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Kimono sleeves: Lady Melbourne says knowing what fits you makes the world of difference

This is somewhat of a new purchase for me, in that I actually bought the item, brand new. I don't always shop second hand but I realised lately that I don't mention the new clothes that I buy as often as I do my op-shop or vintage finds. I don't normally wear a kimono sleeve but I was attracted by the dramatic print of the dress and of course it is now the most comfortable dress I own.

Sleeves are so key to the fit of a garment and are often overlooked when we are out buying clothes. You've no doubt stood in front of the mirror thinking 'This just doesn't look right!' but not perhaps knowing exactly why.

Sleeves have indicated changing fashion trends for hundreds of years. Before hemline's rose in the 1920's, it had long been scandalous to show a ladies ankle in public, so necklines and sleeves were what was changed to suit fashion trends.

Victorian sleeves courtesy Ageless Patterns

There are plenty of sleeve options, some of the most popular used in every day fashion are:
  • Capped sleeves
  • Short sleeve
  • 3/4 sleeve
  • Long sleeve
  • Puffy sleeve
  • Raglan sleeve

Knowing what suits you and what doesn't can make a huge difference so it's worth identifying different types of sleeves, how they sit on your body and then trying them on. I guarantee when you see the difference between the styles hanging on your frame it will make all the difference to the type of clothes you buy.

Sleeve illustration from Patterns that Fit You



Rusty Hoe said...

You are so right about that "it's not quite right" feeling. I rarely think of sleeve style but will from now on.

I would love your suggestions for the best sleeve for someone with skinny but super long arms. I have real trouble finding sleeves that will reach down to my wrists and whilst the rest of the top/coat/jumper etc fits perfectly the sleeve makes it look like I am wearing my little sisters clothes. Very frustrating.

Love the kimono on you. Can be a hard style to get right.

Ms. Chyme said...

Nice top.

Anonymous said...

I love kimono sleeves. I love the dramatic yet floating feeling of them. I actually have a short version on today :-)

Ashley said...

Your dress is absolutely gorgeous! The print is quite lovely indeed, where is it from?

And I agree with the sleeves, I think on women we're often too concerned with how it fits around the body, so we tend to overlook the arms....

Blue Rose Concepts said...

Agreed! dress looks great. Personally I love the Kimono sleeve. Any chance of telling us where you bought it from?

Mimmy xx said...

Gorgeous dress... whose it by and where is it from??
Mimmy xx

The Cupcake Stand said...

i love this dress! my friends used to make fun of me for obsession with the leg-o-mutton sleeve. I fancy being a princess, okay! ;)

WendyB said...

My eyes are always drawn to unusual sleeves.

Sirene said...

Very interesting post :) Love the dress btw!

festival road said...

hugely practical article. Pls post more of the same.

Flit About said...

Love your dress!

I had a sleeve problem trying on a cardigan from One Teaspoon today, actually. My friend tried it too and it looked bad on her as well. Now, with shoulders playing a huge role, the sleeves get even more focus and have to be A-OKAY!

Cool post, LM!

Justine de Jonge said...

my arms are really long so i can relate to that not-quite-right feeling all the time! i love your new dress and i love kimono sleeves!

Bunny Darke said...

Really enjoyable little history lesson! And you're so right about the importance of knowing what suits you... one of my key rules! x

June Paski said...

thanks for sleeve pattern information, I'm agree with you about the importance of knowing what suits you not follow the trend, btw I love ur new kimono, I more love buy secondhand clothes, I don't know why :)


Domonique said...

I love that your post is about sleeves, I'm in the process of making my own dress and deciding whether to use a bell or flutter sleeve.


Stephanie said...

Great post, and I just love your dress, unique & beautiful - where did you find it?

I have no idea what sleeves suit or flatter me, but I do know which ones don't. If you have any more tips on what would suit different body or arm shapes, that would be most excellent!


Indigo said...

I love the dramatic black and white print of the dress. The sleeves are stunning, I think if they were full length it would over power the overall look.

ana b. said...

This is a great tip! I just bought a vintage dress with kimono sleeves too. Its slightly not on trend at the moment but I don't think that matters at all.