Fashion glossary of sleeves



A sleeve extending only a short distance from the shoulder and tapering to nothing under the arm.


A very full sleeve — usually 3/4-length or longer — that has a banded bottom is called a balloon sleeve.


A full sleeve that is gathered at the shoulder and open at the cuff is called a bell sleeve.

The leg of mutton sleeve :

Also known in French as the gigot sleeve, was initially named due to its unusual shape: formed from a voluminous gathering of fabric at the upper arm that tapers to a tight fit from the elbow to the wrist.

Batwing sleeve

This is a cut in one piece sleeve which narrows to fit towards the wrist.

Bishop sleeve

A basic sleeve style cut with minimal fullness where it is set into the armhole then widens gradually to the wrist where it is gathered into a tightly fitting cuff. Some versions have the fullness at the wrist concentrated in such a way that much of it hangs down under the wrist

Puff sleeve

The sleeves of a women’s garment that are gathered at the shoulders and caught in at the cuff to create an inflated, puffy effect.

Peasant sleeve

This is a  gathered raglan sleeve which is gathered at the neck and hem with drawstring or elastic.


A sleeve that is shaped much like an Asian building called a pagoda. Like a pagoda, the sleeve is narrow at the top where it fits the upper arm closely, then gradually flares out to become wide at the bottom. The shape is similar to a funnel, and so this sleeve style may also be called a funnel sleeve.

Dolman/ Magyar

This is a one-piece sleeve which is an extension of the bodice. There will be no seam between bodice and the sleeve, as it is cut as one. Sometimes a gusset is added to the underarm for ease.


This sleeve is pleated at the shoulder and full to the cuff


This sleeve detail is distinguished by a ruffled effect — either from sewing stiffer fabric into a ruffle or using a sheer, soft fabric that drapes into a fluid ruffle — at the shoulder, which adds both softness and romance.

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