+ Item of the Week

Item of the Week: Flutter Sleeves

2017 is the year of the dramatic sleeve.  For winter, it was the bell sleeve and the lantern sleeve.  For spring, may I present the flutter sleeve.  It’s feminine, it’s breezy, and just a little bit flirty.

This Adrianna Papell dress in mint ($140) could work for dinner, a cocktail party, or for a less-conservative work environment.  I adore this affordable floral print dress from Ellen Tracy.  This sleeveless dress from Whistles is a cute part dress.  For an affordable business-casual or casual dress, this Land’s End surplice dress comes in tall, petite, plus, and misses.

Prefer a flutter sleeve top?  This delicate pink top from Maison Jules is quite pretty, and under-$50.  This more dramatic Kate Spade top is worth a look.  Plus-size?  Check out this Rachel Roy top.  I also love the moody color palette of this relaxed top from Lord & Taylor.  But my favorite look is this short sleeve top from Kate Spade that could be worn with colored shorts or under a business suit.

Are you into the flutter sleeve look?  Or is this mid-90s throwback more than you can handle?



  1. Erica says:

    It’s more than I can handle; it reminds me of a dress a grandmother would wear, honestly. Though if I were open to it, the mint dress is pretty.

    May 9, 2017/Reply
    • Erika says:

      Agreed! Too girly and I’m pretty feminine. Maybe it’s because I’m over 40 though 😉

      May 9, 2017/Reply
  2. Stefanie says:

    I don’t think it’s very flattering – it draws attention to upper arms and makes them appear bigger than they really are. Not a body part most women want attention drawn to.

    May 9, 2017/Reply
    • Allison says:

      I’ve found the opposite to be true! The big loose sleeve covers my upper arm, and they look smaller in loose fabric than held in like sausages. And the big sleeves make my waist look small in comparison.

      May 9, 2017/Reply
      • Anna says:

        I’m in your camp, Allison. Cap sleeves make my arms look like sausages. That said, these are a little too big for me. I could go for a more subtle flutter.

        May 9, 2017/Reply
    • J says:

      While I’m normally a fan of subtle shape and cut details, I agree with Stephanie; I’m tall with an athletic (but not massive) upper body, and flutter sleeves make me look like an effeminate linebacker.

      May 9, 2017/Reply
    • Betsy says:

      Ditto. I am tall with broad shoulders and unusually long arms and flutter sleeves make me look like a linebacker. No thanks.

      May 9, 2017/Reply
  3. Jess says:

    I love the flutter sleeve look, but my conundrum, particularly when wearing to work, is what on earth do I do when I get cold in the inevitable air conditioning? Those sleeves were not meant to be covered up.

    May 9, 2017/Reply
  4. Leigh says:

    I think flutter sleeves are one of those looks I like better on other people than on me.

    May 9, 2017/Reply
  5. pompom says:

    I’m indifferent to the look, and have worn it. But my pet peeve? If it’s hot out, and your antiperspirant fails…say goodbye to the flutter effect and hello to the “all this fabric is stuck in my sweaty armpit” look.

    May 9, 2017/Reply
  6. Bonnie says:

    I have scars on both of my upper arms (yippee) so yes, I am a fan of this look!

    May 15, 2017/Reply