Sleeve (O. Eng. "slieve", or "slyf", a word allied to "slip", cf. Dutch "sloof") is that part of a
garmentwhich covers the arm, or through which the arm passes or slips. The pattern of the sleeve is one of the characteristics of fashion in dress, varying in every country and period. Various survivals of the early forms of sleeve are still found in the different types of academic or other robes. Where the long hanging sleeve is worn it has, as still in Chinaand Japan, been used as a pocket, whence has come the phrase "to have up one's sleeve", to have something concealed ready to produce. There are many other proverbial and metaphorical expressions associated with the sleeve, such as "to wear one's heart upon one's sleeve", and "to laugh in one's sleeve".
Sleeves can either be long or short. They are long on most shirts, but short on others, including sportshirts.
Types of sleeves
*"Batwing sleeve", a long sleeve with a very deep armhole, tapering towards the wrist. Also known as a "magyar" sleeve.
*"Bell sleeve", a long sleeve that is fitted from the shoulder to wrist and gently flared from wrist onward. The bell sleeve is very similar to the poet sleeve, but has a "cleaner look," often without ruffles.
Bishopsleeve", a long sleeve, fuller at the bottom than the top, and gathered into a cuff(1940s)
*"Cap sleeve", a very short sleeve not extending below
*"Dolman sleeve", a long sleeve that is very wide at the top and narrow at the wrist
*"Gigot sleeve" or "leg of mutton sleeve", a sleeve that is extremely wide over the upper arm and narrow from the elbow to the wrist
*"Hanging sleeve", a sleeve that opens down the side or front, or at the elbow, to allow the arm to pass through (14th, 15th, and 16th centuries.)
*"Juliette sleeve", a long, tight sleeve with a puff at the top, inspired by fashions of the
Italian Renaissanceand named after Shakespeare'stragic heroine; popular from the Empire period through the 1820s in fashion, again in the late 1960s under the influence of Zeffirelli's film
*"Pagoda sleeve", a wide, bell-shaped sleeve popular in the 1860s, worn over an
engageanteor false undersleeve
*"Paned sleeve", a sleeve made in "panes" or panels, allowing a lining or shirt-sleeve to show through (16th and 17th centuries)
*"Poet sleeve", a long sleeve fitted from shoulder to elbow, and then flared (somewhat dramatically) from elbow to wrist (or sometimes mid-hand). Often features ruffles on the cuffs.
*"Puffed" or "puff sleeve", a short, full sleeve gathered at the top and bottom, now most often seen on wedding and children's clothing
Raglan sleeve", a sleeve that extends to the neckline
*"Set-in sleeve", a sleeve sewn into an armhole ("armscye")
*"Two-piece sleeve", a sleeve cut in two pieces, inner and outer, to allow the sleeve to take a slight "L" shape to accommodate the natural bend at the elbow without wrinkling; used in
Virago sleeve", a full "paned" or "pansied" sleeve gathered into two puffs by a ribbonor fabric band above the elbow, worn in the 1620s and 1630s.
*"3/4 Length Sleeve", a sleeve which extends from the shoulder to a length mid-way between the elbow and the wrist. It was common in the United States in the 1950s and again 21st century.
Oxford English Dictionary
*Picken, Mary Brooks: "The Fashion Dictionary", Funk and Wagnalls, 1957.
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