152: What shape sleeves to choose based on your body shape

In This Episode

Let’s talk sleeves and body shapes – which are best for your shape? How long should your sleeves be…

The shape of the sleeve that you wear can make you look larger or smaller, depending on where it ends (watch this video for tips on that topic) and also how wide it is, which is just as important.


Guide to Choosing Flattering Sleeves

Wider sleeves add width to the part of the body they end on.  A slim sleeve won’t add bulk to your frame in the way a voluminous sleeve will.

When considering the sleeve, you also want to consider:

  • Do you want to broaden your shoulders?
  • Do you want to make your shoulders look narrower?
  • Do you have a defined waist?
  • Do you have full upper arms?
  • Do you have a large or small bust?

Then you can start to narrow down the sleeves that suit you.

shapes of sleeves


Puffed sleeves and gathered shoulders are great to make your shoulders look broader.  If you want to make them look narrower, then try raglan, dolman and dropped sleeves.


End your sleeves on your narrowest point to draw attention to it.  The eye fills in the horizontal line between the hems of the sleeves.  If you have a defined waist, end sleeves around your waist height.  If you have large hips, avoid ending sleeves at the wrists.  If you don’t have a defined waist end your sleeves above or below your waist.  Remember too, that a higher armhole and slimmer sleeve will make your body look longer and slimmer too.


Because the eye draws a horizontal line across your body where sleeves end, then if you large busted, avoid a sleeve that ends near your bust peak, instead go for a shorter or longer sleeve.   If you have a small bust and want it to look larger then end sleeves at the bust peak.


Full upper arms need a sleeve that either covers, or doesn’t have a horizontal hem.  Diagonal hems work well as they move the eye away from the arm and don’t create a broadening effect.

If You’d Like to Define Your Style and Discover Your Colours

If you’re sick of wasting money on clothes that don’t work and you know there is a better way, then join my 7 Steps to Style program and get the right information for you and your style.

Subscribe to my Podcast

You can now get these videos as podcasts subscribe and never miss an episode

Apple Podcasts

Google Play


Send me Your Questions

Please email me your questions to be included in my Q&A Lucky Dip!


1 Comment

  1. Okay, I am 73 , mostly short white hair (with a blue streak in the front), petite with an H body shape, blue eyed, and fair skinned. I was brunette, have quite a bit of black and navy blue in my wardrobe, and am realizing I need to move to white/grey near my face due to my light ideal value. My question is with the dark blue streak in my hair, how does this impact my ideal value? I have my hairdresser put it in because I look washed out otherwise! Thanks…and I love seeing all your outfits in your podcasts and how you have embraced grey hair and rock it, Imogen!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment