Vintage sleeves are big

Vintage sleeves are big

A Royal touch

Cold shoulder, cutaways, bell shapes are just so passe. Move in bishop sleeves, a classic rendition that holds it all at the spiffy cuff and makes for the perfect pick for both formal and casual wear.

A cut above the rest

It is a cool, versatile pick for all. Says fashion designer Julie Shields of Facil Blanco, “The soft flowing design allows for freedom of movement of your arm. It is a comfortable fit, from the soft loose cut at the top of the sleeve to the gentle binding finish at the wrist.” An oversized fashion statement in contemporary fashion, the sleeves take after the languid Byzantine cut of the robe worn by bishops. But the style has been taking to the red carpet now with a vengeance, years after it was endorsed galore by the royalty in the days of yore.

Make it work

“The best part about bishop sleeves is the sheer functionality of the silhouette. It works as corporate wear, in power dressing and is feminine at the same time,” says fashion designer Sweta Aggarwal of A Humming Story. “Snug at the armpit and ballooning out towards the wrist, gathering into a cuff, it is both flowy with drapes and carries curves aplenty.” An elegant satin shirt spells easy chic for a party, just as a form fitting dress with well-cut bishop sleeves.

Blue is the colour of the year and solid versions in peacock and turquoise lend your appearance that glossy sheen when you slip on a satin shirt with bishop sleeves. “Crepe, lace, twill, transparent silk, satin... work beautifully in bishop sleeves. Even mul and handlooms owing to their soft, transparent nature can be used. Any fabric that is stiff makes the sleeves lose their edginess,” says Sweta. “In colours, soft pastels spell quiet elegance. A combination of rosewood and salmon pink is a scene stealer. You could also bring in terracotta for earthy suave, or work in a showstopper through saffron. White is a perennial classic, especially when worn in oyster mushroom spin-offs,” she adds. Your choice of hue depends upon the occasion and its setting.

Couple up

Let the sleeves do the talking for you by following the anthem of featuring a single focal point in your appearance. Says Julie, “The bishop sleeve is an excellent choice for most body

types, but looks the best on rectangular-shaped bodies. If you have shoulders and hips of similar measurements, then bishop sleeves can be carried off with elan. Style skilfully by balancing the top and bottom, with either skinny bottoms and an oversized top. To team up fitted tops with bishop sleeves, pair with flowy bottoms; or oversized shirts and tops with skinny bottoms. Slip on dashes of gold in earrings or a stunning gold bracelet or a lovely linen head scarf.”

As the sleeves look stylish unto themselves, the simplest way is to keep the neckline of your top low fuss and maximise attention on the arm drape. “An interesting belt with a bishop maxi dress lends it a structured look,” says Sweta. “You can go with oversized ‘disco’ collars, pair the sleeves with a crochet skirt, team a bishop sleeve maxi with a sleeveless cape in organza or add a touch of retro with polkas, and a contrasting belt. Pair it up with boots to give the silhouette a classic, vintage look. The cowboy kind. For a charming and delicate appeal, bring in stacked chains around the neck. Then nail the look with perfect talons and bling hoops in your ears.”

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