Style Glossary: Sleeve It to Me

It’s the time of year when you adventure into the dusty depths of your closet and pull out every nubby knit, woolly hat, and long-sleeved item you own. To help you become better acquainted with the winter wear you’re unearthing, we’ve pinpointed four types of sleeves and given you a brief rundown on their characters.

Trumpet Sleeve — A sleeve that begins at the natural armhole and carries straight on down to the elbow, where it flares out into a trumpet-esque form.

Raglan — A sleeve, generally of 1/2 or 3/4 length, that sweeps up to the neckline via diagonal seams that angle from the underarm to the neckline. Circa 1850s.

Bishop — A full sleeve that becomes more billowy as it travels down the arm to the wrist, where it is then gathered with a cuff.

Amadis — A close-fitting sleeve, often with a pleated, slighty puffed shoulder, that ends in a tight, buttoned cuff at the wrist.

Which style of sleeve would you like to wear to ‘arm’ yourself against the cold this season?


About Hannah

Suggested Posts

Galentine’s Day Style + DIY Self-Love Kit
February 05, 2019
This Face Mask Is Like a Bouquet for Your Skin
January 17, 2019
Workplace Besties: A #TeamModCloth Trio Shares the Love
January 10, 2019
How to Style a Party Dress Three Ways
December 20, 2018
The New Black: Styling All-Grey 3 Ways
December 13, 2018
Travel Bug: Saumya Takes Us on a Tour of DC
December 06, 2018
Party Recap: Hello Kitty’s Birthday in LA
November 12, 2018
A Pampering Present: DIY Concentrated Bubble Bath
November 05, 2018
Easy Makeup for Going Out: Featuring Anna Sui Beauty
October 22, 2018
Haunt Now, Haute Later: Three Scary-Stylish Outfits
October 11, 2018


  1. Avatar
    fashionsastranger 10/20/2011 at 11:32 am #

    I think I like the bishop or amadis sleeve the best. They keep in the warmth and are super cool!!
    Amy xoxox

  2. Avatar
    Samantha Manzella (@sammanzella) 10/20/2011 at 12:17 pm #

    I wear blouses with bishop sleeves all the time and didn’t know what they were called. Thanks for informing me, Modcloth! It’s one of my favorite types of sleeves…it’s ultra-flattering and very glamorous with just the right amount of vintage appeal. 😉

  3. Avatar
    Alexis 10/20/2011 at 2:19 pm #

    Amadis sleeve all the way!

  4. Avatar
    Claire 10/20/2011 at 3:24 pm #

    I love bishop sleeves! They have the perfect amount of vintage feel and stylish! Plus, they do still keep you warm on those rainy days. ;D

  5. Avatar
    Laura 10/20/2011 at 3:42 pm #

    This is really neat! I was always confused about what was the proper naming for (what I now know) is bishop sleeves! 🙂

  6. Avatar
    Ciara 10/20/2011 at 4:07 pm #

    I like all the styles, but the Bishop and Amadis are both gorgeous and will layer more easily under jackets and sweaters because of the tight cuffs.

  7. Avatar
    Karalyn Factor 10/21/2011 at 9:22 am #

    The raglan sleeve actually dates back all the way to the middle ages! Do your fashion history homework. 😉

    • Avatar
      Hannah (ModCloth) 10/21/2011 at 10:09 am #

      Hey, Karalyn!

      Thanks for giving me that food for thought :-). I got that date (1850s) from The Fairchild Dictionary of Fashion and Fashion A to Z: An Illustrated Dictionary. Reportedly, the sleeve got its name from a certain Lord Raglan (or Baron Raglan, if you prefer) who was keen on coats with raglan sleeves, so perhaps it’s just the name, and thus the identifiable birth, of the sleeve that came into play in the 1850s and not the actual shape itself.

      I’m doing my homework, I promise! Haha.

  8. Avatar
    heldinea 10/26/2011 at 10:44 am #

    I like the Bishop and Amadis most.

Leave a Reply