Monday, March 12, 2012

How To: Dress Long Arms

This is the first of a new installment of the How To series based on questions I receive from readers and friends.

Miss Elizabeth Hammons asked me to give tips on dressing a body with long limbs. Here goes!

For long arms, ranges of 3/4 length sleeves are going to be your best friend. 

Wide horizontal stripes are known for widening body parts, but they play
well with the proportions of long arms, most especially if yours are thin.

Many dress shirt sleeves these days are made at the 3/4 length. Or you can roll the cuff once or twice for a relaxed look.

Often, longer 3/4 sleeves that hit on the
lower part of the forearm 'cut off' arms, so it's something
to be careful trying to sport. However, if you have long arms, you can pull it off well.

Patterned sleeves are another great route because they de-emphasize length and add horizontal interest.

This picture well emphasizes how the 3/4 sleeve can shorten a long arm and make it more proportional to the body. These women have similar arm lengths and the shorter sleeves really emphasize long arms (Beth, I think it looks great), but if you're self conscious about it, this sleeve can make you feel a lot better!

If you have a styling question you would like to see addressed in the How To series, e-mail me!




  1. Here's a question. How about finding long sleeved tops and Jackets that actually keep your wrists warm... That's my problem. Although I do love 3/4 length sleeves... since I push up most of my long sleeves because they are an awkward length. In the winter it's nice to have actually long sleeved tops (I live in MT). I do have a jacket that has holes for thumbs, so it is long enough to reach my wrist but my thumbs don't sit that high. It's weird to have slits on the cuff but it's better than having bare wrists.

    1. Thank you. Someone finally said it

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. I know your comment is old, but I just had to answer it because I'm tall with long arms and often end up with sleeves that are not long enough. I live in PA where winters can be long and harsh. Schools close nearly every year here for at least a couple of days due to piled-up snow. I like three quarter length sleeves during mild weather or for special occasions, but three-quarter length sleeves are not going to cut the mustard during PA fall and winter. A fashion designer suggested that tall women with long limbs try the men's department for sweaters, or even button down shirts if you're having trouble finding sleeves that are long enough. You can always dress the shirt up with a cute belt, fitted blazer, or whatever. Bonus is that men's clothes are often better quality and cheaper than the women's clothes.


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