Layering an item with a shorter sleeve (either bracelet, three-quarter or short) over an item with a long sleeve is a perfectly acceptable and hip 70’s-inspired look. While layering in this way won’t work with every sleeve type, there are rules one can follow to ensure a streamlined look:

  • Stick to layering one voluminous sleeve at a time. Volume on the first layer (a sleek cardigan over a lantern sleeve); or volume on the second layer (a bell sleeve over a fitted long sleeved knitted T) are looks that work equally well. Layering with two sets of voluminous sleeves (a bell sleeve over a bell sleeve) at different lengths can also work, but gets tricky, so it’s best to stick with one.
  • Create a colour contrast for the best effect. Contrasting subtle or bold colours with the sleeves that you layer creates an effective statement. It’s when the colour is the same (like black on black) that the effect is less interesting and eye-catching.

Longer sleeves that peek out underneath shorter sleeves can give an outfit a funky and artsy edge. It’s another good reason to buy three-quarter-sleeve outwear.

Anne Klein New York Belt Kimono Sweater JacketValette Mini Check Swing Coat Wool Textured Swing Jacket

Good examples of shorter voluminous second layers worn over sleek long sleeves.