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Arm Sleeves: Rocking Sports and Fashion

September 9, 2015       Within Reach
Arm Sleeves Rock
Sports and Fashion

You expect to see arm sleeves worn during weddings or proms by bridesmaids or debutantes in white or pink silk and lace varieties, often as a sign of chastity for a rite of passage celebration.   Women also wear arm sleeves or arm gloves for formal gatherings aside from weddings and proms like cocktail parties, ribbon cutting ceremonies.  To be seen as both demure AND as a more interesting female fashion statement. 

Men have their own spandex version for athletic wear (basketball, baseball, cycling uniforms) and as fashionable accessories too.
  For whatever purpose, arm sleeves are among the hottest wearable accessories these days.  Looking good enough for grown men and women to wear them without feeling ridiculous.  And young adults adore keeping their own hoard of elaborate sleeves as costume parts for when they attend comic book conventions and toy conventions.

Debutante style, Arm Sleeves are also Summer fashion accessories. 
Plenty of artisan sites offer them in a variety of styles.  This one is
a Summer 2015 style from, an Asian portal selling
affordable yet cutting edge, fashion items.

In the 80s, several styles exploded from the underground, making creative use of arm-only sleeves constructed of everything from fish-net, leather-stocking arm sleeves up to mid-arm, embroidered lace designs in white or goth black, and then in the mid 90s sports designers created arm-support sleeves for athletes with movement restriction problems, who needed protection from sports injuries.

Video is all rights reserved to xXxLizziLizardxXx's You Tube channel
DIY vid on how to make your own.  Artisan site Etsy has plenty
of homemade arm sleeves and fingerless gloves.

In this generation, the Gundam Century, costume play hobbyists and enthusiasts, or kids of all ages, wear variations of elaborate black Victorian-style gauzy or fishnet or leather arm sleeves or arm gloves, all patterned after their favorite anime or manga character.  Comic book character and movie superhero designs too.

Breakout J-Idol death metal band, Babymetal flaunt them in asymmetric formation with scream-dancer Yui-Metal Death, on the left of singer Su-Metal Death, wearing hers on the left arm, while scream-dancer Moa-Metal Death, on the right of the Su-Metal, wearing hers on the right arm. Or both screaming dancers donning the arm sleeves the other way around or both of them on the same arm.

The Sports Athlete's Accessory

In sports, cyclists wear spandex arm warmers coming in a variety of colors, to protect them from the onrushing wind, as protection from cold and frostbite.
  Basketball players like Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony wore them too as support for a weak arm and as a fashion statement as well. Other sports that require a lot of arm action also have players using them, from volleyball, baseball, and table tennis.  Arm sleeves made for sports are generally tighter and thinner than those for fashion. For cycling, they are used to keep the hands warm while biking in cold weather, but to still allow the fingers to manipulate the gears and breaks of the bicycle safely.

Video is all rights reserved to Nightwing2303 You Tube channel
A feature on brand name custom sport arm sleeves for basketball.

Styles of basketball arm sport sleeves range from half-arm
to fully sleeved.  Professional players even wear them.

Basketball and baseball players wear them as support for the arm to prevent injuries made by physical contact or quick strenuous movements of the arm in the course of the game.

Fashion Uniform

In certain fashion circles like Punk, these items have been around forever. The stylishness of street fashion has trickled into the mainstream as young women wear them now as clubwear without batting an eyelash.  On the other side of the coin, strippers and both rap & rock stars wear them as part of a dance routine or stadium concert performance. Costume play too, is one event for which the arm sleeve garment is most popularl.  In gothic lolita costumes popular in Japan, they are part of the uniform, like an arm stocking.  Some young women strut an arm sleeve as part of a black dress ensemble or club wear.

A Look at Specific Styles

Wedding and Debutante: white and black silk, White lace and black gauze. Fishnet designs. Some with lace details, embroidery, lined with fleece or some layering and other design statements.

Fashion or Costume Play: Leather designs. Fishnet and gauze, embroidery too. They may come as dainty as a fingerless glove to as flamboyant as an embroidered full-sleeve.  You can also find typical  hand to elbow elastic leather sleeves with frills on the glove hand end. If you've played any Japanese role playing games or watched their cartoons, chances are you will be seeing kids going nuts trying to have their own versions of the outfits worn by their anime and video game favorite heroes and villains.

Cold Weather: Typically made of cotton or polyester. Crocheted styles for cold weather and available in many different colors and coming in one-size-fits-all, arm warmers arm sleeves are typically sold during the colder seasons in countries like Japan and the West.  Arm sleeves may be made in many different patterns. Winter fashion  styles are designed to resemble small sweaters for the hands.

As a fashion accessory, arm sleeves are becoming same never-leave-home without your little black dress, t-shirt and jeans, or military jacket.  Stylized arm sleeves are a prized fashion item among young ladies who dare to wear them. 

For guys, the athletic sports sleeve is something they can't do without.  For whatever outdoor activity they love.  From hardcore cyclists to street ball hoops.


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