Sleeves are an extremely important fixture of any clothing. In fashion design, they are functional and aesthetic elements of a garment. Just changing the style of the sleeves can convert an average looking dress into an elegant party gown. It enhances the entire look of the dress. Over the decades, sleeves have evolved in a big way by seeking inspiration from different eras worldwide.
Sleeves come in a variety of styles. They can be short, mid-length, long and flowy, depending upon the style of the garment. However, sleeves can be modified anytime to create a new style.
Regular Sleeves or Set-in sleeves set-in sleeve or regular sleeve is the most standard design. These sleeves are attached to the garment's armhole and stitched all the way around.
A cap sleeve is an extremely short sleeve that goes beyond the shoulder and below the armpit. It covers just the top of the arm. You can see these types of sleeves in party dresses or any bridal trousseau.
Bell sleeves are long sleeves fitted from the shoulder to the elbow and flares out like a bell over the wrist. It gives a graceful feminine look to the entire dress.
Raglan sleeves are formed of a single piece of fabric. Rather than the shoulder, it starts with the neckline of the garment. It makes arm movement easier. These sleeves are commonly used in sweatshirts, baseball T-shirts and bodycon dresses.
Kimono sleeves are long one-piece sleeves extending from the bodice to the wrist. These are popularly used in tops, dresses, sportswear and kids wear.
Balloon sleeves are in trend this season. These long sleeves begin at the shoulder, inflate at the arm and gather at the wrist. They are increasingly used in formal ladies’ shirts, blouses, sheer tops and dresses.
Cape sleeves are full-flowing sleeves that look like a cape. These sleeves look cool and enhance your style statement. It looks great on blazers, jackets and dresses.
A butterfly sleeve usually spreads out from the shoulder but does not cover the arm completely. It is commonly seen in dresses or formal blouses.
Lantern sleeves are long sleeves divided into two parts. The top part of the sleeve spreads from the sleeve head to the wrist, and the bottom part gathers around the wrist. They are joined together by a seam, making it look like a lantern shape.
Mutton leg sleeves refer to those sleeves that are puffed at the shoulder and upper arm and fit perfectly onto the forearm. It resembles a sheep's leg.
These sleeves look similar to a bat's wing. It is a one-piece sleeve with a deep armhole and gathers around the wrist. It goes down to waist level. These sleeves are also called dolman sleeves.
So, sleeves are a crucial element - from adding structure, comfort and movement to the garment to enhancing its entire look. Apart from an overview on sleeves, if you are keen to further enhance your knowledge, you can gain insight on how to draft, design, and style sleeves through a fashion designing course.