Here is a taste of the annoyingness:
There are three things a woman really needs at 38: a husband, at least one child, and a dress with long sleeves, which, I have discovered over the years,may be harder to come by than the husband. I found two potential husbands in the space of four years—and married one of them. But in all that time, I found only one really good dress with long sleeves, despite looking for such a frock just as diligently as I looked for the husband.Ah yes, the eternal quest to acquire husbands, children, and long-sleeved dresses. WTF, Plum Sykes? I think, as sublimely irritating as her first statement is, Sykes has an eye for a good silhouette with long sleeves: high, tight armholes and a sleeve that extends past the wrist.
Now this year's October issue loudly states on its cover: "WHY YOUR DRESS NEEDS LONG SLEEVES." Uh, okay. The evidence for this bold statement is a spread of loudly printed, long-sleeve dresses.
I think I've come to a conclusion on this frenzy: well-tailored, long-sleeved dresses are expensive. (Setting a sleeve in perfectly, as we sewists all know, can be a challenge.) Sure, you can get a long-sleeved poly/spandex jersey dress at any Macy's, but what about one in a lovely wool or crepe? Try a Roland Mouret:
These will only set you back a couple grand.
I confess that, with the weather turning a bit chilly, I've been feeling the pull toward long-sleeved dresses myself. Thank god I can make my own. Here are some of my pattern picks:
Vintage McCall's 6523. I adore the bell skirt here. It has a tulle petticoat to keep its structure!
McCall's 5927, with its high neck and slouchy sleeves:
This fab number from the August 2009 issue of Burda World of Fashion:
And lastly, Vogue 8615.
I think the key to these dresses is making sure you have the right bodice fit, as well as fabric choice. To get a slimming silhouette, one might need to raise the armhole a bit. And, of course, in order to maintain mobility, you'll want a fabric with a hint of stretch in it. It does help, in life, to be able to move one's arms.
So, what do you think? Are you feeling the long-sleeved dress this season?