The Space Between My Peers: Friday Fashion Lab: Sleeve Length

The Space Between My Peers

From the bottom of the fashion food chain ...

Location: The Great Northwest

I'm a home-schooling, bible-believing SAHM with an annual clothing budget of about $500 American. The Space Between My Peers reveals my secret passion: analysis of the art and science of what to wear.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Friday Fashion Lab: Sleeve Length

I know precisely one rule concerning sleeve length:

If your legs are short, pushing up the sleeves will optically elongate them.

I have no idea why this works. Does it follow that a person with long legs might choose a longer sleeve?

In this first set of pictures you can see the contrast between a super-long sleeve and a pushed-up sleeve. Not only do my legs look longer in the second picture, they look thinner as well! Optically it's almost the equivalent of putting on heels (but much easier to walk).

Now I mentioned in my post prior to Thanksgiving that I felt the sleeves of this blazer a little too short, as seen in the picture on the bottom left. While each of the other pictures shows a technique for adapting a jacket with a too-short sleeve, my FAVORITE is this last one. And the white accent does a visual drawing up of the eye, as well.

(It may seem counter-intuitive to wear a white shirt with a brown print jacket. But think about the guys: what color dress shirt would a man wear with a brown print suit?)

One final thought about sleeve-length: most of us must consider practicality when choosing our sleeves. After all, much of life is "done" by the hands. (Diapers and extra-long bell sleeves? Let's just say no!)

And nothing beats 3/4 sleeves when it comes to doing dishes.


Blogger Jennifer said...

Whoa. That first comparison seems almost like an optical illusion. Wonder why that works?

Makes a great point for 3/4 sleeves. pushed-up sleeves don't stay up for me.

1:40 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

I know what you mean. That must be why I never seem to gravitate toward pushed up sleeves (Rule number 3). But I am thinking, after seeing those pics of the fleece peacoats, that maybe pushed up above the elbows is an option.

Today I am wearing a longsleeve turtleneck with a cashmere cardigan over it, the sleeves of the cardigan pushed up to just above the elbow. Of course they stay in place because of the friction between the fabrics. I'll try to get a picture later. :)

2:01 PM  
Blogger Moi said...

That is a neat trick! This is the first time I've heard it. It definitely works.

P.s. thanks for leaving comments on my blog :)

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Mary said...

Great tip, I'd never heard it before...but I am a sleeve pusher...all the time and love 3/4 length sleeves! Loved seeing the difference in pics!

12:54 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

As a short armed person ... in a pinch if you can find elastic bands in a camoflauging colour and the right size, you can adjust your sleeves and arrange a fold over the bands to hide them.

5:17 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

That's a great idea, Wendy. (If you could hide them well enough maybe that's a good use for all the scrunchies still floating around in the universe. He hee.)

12:03 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

I would gleefully take the scissors to the scrunchies and see what kind of elastic is inside! ;-)

12:13 PM  
Anonymous ambika said...

Holy cow. I'd never heard this particular piece of advice, despite my attentiveness to all things 'What Not to Wear.' Just wow. I *am* drawn to elbow-length tops and now I know why.

3:48 PM  

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