Fashion’s love for extra-long sleeves is making its way from the catwalk to everyday wear, but the practicality of this trend is being called into question.
Soup may be off the menu for those embracing fashion’s latest trend of extra-long sleeves. With brands like Acne, Balenciaga, and Givenchy showcasing models wearing oversized sleeves on the catwalk, and celebrities like Alexa Chung and Ncuti Gatwa donning garments with hand-covering cuffs, it’s clear that this trend is gaining traction. Even 10-year-old North West, daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, has been photographed in a sweater with extra-long sleeves. However, while this trend may be Gen Alpha-approved and visually appealing, its practicality when it comes to everyday activities, such as eating, is questionable.
The Rise of Extra-Long Sleeves:
The trend of extra-long sleeves has been present in the fashion industry for a few years. In 2016, The New York Times reported on “fashion that doesn’t let you use your hands,” highlighting the quirkiness and unique appeal of this style. Vogue also noted long sleeves as a favorite among fashion editors during fashion week in 2022. This winter, however, the trend seems to have reached another peak, combining the popular “cosy girl” aesthetic with a nod to 90s fashion.
The “Cosy Girl” Aesthetic:
The “cosy girl” aesthetic gained popularity last winter and continues to thrive. With references to 90s romcoms like Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail, this style focuses on comfort and a hygge-inspired homebody feel. Cream-colored knitwear and oversized coats are staples, often accompanied by sleeves that extend far beyond the wearer’s hands. Katie Holmes has become a modern style inspiration for the “cosy girl” look, as Vogue recently declared she was “in full ‘cosy girl’ mode.”
Designer Nensi Dojaka, whose label is favored by celebrities like Dua Lipa and Rihanna, has made longer sleeves a signature element of her designs. Dojaka believes that longer sleeves add sensuality and subtly elongate the wearer’s arms and silhouette. In the realm of evening dresses, where skin-baring designs are common, longer sleeves offer an unexpected twist and a touch of mystery. Additionally, the practicality of keeping hands warm in colder temperatures is an added bonus.
While the extra-long sleeve trend may be visually appealing and add a unique touch to outfits, its practicality is being called into question. Attempting to eat soup or other liquid-based dishes can be messy and challenging with sleeves that extend past the hands. This raises concerns about the functionality of this trend and its compatibility with everyday activities.
Fortunately, embracing the extra-long sleeve trend doesn’t have to break the bank. Brands like Raey, COS, and Other Stories offer items with long sleeves at more accessible price points. Additionally, shopping vintage and sizing up is a viable option for those looking to incorporate this trend into their wardrobe without spending a fortune.
Fashion’s love for extra-long sleeves has transformed this trend from the catwalk to everyday wear. While visually appealing and aligned with the popular “cosy girl” aesthetic, the practicality of this trend is being questioned, particularly when it comes to activities like eating. Designers like Nensi Dojaka have embraced longer sleeves for their unique appeal and unexpected sensuality. However, it remains to be seen whether this trend will endure or if functionality will ultimately prevail. As fashion continues to evolve, it’s essential to strike a balance between style and practicality.