(I’m super-excited about the response to make. wear. love. so far. We have only around 10 spots left in the retreat as of this evening, so if you’d like in on this wonderful weekend please let me know soon! I’m really looking forward to summer and wouldn’t wish it away, of course… but now I’m really looking forward to the fall, too.)

This week in Fashion Friday, we’re going to take a quick look at sleeve length and how it changes an outfit. To illustrate the difference between the 4 basic sleeve lengths, I’ve chosen a pretty plain outfit–cardigan, over tank top and jeans. These were all taken seconds apart, with no retouching or tricks or anything.

The basic principle is this: In the average case, the eye will be drawn to the part of the body where the sleeve cuff ends. That part of the body will gain more prominence, visually speaking.

Let’s start with long sleeves first: They draw the eye down, to the legs.


Now, 3/4-length sleeves. They tend to end in-line with the hem of a top, and so paint a visual line around both the arms and the mid-hip.


Elbow sleeves draw the eye to the waist (real or manufactured with clever use of clothing).


Gold star to anyone who can predict where short sleeves draw the eye. (grin)


That’s right! Short sleeves are probably the most visually bust-enhancing thing going on.

There are lots of other things to keep in mind about sleeves, too–but we’ll save that for another week. For this week, just think: Where are your sleeves drawing the eye? Where would you like the eye drawn?

ff-sleeves-basic-1 ff-sleeves-basic-2 ff-sleeves-basic-3 ff-sleeves-basic-4

My personal favorite sleeve length is a tie–I love both 3/4 and elbow-length sleeves, and wear them both frequently. Do you have a favorite?