FOCUS ON | The Statement Sleeve

Unless you’ve been hibernating since January 1st (and who could blame you) you can’t have missed the sleeve action going on in 2017. The high street favourites are giving seriously good sleeve game already this season with even the simplest of knits receiving an instant arm update.

The rules of this essential armoury? Well, there are none, as long as there’s something interesting going on between your shoulder and finger tips. Of course the bolder the better, which, admittedly isn’t necessarily the most practical when one goes from stirring porridge to running a bath so choose your sleeve to suit your lifestyle. Save the volume, bells and whistles for a night out with girlfriends (not date night, he won’t get it) and for day time wear seek out slightly shorter sleeves to keep excess fabric away from danger (folding buggies, cooking stir-fry, wiping you know whats) or opt for narrow cuffs with volume further up the arm and more focus on shoulder detail.

Where to start in a sea of statement sleeves? Here are six of the best (well, 12 sleeves to be precise) to try now:

1. & Other Stories | 2. Mint Velvet | 3. Mango | 4. Finery | 5. Topshop | 6. Zara

1. Cream frilled cuff blouse

& Other Stories are hitting the mark when it comes to great updaters and items with added interest. Not just an ivory blouse this has just the amount of detail to elevate a simple top from plain to “where did you get that?” territory.

2. Black fluted sleeve top

If you’re looking to take your classic black evening top up a notch – you know, the go-to in the wardrobe for a quick jeans, top and heels outfit for dinner or drinks – adding a fluted sleeve will give just the right amount of change to update for SS17 without becoming a one-season-wonder. Elegant with a skirt or trousers for workwear or edged-up with layered chains, distressed jeans and a bold heel for evening.

3. Striped flared sleeve top

Breton lovers rejoice, as stripes are big news for SS17 but give your well-worn jersey number a break and switch it for Mango’s double striped flare sleeve top. Don’t just save it for evening because it feels a little different or dressier than your average striped top; wear it, layer it (try a slim fit navy roll neck underneath while the winter’s still here), and accessorise it – why not add a few small brooches in a cluster to add interest and personalise it.

4. Green flute sleeve dress

In deep forest green or the alternative, a rich bordeaux, this shift dress will skim a tum and hips so it’s ideal if those are your problem areas or in your first (or fourth!) trimester. Add tights – try cable knit with boots as a dressed-down look – for now and then ease into spring and brighten up the deep green with coral, pink or yellow accessories to lift it for the new season.

5. Navy jacquard flute sleeve top

Up close the detail of this fabric is subtle enough to be able to wear it often without it being bold, yet detailed enough to add texture and that all important interest to your tops. Try with khaki or grey jeans now, then with light denim shorts come summer.

6. Grey sweater with tie sleeves

Perhaps the least practical of the statement sleeve parade but who needs to eat soup in winter anyway! Not one for those who can’t handle a little fussiness to their fashion but a great update to a grey sweater addict to justify another in the wardrobe.

Shop my style

And how am I wearing a statement sleeve you may ask? Well, in the colour of the SS17, pink. With pleats.

Pink pleat cuff top, Warehouse | Bracelets, Reiss | Distressed skinny jeans, Zara | Rose gold heels, Office

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