Above and billow: This party season, it’s all about the sleeves
Need a shortcut to understanding today’s trends? Look at the arms. Poufs, balloons, contrasting colours or structured cuffs? Here’s your guide to chic sleeve styles.Updated: Dec 08, 2019 12:44 IST
Need a shortcut to understanding today’s trends? Look at the arms. Across stores, party collections are simple, minimalist even, wearing all their action on their sleeves. There’s a reason for this, says celebrity stylist Aastha Sharma. “There are only that many areas that one can play around with and still have wearable, stylish looks that a markedly different from previous seasons.”
This time it’s sleeves. Never mind the length – what used to puff out and end close to the shoulder now billows all the way to the wrist, holding all the sequins. Structured cuffs, which once lived at bracelet-level now stretch all the way up the elbow, Juliet style. Contrast colours and transparent fabrics are in. And the ’80s favourite, the mutton chop is making friends with cropped tops.
Sharma says a statement sleeve allows the garment to be exaggerated, dressy, party-ready and fun. “And if you’re intimidated by the trend, avoid an over-the-top style,” says Sharma. “Your outfit should not wear you.”
Follow our guide, and say farewell to the arms that have fallen from favour.
The balloon sleeve: Also called the billowed or peasant sleeve, this loose-flowing style ends tightly at the wrist and was a standard feature in silk blouses. It’s now being paired with body-hugging dresses and cropped tops.
The mutton chop: Puffy on the upper arms, fitted down from the elbow, it’s what defined 1980s party styles. It’s back, and a great choice if you want to offset wide hips.
The bishop: Think of men’s cuffs, but covering more of the forearm, contrasting with a roomier upper portion. Its new avatar is in stretchy fabrics, for a casual look.
The peekaboo: Want the coverage of a full sleeve and the sexiness of a bare arm? See-through sleeves the rage in party wear.
The frill: How to make a simple, sleeveless style fashionable? Add a big stull frill that stays up all evening.
The one-shoulder: If you have only one sleeve, make it long, make it fitted, make it embellished. Make it count.
The cold shoulder: Those holes cut out of the tops of your sleeves? Cut them out of your wardrobe.
The off-shoulder: Summer 2017 has no place in winter 2019.
The cape arm: Just like the cape dress, it’s time has come and gone.
The slit: This season your arms are either bare, or covered. There’s no partial views.
The kimono: Think of sonnets, not haikus. The ye-olde draped sleeve from European courts has replaced the flared kimono sleeve.