Rolling Up the Sleeves

Figuratively speaking, "rolling up the sleeves" suggests preparation for hard labor; by getting the sleeves and the cuffs out of the way, one theoretically can move more freely and get work done more quickly.

I usually pay no mind to celeb fashion, but a recent picture of Gwyneth Paltrow walking around with shorts, pumps, and a fitted blazer--with sleeves rolled up--really struck a chord with me. Apparently, quite a few gals captured on street fashion shots are sporting the same look. Obviously I can't go to work wearing shorts, and I don't want to risk wrinkling the sleeves of my nice suit jackets, even though they are "just" $25 apiece. However, I do like the concept. It is practical insofar as to keep one cooler in the summer (that's figuratively- and literally-speaking). It also breathes new life to some pieces that have been in my closet for a while.

I was willing to try the scrunched-up sleeves look with a corduroy blazer that I got quite a few years ago from some store at the mall. With corduroy, I don't have to worry about the wrinkles--the material is soft enough to rebound. The neutral color also works very well with a light, playful pattern. I paired it with a luxurious looking (looks like silk, doesn't it?) $15 camisole I got from the clearance racks of Old Navy last weekend, along with a pair of crisp white pants and a pair of wedge sandals. For a more conservative office look, I'd add pumps, but the hem on these pants are long enough to cover everything. Having the sleeves go up to the elbows looks more nonchalantly sophisticated than wearing the blazer as intended--that is, with fitted 3/4 sleeves.

[cropped corduroy blazer from some store at the mall, Old Navy camisole, Vince pants, Aerosoles wedge sandals]

Rolling up the sleeves neatly can also make a slouchier piece become more fitted, as the increasingly thick folds narrow the circumference of the sleeves (or creates the illusion of doing so). It works pretty well for this loose and comfortable cardigan--the rolls adds a bit of structure.

[Target cardigan, BCBG top with satin bubble hem, herringbone pattern cropped trousers from Fashion Q, Nine West peeptoe pumps (which will have to have the heel caps replaced...again)]


yulanda said...

I've always been a fan of rolled up sleeves. I like the two looks you put together.

Sales Rack Raider said...

Thanks! I had another day's worth of rolled up sleeves too for a more conservative outfit. I was surprised at how good it looked.