Where to End Your Sleeves


Where to end your sleeves to flatter your figure

Recently I was asked what is the best place to end sleeves. When you think about a sleeve hem, it’s a horizontal line.

Here in this short video I talk about where to end sleeves to flatter your figure.


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  • Aha! Your comment about diagonal short sleeves answers why some short sleeves shirts look better on me than others. With heavier upper arms and a large bust, I always prefer 3/4 length but when a short sleeve shirt is in order, I will look for this diagonal capped sleeves from now on. Thanks Imogen!

  • Thanks so much for this! I do not have terribly heavy arms, but I do have a rather large chest, and I have always felt ungainly in a short sleeve shirt. I prefer three-quarter length (or sometimes cap sleeves), but it didn’t register that the bust factor was influencing my feelings.

    • Glad to have unlocked one of those little mysteries. You could also try a very short, diagonal capped sleeve which won’t add volume to your bust.

  • I would also be interested in the light length for coats, jackets and trousers – maybe you could do a post on those as well. It would also be great if you could do one on the right collars and necklines. I love your posts on the diverse clothing lines and image.

    • Lee – Jackets – depends on body shape. Unless you are a V shape, I shape or O shape where your thighs are not your widest point, then go for a jacket that ends around your top (same kind of place as I was explaining in this video). Those other shapes can do upper thigh length jackets.

      Coats, depends on height. For most people 3/4 is flattering. If you’re petite, a little shorter, if you’re tall you can go longer.

      Trousers – I personally prefer trousers on the longer side, not dragging on the ground, but not too short -it makes your legs look longer. The current trend for 7/8 length pants is unflattering unless you are very tall and have slim hips, or have proportionally long legs. Everyone else, they are not your best look.

  • Aahhhh. I have always had very broad shoulders and large upper arms to go with them (lots of ball sports when young and fit). But my bust has always been on the small to medium size (A-B before childbirth and now C-D). So have found style advice conflicting (Flat V shape not busty V).

    Add to that a waist which used to be non existent (10cm difference compared with bust or hips) and now is “by definition” more hourglass(now 16-20cm difference!) yet above a rounder tummy (so not sure what body type that makes me – btw where is this defined on your site). So not keen for sleeves (or other design features) to “draw the line across the middle” – and you have explained why.

    So … Back to sleeves in a hot and humid (freezing aircon) climate, in a new job at higher level. The short sleeves used to suit and enhance the small bust… And now make me look like a weight lifter!
    I find no sleeves helpful – do they create a vertical illusion and draw the eye up and down? Also they don’t bunch up under my thin cardigans/wraps (in fabrics like modal).

    Love your explanation of sleeve length. I’ve been struggling with sleeves above the elbow, but will now aim for angled (cap or flutter?) or no sleeves…

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