Sleeve Heads for Sample


Sleeve Heads for Sample

Sleeves consist of three main areas: the head, width and length.
When selecting garments that have sleeves all three of these areas need to be checked for their suitability to you.
High armholes are flattering to everyone and allow for the greatest amount of movement.
Low armholes obscure the point where the torso ends and the arm begins and can make you appear broader in the torso than you are.
If you require shoulder pads (see accessory section) ensure they are in the correct style and size both for the garment and the width and slope of your shoulders.
Where necessary re-position and/or exchange them until they give you the best shoulder-line and are invisible to onlookers.

The addition of shoulder pads will improve the balance of your upper and lower body.
You need shoulder pads that add width rather than height to your shoulders.
The correct shoulder pad for you will be one that suits the style of garment, gives your shoulders the required lift and are almost, if not totally invisible to onlookers.
Re-position or replace sewn-in shoulder pads as necessary.
Full bodied shirts and sweaters may require slightly larger shoulder pads.

Push or roll your sleeves to 3/4 length to add extra visual height to your overall appearance.
Do not wear sleeves at this length if you have tucked your top garment into the bottom piece as it will make you appear wide and chunky.

Garments with a high armhole will elongate and slim your torso.

It will not take too much texture or embellishments to make your bust appear larger than it is.
To prevent this avoid sleeves that end at the fullest part of your bust line, buttons that sit almost on top of your nipples, contrasting coloured pockets and bust line embellishments.

Sleeve Heads

Sleeves sit on the periphery of your body. Where they end, they attract attention to that area. This gives sleeves the ability to highlight or draw attention away from figure challenges.


  • The hemline of a short-sleeve shirt, if at the same position as the fullest part of the bustline, will visibly increase the size of the bust.
  • Tapered sleeves will slim the upper torso, while wide or full sleeves will add weight and width.
  • Sleeve fullness and the size of the cuff should be scaled to suit the height, weight and bone structure of the wearer. For example, a petite woman may appear dwarfed by sleeves that are full or very large cuffs.

Appropriate styles are those that suit the wearer's age and environment. A seventy-year-old woman wearing spaghetti straps or a halterneck may give the impression she is not emotionally coping with her advancing age or lacks self-awareness. Sleeveless styles are not considered appropriate for most business environments (except in the most tropical of areas) unless covered by a jacket. Jackets instantly add credibility and professionalism.

Unusual or fashionable cuffs add flair, fashion and individuality to the overall appearance of shirts and blouses. However, be careful that the cuffs do not attract attention to any of your figure challenges. The more elaborate or unusual your blouse, the fewer options you will have when coordinating it with the other garments in your wardrobe and the quicker it will fall out of fashion.

Shoulder pads are an essential accessory for many women. They can make the difference between a woman looking slim and confident or overweight and dowdy. In addition, women with sloping/narrow shoulders, wide waists and hips, or large bust lines will benefit from shoulder pads. However, there are many types of shoulder pads and choosing the right one is essential. Some will need deep, wide pads, while others need thin styles that only add width, not height, to the shoulders.

When checking the suitability of a sleeve in a top, shirt, blouse, dress or jacket against the information in this section, there are four areas to examine:

  1. The sleeve HEAD (the area where the sleeves join the body of the garment), e.g., Set-in, Raglan, Saddle, and Dropped
  2. The sleeve STYLE, e.g. Cap, Tapered, Open-shoulder, Short, half etc.
  3. The sleeve WIDTH, e.g. Three Quarter Wide, Three Quarter Tapered etc.
  4. The sleeve LENGTH, e.g. Cap, Short, Half, Three Quarter, Full Length