Batwing sleeves are an interesting, breezy look, and they are comfortable to wear. Perhaps surprisingly, they will work for many body types. Whether you are well endowed or small chested, broad shouldered or narrow shouldered, short-waisted or long-waisted, apple shaped or pear shaped, the batwing can be flattering.
So they get a big fat 80’s yay from me, but with two aesthetic conditions attached:
- The fabric must be drapey so that the volume collapses softly along the contour of the body.
- The bottom half of the top and the hems of the sleeves need to taper back into a sleek silhouette.
Without these specific style details you might look like you’re actually going to take off and fly. Not so fab.
Batwing styling works well in soft modal and rayon knit fabrications, fine gauge knitwear, and woven silky blouses. It’s also rather sweet in a banded tunic style, dress or jacket. It looks wonderful both on its own, and when belted at the natural waist.
The only real drawback is that you can’t layer anything tailored over the top. The sleeves scrunch up under the arm and the bulk is uncomfortable.
So what do you say? Yay or nay.