Choosing the Best Sleeve for Your Body Type


alineservicesThe right sleeve can highlight your best features, or minimize areas you want covered. Since it’s Trendsetter Thursday, we asked Personal Stylist Tamika of A-Line Style Services* (a Shop It To me Trendsetter!) to weigh in on the myriad of options from bell sleeves to lantern. If you’re in the Chicago area, check out her wardrobe consultation services*! She specializes in styling curvy women.

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*Long *– Basic sleeve type that is fitted and extends to the wrist.  Long sleeves work with all body types and are great for staying warm, or to disguise larger arms.

*Cap *– very short sleeve (about 2-3 inches) that is fitted around the arm.  Works best with slender upper arms.  Great style to show off toned arms.

¾ length – This sleeve hits between the elbow and the wrist and is usually fitted throughout the length of the arm.  Universally flattering sleeve type that can be worn alone or layered with other pieces.

*Kimono *– Derivative of Japanese culture, this wide and loose sleeve can range from elbow length to very long.  Works on full figures, however be careful not to get swallowed.  This style looks great on slimmer figures and pear shaped figures.  Add a belt to create balance.

*Flutter *– sleeve with soft ruffles that add femininity.  Great for a range of body types and adds a bit more coverage than a sleeveless or cap sleeve.

Puff sleeve – Full sleeve of varying lengths, created by generous gathering around the armhole and can be flattering on all shapes, depending on the length of the sleeve.  Shorter sleeve puff sleeves attract more attention to the upper arm, while longer sleeve add a touch of volume to an otherwise ordinary long sleeve.

Dolman (aka Batwing) – Very wide sleeve at the armhole and tapers tight at the wrist. This sleeve type works great to mask heavy upper arms, while adding a stylish touch.

*Balloon *– Full sleeve with a band at its bottom – usually a ¾ length sleeve.  Works well with most shapes. Adds a minimal amount of volume while covering arms stylishly.

*Lantern *– Full, gathered sleeve attached to a drop-shouldered garment; it can be either a long or short sleeve look can compliment most shapes including full figure, slender, hourglass, apple, and pear shapes.

*Bell *– Full sleeve that is gathered at the shoulder and open at the cuff.  This type of sleeve is flattering on all shapes by skimming the upper arm without clinging or adding too much volume.