Style 101: Types of Sleeves

How do you choose the perfect sleeve? The decision used to be easy: short in the summer, long in the winter… Today however, a sleeve of any length can be flirty, casual or even regal. So what do you choose?


In the words of our Head Designer, Gloria Berck, “Any sleeve could compliment a woman’s body type. What it comes down to is personal preference.”


Do you want a sleeve with a little flair? Do you want a sleeve that will cover your arms? Or do you want a sleeve that’s both modest and shows off some skin? 

What you’ll notice about the dresses here is that the silhouettes are simple, comfortable and are an easy fit. All the interest and excitement of these dresses are in the sleeves.”


- GLORIA BERCK

CA Head of Design

Sleeves have become a fixture in fashion design and garment making. And with so many unique sleeves that serve both an aesthetic and practical function, it’s easy to get lost in the changing styles. Sleeve designs can be created in any fabric and any style and they are a crucial element of a garment’s look and silhouette, as it is one of the first things you see in a garment. 


Beyond their practical function, different styles of sleeves complete a garment’s silhouette and can create movement or structure to the piece depending on style.


“We don’t want our sleeves to look or feel heavy, so we design them to be light and airy but still cover you up,” Gloria explains. “Over the years we’ve expanded upon the traditional sleeve lengths (short, long) to include sleeves with slits, ruffles, cold shoulders, blousons and so on.” 


“The big driving point with all these figure flattering dresses is the body shape - slightly loose, a-line dresses where the sleeve is the big deal,” she continues. “We find that this works for any woman’s body type because many times, a woman simply wants to cover up her arms. Not everyone wants a sexy, form-fitting silhouette, so we found the recipe for that.”


Whether you’re looking for a statement sleeve or a modest sleeve, we’ve got the right sleeve type that will highlight your features beautifully. Check out our favorites below. 


Puff Sleeves

The classic and vintage puff sleeves need no introduction. Puff sleeves are short in style and delicately sewn into a band that, when bunched up on your arm, creates a puff. You’ll see the puff sleeve style on anything from dresses to t-shirts to sweaters.


SADIE NAVY & MAUVE FLORAL PRINT DRESS

When we look at this dress, we think of a Sadie Hawkins dance (hence the name!). Perhaps it’s the chiffon puff sleeves that give Sadie a fresh, young look, or the orchid floral print that feels new and exciting. Either way, we want to wear Sadie to all our Summer outings, day and night.


Short Sleeves

Short sleeves are a classic sleeve style that will never go out of fashion. They are great for warmer weather, offering a simple style and comfortable fit. When the temperature begins to drop in the evening, short sleeve dresses are easy to style with a sweater or jacket. No bunching of the sleeves!


JENNY FIT-AND-FLARE FLORAL PRINT DRESS

Jenny is your classic fit-and-flare. Individually sewn panels come together to create a comfortable, yet dynamic dress. With its V-neck front and short sleeves, Jenny is not only a great option for work (just add a cardigan), but also transitions easily to casual weekend outings.

JENNY FIT-AND-FLARE FLORAL PRINT DRESS

Jenny is your classic fit-and-flare. Individually sewn panels come together to create a comfortable, yet dynamic dress. With its V-neck front and short sleeves, Jenny is not only a great option for work (just add a cardigan), but also transitions easily to casual weekend outings.


Cap Sleeves

Cap sleeves offer a flattering vertical silhouette in the upper part of your body and add a bit more structure to a garment. Connected Apparel’s cap sleeves are carefully constructed to provide a comfortable fit, while also being figure flattering.


ARI FLORAL PRINT DRESS

Ari is the ultimate casual wrap dress. A skirt panel that ties at the waist creates dimension and flair, while the drop shoulders add a modern twist. Made from floral print stretch knit, Ari is machine-washable. From backyard BBQs to casual Fridays at work, you’ll turn to Ari time and again all Summer long.


Sleeveless

Sleeveless dresses are another classic dress style that is seasonless. Women's sleeveless dresses and sleeveless jumpsuits create a long vertical line that can be eye-catching. If you have broad shoulders or arms that you feel conscious about, tank style sleeveless dresses with a neckline that's deep can help to balance out the look.


