The cap sleeve is one of the more recent reinventions in the fashion industry. More like an element of styling rendered to the garment rather than a functional addition, the cap sleeve pattern is so named because it is a sleeve that stretches out over only a short distance on the arms and peters out into nothing on the underside. The beauty of the sleeve type is that is looks brilliant on women with slender arms as well as those with heavy arms. This is one of the primary reasons why this sleeve type is preferred universally and specially by younger women. Another advantage of cap sleeves that gives women an option of choosing from a wide range of garments and not a single type is that they can be crafted from practically any fabric. However, cap sleeve patterns in light fabrics like chiffon and georgette and synthetic fabrics and silk, are more common. Cotton cap sleeve dresses are generally avoided as maintaining the silhouette of the sleeve in a fabric, which is vulnerable to crumpling, is less appealing. Although the major appeal of cap sleeve garments lies in the silhouette, embroidered sleeves look even better and are quite popular in India.
Although the use of cap sleeves began in Western fashion, Indian designers have adapted it beautifully to the upper garments of ethnic Indian wear. For instance, cap sleeve tops in the form of cholis and saree blouses are widely popular in India. Sported first by Bollywood celebrities, the popularity of the sleeve style has scaled new heights. Now, women from all over the country have shown a preference for it.
Since the significant detail in such tops is their silhouettes, women take special care to ensure that the beauty of the cut-out is not lost in the overall ensemble. Intricately embellished cap sleeve tops are among the more popular variety as the blouse tends to stand out a lot more in the overall look, as opposed to just being a part of the ensemble. Metallic hued cap sleeve blouses and cholis are also vastly popular among young, working women. Another type of popular cap sleeve top, features sleeves embellished with statement embroidery i.e. statement jeweled pieces stitched onto that part or other forms of decoration that draws attention to the blouse.
Wedding dresses with cap sleeves have also come to be one of the most sought after bridal dress styles in the recent times. The appeal of the bridal gown, as Indian women prefer it, needs to be a harmonious balance between modesty and sensuality. For this purpose, a cap sleeve wedding dress is the preferred choice as women can complement the style with a sweetheart neckline, thus enhancing the look of the bridal saree or lehenga. The cap sleeve wedding gown is a popular Western bridal garment. The Indian rendition of the same is a much loved bridal dress option. Many women prefer taking the saree gown and embellishing it with cap sleeves, thus embodying a stylish and ethereal look.
The cap sleeve dress is also another type of attire that is very appealing, especially to younger women with a penchant for sophistication and understated elegance. Although, these dresses can be of any length the popular cap sleeve dress pattern is to have a fitted top half while the rest of the dress can be free flowing, and not necessarily snug, from the waist down. Empire waist cap sleeve formal dresses are among the more sought after attires in this category.
Accessorizing and Styling
Styling cap sleeves is not the easiest task. However, if one has access to the right kind of jewelry and accessories, the result can be beautiful.
A slightly unconventional but easy way to style a cap sleeve saree blouse is to accessorize it with a Kundan brooch right at the part where the sleeve gives way to the neckline. One doesn’t require a pair of brooches to do this, although that is preferable. The brooch can be pinned on the side opposite the pallu.
A zari embroidered bridal lehenga with cap sleeves can be teamed with Polki jewelry, as it is the most elaborate style of jewelry in the Indian repertoire. An ornate and traditionally designed Polki necklace can be the ideal accessory to the cap sleeve style as it draws the eyes upwards and highlights the unique pattern. This sleeve style can be further accentuated with a gold arm bracelets or baajubandhs. The more intricately they are patterned, the better they can highlight the sleeve style and cut out.
Since the cap sleeve style is one for casual or formal party wear attire, you can always sport a haath kamal in the color of the top garment, preferably in metallic hues.