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Turn a simple garment into a stand-out style with eye catching, unexpected sleeves.

Follow the lead of these famous fashionistas and show off sun-kissed arms this summer with a few simple modifications to a classic sleeve pattern.

Crystal Renn (also pictured above) looks gorgeous in this feminine Chanel cap-sleeve top. The gathers add shape and volume to the sleeve, while black tulle peeks out at the hem for added allure. Get this look by slashing and spreading a basic cap sleeve pattern. For step-by-step instructions on how to add gathers and fullness to your patterns, you can check out this video tutorial.

Add a subtle tulle or lace underlay to your sleeve by attaching a gathered strip to your turned under seam allowance. Finish the sleeve hem as instructed, then position the tulle from the inside of your sleeve so that approximately 1/2" extends past the edge of your hem. Hand tack the tulle to the hem allowance or simply pin it in place and topstitch from the right side of the sleeve.

The ever stylish Kate Middleton looks equally stunning in this Lela Rose dress with circle-lace sleeves and matching peplum. The unique macramé lace takes a different approach to standard sheer sleeves. To get her look, try this raglan sleeve dress. Find an intricate lace or embroidered fabric for the sleeves. It can be tricky to sew this type of fabric with large gaps in it’s design, so make sure the sleeve is properly attached to the dress. Finish with a neckline binding.

Love the added peplum? Add a waist seam to your dress, and attach a peplum skirt piece to the dress in matching lace.

The sparking sleeves on this Bagdley Mischka dress aren’t really sleeves at all! Add a shimmering beaded or sequined band along the shoulder of any sleeveless dress for added glamour.

You can bring out the best in a dress you already own with a dazzling short-sleeved bolero on top. Coco Rocha wore this enchanting Christian Siriano gold design as she accepted the Style Icon hour at this week’s Vienna Awards. A bolero in a luxe, sparking sheer fabric will add a captivating touch to a simple dress for a night out.

How would you enhance a simple sleeve? Tell us!

Photos: Getty Images


  • Missing

    Apr 29, 2014, 10.57 PMby ShalomAngel

    I couldn’t wear any of these, but they are beautiful styles. They are inspiring & make me think of different ways to use these ideas. Thank you for the ideas!

  • Ghetto_girl_goes_to_colo__large

    Apr 26, 2014, 09.50 PMby turtlegirl00

    love all of these!!

  • D7eae96cceb64cb79af8eedd0e373175f33cb968_large

    Apr 26, 2014, 07.58 PMby freaky-philomeen

    sorry, none of these I would ever want to wear.

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    Apr 26, 2014, 07.36 PMby IDia

    Elegant Classy style will always be an inspiration for me! LOVE this kind of posts!

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