Bet You Didn't Know Statement Sleeves Had So Many Different Technical Names

If there's just one detail we're glad that designers have shone a spotlight on as of late, it's sleeves. Much more than just a means to keep you warm, a bold statement in the arm department can make all the difference to your look, whether it's a subtly flared cuff or a puff shoulder. We're currently spoilt for choice with tops and blouses that feature a touch of playfulness where sleeves are concerned. Chances are you don't already own a puff tee or a cutout sweatshirt, so these pieces are foolproof tools to update jeans and skirts. The movement is trickling down to coats and dresses too: Just imagine the fun you'll have in a flare-cuff LBD. Keep scrolling for our favourite silhouettes and shopping picks of note.

Leg of Mutton

Style Notes: This dramatic silhouette boasts an unusual name, and it's all you need to add edge to an outfit. Dating back to the 1820s, the shape—which is cinched around the wrists and voluminous around the other arms—has been in and out of fashion over the past 200 years. Right now, it's most definitely in. 

Bishop Sleeves

Style Notes: Breathe new life into jeans and skirts with a full bishop sleeve. That basically means major volume all over, brought into a neat cuff at the wrist. You don't need to be a man of the cloth to wear one, so when the weather doesn't call for too may layers or jumpers, it's the ideal time to make a show of these blouson arms.

Style Notes: This type of sleeve has been in and out of vogue for over 100 years (and they've been closely associated with the decadence of the '80s). However, Roberta Benteler shows that you can be a minimalist dresser and enjoy a puff sleeve.

Bell Sleeves

Style Notes: Banish those Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen connotations—the flared bell sleeve is chic, easy and an effortless shortcut for adding a bit of painterly flair to your outfit. We love white cuffs popping out from under a cashmere jumper in winter. 

Cut-Out Sleeves

Style Notes: Designers are having a love in with naked shoulders, so the cutout sleeve is another way of highlighting this dainty part of the body.

Style Notes: Be brave and play with proportions when it comes to creating an outfit. Voluminous balloon sleeves (the kind that blow out into bigger proportions in the middle of the arm and don't necessarily get cinched in at the wrist) add a directional spin to even the simplest of looks, as demonstrated here by Brittany Bathgate.

What to wear with a statement sleeve? Get inspiration via these savvy layering tips.