Sleeves Please!

As I sat shivering in my leopard print coat and knee length boots this week, the world’s most cheerful Fedex delivery man informed me there was a heatwave on the way. This should be good news, it is good news but my instinctive reaction was to check my diary to see whether it was going to fit in with my waxing appointments. Summer arrives without warning and then only briefly so while it is thrilling to have it join us, we want to look the part right from the outset to make the most of it, right? Ideally, you want to be searching for the picnic blanket, firing up the BBQ and transforming jeans into festival style denim cut-offs while the fake tan and nail varnish applications dry. Then and only then might you feel brave enough to do battle with your exhausted looking strapless bra collection and myriad sun dresses, some of which have been around since last century.


So let’s assume there is some warmer weather around the corner. It’s daunting isn’t it? Ditching the black opaques and eskimo-esque coats is liberating but what of the flimsy, floral and (whisper it) iced gem coloured items hidden away in boxes? When you packed it last year you told yourself you’d chuck most of it away this year didn’t you? And those cheap fabrics (always a lesser quality fabric in the summer for some reason) look like used Jay-cloths now don’t they? Don’t panic though because there will be some fabulous pieces you had forgotten about in there. Don’t save them for a special occasion, good weather is a special occasion in this country! Demote last year’s favourite dressy stuff to everyday wear for 2017, take the not-so-interesting, slightly dubious smelling, older pieces to the recycling bin and then rush out (or stay in) and buy new things. And don’t delay because the best stuff is selling out fast these days; I’ve just missed out on an amazing pink cardigan/jacket thing at Other Stories. It’s a sad state of affairs that I’m even looking at knitwear a week away from May, I know.


Re: The subject of summer dresses. I know what you’re thinking:

  1. I want dresses with sleeves and I can’t find any.
  2. My legs aren’t up to wearing short, I want a longer length and I want it with sleeves.
  3. I’m up for trying a jumpsuit but I’m not sure I’ll suit it and I want one with sleeves.
  4. I thought sleeves were a thing at the moment, FFS where are all the sleeves?


I hear you. I’m not sure why some bright spark hasn’t simply added a sleeve option to all the sleeveless dresses so that we have a choice – and by ‘we’ I mean potentially anyone over the age of 45 which, by the way, incorporates the biggest age demographic in the UK* – when it is clearly a gaping hole in the fashion market. On the other hand, this really is the year of the sleeve so get out there and stock pile before it isn’t. I promise there are dresses with sleeves on our high street and – because my mum keeps saying “Well I can’t find them” – here is the proof…


Jumpsuits, as I know you’ve heard me say repeatedly, are another great option, particularly if you’re not keen on showing off your legs. Wear them with dressy heels and a jumpsuit looks glamorous and also chic. Some of them, like the one here from Uterque, don’t even look like a jumpsuit (unless you actually jump about). But really, what’s your problem with jumpsuits? They’re just a pair of trousers and a top sewn together, if anything they are even more versatile than a dress because you don’t need tanned legs. I even talked my mum into a jumpsuit last year and now she has two and she’s a stubborn madam at times.


Now, in case you’re still not convinced, here’s another idea; delicate, barely there tops or bodies can be worn underneath a sleeveless dress, it’s a great look for the evening and guarantees you a one-off look you won’t see on anyone else – unless of course they’ve read this blog too.


Good, I’m glad we’ve cleared that up. Good luck finding the picnic blanket. Any other questions?


*There are now a larger number of 68 year olds due to the spike in births after the end of World War 2 FYI.



About aftercarrie

I help people refine their wardrobe to suit their shape, colouring and lifestyle. I am a style consultant, personal shopper and colour analyst working in London. Be the loveliest possible you. My first book SHOPPED was released on 5th July 2016 (September Publishing).
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