Sleeveless tops and dresses are extremely popular at retail, so much so that it can be more difficult to find a top or dress with sleeves. There is a significant market for sleeveless items, so stocks are high throughout the year. 

Here are the pros of wearing sleeveless tops and dresses:

  • They are breezy and ventilating in hot weather
  • They are comfortable and not constricting
  • They showcase the arms if that’s a body part you want to draw attention to
  • There is no sleeve bunching under cardigans and jackets
  • They can be alluring

Here are the cons:

  • They are overly breezy and uncovered
  • They showcase the arms if that’s not a body part you want to draw attention to
  • They might be inappropriate in settings that require modesty
  • They transfer perspiration and deodorant stains onto cardigans and jackets
  • They can be uncomfortable due to bad fit when armholes are cut too wide or low

My clients run the gamut when it comes to wearing sleeveless tops and dresses. Some wear sleeveless by default because they like to showcase their arms, run warm, and find the silhouette extremely comfortable. Others reserve sleeveless items for hot weather only. Some wear sleeveless tops but not dresses, and vice versa. Some prefer to layer sleeveless tops under jackets and cardigans because it’s more comfortable on the arms. Some wear sleeveless tops and dresses but with an additional arm covering layer. And some will not wear sleeveless items at all.

I used to wear sleeveless tops and dresses, but these days I’m in the second camp, and don’t wear sleeveless unless I’m practicing hot yoga or wearing a bathing costume. It’s not a modesty or visual thing, but a comfort preference. I find sleeveless tops and dresses overly breezy on a warm day and particularly uncomfortable in air conditioning. On a hot day, I don’t enjoy the sun beating down on my bare skin. I prefer to cover up in the heat and sun, just like they do in the hottest countries of the world. Instead of adding a topper to a sleeveless item to create comfort, I simply buy tops and dresses with sleeves. I don’t find wearing sleeves under jackets bothersome. I might make the sleeveless exception for a stunning formal gown because I do like the look of sleeveless dresses, but the weather would have to be perfect and absolutely no air conditioning.

Over to you. Do you wear sleeveless tops and dresses?

Eloquii Asymmetrical Hem Button Down Top

Vince Camuto Sheath Dress