What is it with dress designers and sleeves or rather their lack of them? Do the fashion colleges not do a unit on sleeves and their importance to the slightly more mature woman? Has Michael Gove removed them from the curriculm in place of Latin and Greek?
On several occasions lately I have been browsing a range of dress emporiums – from designer to budget in search of suitable wear for the coming season. I also have an eye out for the fact that I need an evening dress for a couple of black tie events in the offing. There is a plethora of new stock available with no shortage of what one of my friends husbands refers to as ‘bonny frocks’ , however, in most cases there is a complete shortage of fabric from the arm hole to wrist area.
If you have the patience and hunt hard, you can unearth ranges offering coverage of this area, however. they appear to be fashioned from polyester sofa covers or curtains a la Sound of Music.
I have had this conversation with friends, we agree, it’s not that our arms are totally abhorrent, and yes we probably could bring them to a more toned state if we were prepared to spend hours in the gym or putting baked bean tins to good use as weights on daily basis. It’s just that with age, the arm area does tend to become less attractive, and while we can get away with it in the sunshine on holiday, in the depths of winter or the office somehow it doesn’t quite cut it.
We can, and do wear jackets, cardigans etc – but when things heat up a bit – you then need to choose whether to swelter or reveal.
Evening wear is an even bigger sleeveless zone, unless you are the divine Helen Mirren who has got this pretty much under control, though even she resorts to shawls and shrugs at times- but we don’t all have her budget. Why should we purchase a fabulous frock only to then hunt high and low for a shrug – usually made from a lace curtain or a bit of nylon not designed to complement the main garment. I for one, however am not prepared to either purchase or wear Mary Portas Armery – though if I get really desperate I suppose I could stick a pair of stocking on my upper limbs.
We can go the pashmina route – that’s Ok till you are sitting a table having your meal trying to keep the fringes out of your cheese souffle or lamb jus, whilst on the dance floor it transforms seamlessly into a weapon of mass destruction capable of leaving scars worthy of a medieval torture chamber on any one unfortunate enough to come within 2 feet of you.
So a plea to anyone with influence out there – just try to get teh designers to put a bit of something up there – there’s a whole market of women who love clothes with a limited choice at the moment. Surely it’s not too much to ask for a bit of choice – otherwise there could be a lot of us this spring looking like cushion covers and singing Doh a Deer…in my case very badly…