LISA CORAL ZEBRA PRINT SLEEVELESS DRESS

Lisa is our tried-and-true silhouette. A dress that looks amazing on women of all shapes and sizes, the faux wrap detail at the waist creates definition for a classic, figure-flattering silhouette. Made from polka dot print stretch jersey knit, Lisa hits at the knee and is sleeveless. This particular version of Lisa is perfect for multiple occasions, from work to daytime events to casual gatherings.

LISA CORAL ZEBRA PRINT SLEEVELESS DRESS

Lisa is our tried-and-true silhouette. A dress that looks amazing on women of all shapes and sizes, the faux wrap detail at the waist creates definition for a classic, figure-flattering silhouette. Made from polka dot print stretch jersey knit, Lisa hits at the knee and is sleeveless. This particular version of Lisa is perfect for multiple occasions, from work to daytime events to casual gatherings.


Cold Shoulder Sleeves

Like an off shoulder look, cold shoulder sleeves show off a little extra skin. Style experts say the cold shoulder sleeve is fashionable, stylish, and offers a slim effect for your arms. Because the sleeve hangs on to the bodice from the sides rather than from the top of the arm, the hole that is left draws attention to a small portion of your arm while camouflaging the rest of your upper arm.


MACIE FLORAL PRINT COLD SHOULDER MAXI DRESS

Macie is not your average maxi dress. With slits on both sides of this dress and cold shoulder sleeves, Macie shows off just the right amount of skin. Made from floral print stretch jersey knit, Macie can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. Note the ruching in the cold shoulder sleeves for that added touch of femininity.


Raglan Sleeves

Raglan sleeves come in all lengths and are a popular choice for many garments. Unlike regular sleeves that are attached at the underside of your arm, raglan sleeves are designed to be an extension of your shoulder, therefore creating an illusion of long arms for a slim look. They’re also great for shrinking broad shoulders. Connected Apparel takes things one step further with an open sleeve style, which allows for added movement.


SASHA PLUM FLORAL PRINT DRESS

Classic meets contemporary in this stunning knee-length dress. Sasha combines a striking floral print with fashion-forward chiffon raglan sleeves. With the unique open hem styling, Sasha’s sleeve will keep you moving throughout your evening with ease.

SASHA PLUM FLORAL PRINT DRESS

Classic meets contemporary in this stunning knee-length dress. Sasha combines a striking floral print with fashion-forward chiffon raglan sleeves. With the unique open hem styling, Sasha’s sleeve will keep you moving throughout your evening with ease.


Open Hem Sleeves

Open hem sleeves are also referred to as peek-a-book sleeves. Adding a slit to a long sleeve not only provides coverage, but also allows for added movement. It also allows for the sleeves to not be form fitting, but instead light and airy.


STEVIE ABSTRACT FLORAL PRINT DRESS

Stevie is simply classic. This sheath silhouette is made from floral print stretch jersey knit and long chiffon sleeves provide subtle coverage. Note the slit up to the elbow on the sleeves for added flair and movement. This version of Stevie is a great new addition to your day-to-night wardrobe lineup.


Three-Quarter Sleeves

Three-quarter inch sleeves provide just the right amount of coverage, taking the chill off while also showing off some extra skin. Fashion gurus have been known to say that three-quarter inch sleeves are the most universally flattering. Because this sleeve has a length between the elbow and wrist, they highlight the smaller part of your arm and are known as bracelet sleeves. Why not style your dress with some bangles?!


TINA NAVY & MAUVE FLORAL PRINT DRESS

This stunning number is your next favorite day-to-night dress. Tina's draped cowl neck and side ruche provide interesting details, while the stretch floral print mesh hugs your figure without being too constricting. Tina slips on right over your head making it easy to get dressed in the morning. You'll look amazing and feel even better all day and night long.

TINA NAVY & MAUVE FLORAL PRINT DRESS

This stunning number is your next favorite day-to-night dress. Tina's draped cowl neck and side ruche provide interesting details, while the stretch floral print mesh hugs your figure without being too constricting. Tina slips on right over your head making it easy to get dressed in the morning. You'll look amazing and feel even better all day and night long.


From daytime dresses, to women’s jumpsuits to cocktail dresses, Connected Apparel has expanded upon their product offering by adding figure flattering sleeves. Regardless of size, rest assured that you’re buying a comfy dress that will look and feel great on!

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