylist, noted to InStyle that this balancing act created with jellyfishing can be flattering on all oversized items, not just puffers and sweaters.

When one wears a more voluminous top, Gisondi-Little recommended pairing it with a slimmer bottom to help balance proportions. She continued to say that the same advice also applies to more “voluminous bottoms, like palazzo pants.” When paired with a more fitted top, she said it “creates balance and allows us to see the body beneath the clothing.”

How To Pull Off Jellyfishing Like A Pro

Side by side photos of two women dressing in the jellyfishing style, wearing large puffy sweaters and tight fitting pants
(Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)

In other words, even though the trend may appear simple, there are right and wrong ways to jellyfish. While chatting to InStyle, celebrity stylist Tara Swennen noted, “The key to this trend is maintaining balance—opt for a structured jacket or coat, but not one that is so oversized or boxy that it envelops your frame.” 

Kate Davidson Hudson, Editor in Chief of LuisaViaRoma, echoed Swennens sentiments to InStyle by observing that fit is everything when it comes to jellyfishing. According to her, one should not let the look “overpower you or feel too distracting.”

Instead, she suggested seeking out coats with a “roomy-but-correct fit across the shoulders and neck.” She also noted the importance of pieces that have an “extra roomy cut around the body and that will hit anywhere from above your knee to mid-thigh.”

The top half of jellyfishing is probably the most tricky to get right. However, in terms of the bottom half, as long as it creates shape and contrast–you’re good to go. Generally, leggings or a pair of skinny jeans are your best bet. In terms of footwear, loafers, sneakers, or platform shoes will give you a seamless jellyfish look. 

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