Beautiful You – Make A Statement
by Amy Newson
It’s time to go big on sleeves – they’re fun and super on-trend. So please don’t be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve!
Over the past few seasons we have seen the steady evolvement of a particular fashion trend – the statement sleeve. Previously a sensible, consistent part of clothing, they have now taken on a life of their own. Before it was a question of designers adding on a couple of extra inches, allowing the sleeve to dangle beyond the fingertips or a flare here and there. Now the statement sleeve draws its inspiration from the Victorians, Edwardians, Tudors and the kimono – so it’s not as much about a specific detail, rather about there being some kind of unexpected silhouette. If there’s one area you choose to really focus on this spring, the sleeve should be it.
It’s not just blouses getting the special treatment either: dresses, jackets and even knitwear are being recreated into indulgent, theatrical masterpieces. The focus on sleeves offers a great way to update your last few seasons’ wardrobe by pairing those items with a statement sleeved garment.
Puff sleeves reference retro fashion movements and ultra-feminine themes, from the late 18th century to the early 70s babydoll styling. Focusing on the shoulder, puff sleeves work perfectly in all materials – soft, sheer silks and cottons for tops and dresses and stiffer poplin and gabardines for outerwear. These puff sleeves look great on dresses and short-sleeved tops paired with a knee-length pencil skirt or even jeans. If you choose an outerwear garment with this detailing, wear over a casual top and jeans combo with knee-high boots for a contrasting effect.
Trumpet sleeves curve outwards from a narrow upper arm or are a classic narrow sleeve that ends in a flared cuff. This sleeve works well on tops and gives them an unexpected twist. This long-sleeved t-shirt update looks great with a casual jeans pairing or if on a spring dress, with brogues and your favourite pair of sunnies.
Tiered, frilly sleeves are the stars of the season – they are versatile and quirky. A row of layers made out of tiny frills adds texture and surprise to even the most basic look – any pair of trousers or skirt will instantly be transformed into an on-trend outfit. Alternatively, frilly 80s style party dresses are the perfect outfit for an evening out – just make sure you have the hair and make-up to match!
So this spring anything goes – from flute to bishop to gigot to poet sleeves, the bolder the better. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go down the ‘ultra-standout’ route if you don’t want to; you can choose a minimally detailed sleeve and wear it with a more casual outfit because the statement sleeve adds a subtle tone of sophistication to any ensemble.