Fashion/Beauty  •  Trends

How to Survive : Statement Sleeves

The struggle is SO real.

January 23, 2017
Statement sleeves. They’re the current equivalent of 2014’s coat-as-a-cape look. Impossibly chic. Sartorially on-point. Charismatic. Photogenic. Street style approved by all your favorite Insta-icons. And pretty damn...impractical. Sure, extra-long sleeves work great in photos, on runways, if you’re a magician (note-to-self: making boyfriends disappear does not a party trick count). But when you’re trying to get through, well, life in general, then the struggle is just too real. We put our contributing fashion editor, Kim Visudharomn, through the ringer, as she rounds up her top seven sleeve-related run-ins. Enjoy.
Silk-crepon dress, CHLOE

She Drives Me Crazy
A demure vehicular dismount is a move mastered by few. Countless fashion malfunctions have come about from reckless car exits—The Panty Flash, The Stiletto Slip, The High Bun Comes Undone—and now, thanks to the new season’s demand for ever-longer, flappier, floppier arm lengths, you can add The Stuck Sleeve to this growing list of apparel perils. Proceed with utmost caution. Remember: slow and steady keeps your clothes intact.

Silk blouse, EMILIO PUCCI | Cotton long sleeve T-shirt, GREYHOUND

Pleased to Sleeve You
Meeting new people can be a nerve-wrecking endeavor. But meeting new people who enjoy even longer sleeves than your already well-past-the-wrist Pucci top? Unthinkable. Unimaginable. Eek times a thousand. Alas, the anxiety doesn’t stop there: wait till you actually have to *gasp* shake hands. All kinds of cringeworthy, sleeve-grabbing, outfit-ruining calamity can ensue (and you thought clammy hands were an issue). Just pray that your newfound (and obviously fashionable) friend has a good sense of humor...

Cotton mini dress, JACQUEMUS

Waiter, There’s a Sleeve in My Soup
So you’re at dinner with friends, they’re all yakking away about the latest diet/dating/fitness fads, while all you want is another helping of that Kiki Made  Korean eggplant nachos. Problem is, that bubbling bowl of minced gourd goodness has been placed just oh-so-out of arm’s reach—an inconveniently, oversized, bell-sleeved, purest-shade-of-white arm’s reach. Do not attempt to extend your billowing limbs across the soup-and-sauce-laden spread to reach the object of your desire—you will get your sleeves dirty. Instead, mind your manners. Simply interject the frenzied conversation and ask your friend to pass the platter—then keep it by your side. Forever.

Knitted wool-blend top, H&M

I Can’t Find My Things When I Wear You
A woman’s handbag holds her very psyche (why do you think they call it a “purse-o-nality”?) Ok, so no one actually calls it that. That being said, if the inside of your purse does indeed reflect your inner being, then mine is just a big ol’ mess: 6 barely used lip balms, lint mints, two pairs of sunnies, mouthwash, mascara wands, house keys, etc. not mention several sharp and/or pointy objects that could—and would—easily unpick the delicate knits and weaves of any extra-long sleeve. If you happen to be going for this look that day, plan accordingly: clear and arrange the contents of your otherwise cluttered handbag and remember to choose a shape that isn’t particularly “bottomless,” i.e. impossible to find anything in (bucket bags and hobo totes are a big no-no.)

Velvet-trimmed silk-crepon blouse, CHLOE

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness is Next to Impossible
If you manage to make it through the twisted, tangled ordeal that is navigating statement sleeves in a public bathroom (we’ve gone ahead and spared you the pictorial reenactment), you’ll then be faced with the all too finicky task of washing your hands, post-deed. Simple? Sure. Awkward? Absolutely. You’ll be shaking, shimmying and swinging them sleeves like a woman possessed just to avoid getting them wet. You may get some serious stares from the lady at the next sink, but hey, it’s not like she’s gonna be paying for your dry-cleaning bill. So, shake away, I say!

Cotton-blend crop top, stylist

Your Sleeve is On Fire
Smoking. We all know it’s bad for you. But then, like, why do we look so damn good doing it? Or at least we think we do. But the quickest way of killing any trace of tres cool you thought you’d had sucking on them Virginia Slims? Try doing it while wearing extra-long sleeves. If you manage not to set your top on fire, you’ll have to deal with the tricky maneuvers of puffing, ashing and doing your best French chick cig flick, all the while trying not to burn multiple holes through your precious cuffs. But hey, this could be a great incentive to kick the habit once and for all. Or not. You’re too cool for that.

Knitted wool-blend sweater, GREYHOUND

Wai Away
Ah yes, the wai. If you’d somehow survived the extra-long sleeve handshake, there’s always the extra-long sleeve wai to trip you up. This official and formal Thai greeting should not be attempted through covered palms. So, yet again, wiggle and wriggle your way out to a visible wai, and hope that a sheepish grin will get you off the hook with your esteemed elders. Good luck!