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Image / Fashion

Wait, what? Are weird arm warmers still a thing in 2018?


by Niamh ODonoghue
01st Jul 2018
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The beauty of working online for the majority of my week is that I have ample time to discover the quirks and follies of online shopping. This week on my scrolling journey, I came across something that I suspected was a novelty or joke. It turns out though, that fashionable arm warmers (how did we get here again?) are an actual thing.

Last year, during the AW17 catwalk shows, Raf Simmons, Calvin Klein, Tome and Alexander Wang attempted to make arms the centre of attention with knitted and textured arm warmers. Though reluctant to like them at first, I couldn’t help but be persuaded by these fluffy black arm warmers as seen at Tome, below. Worn over long, satin pink gloves, they seem a little more nonchalant and a bit more practical (though I can’t see anyone actually wearing these through the streets of Dublin, in fairness). Calvin Klein’s removable sleeves – colourfully knitted arm warmers that can be worn over tailored jackets and slim jumpers also – surprisingly, tickled my fancy.

Tome AW17 catwalk show

Tome AW17 catwalk show

Calvin Klien AW17 catwalk show

Calvin Klien AW17 catwalk show

This year, however, the arm warmer has been given a stripped-back update and, to my mind, seems more like something you’d find in a joke shop at Halloween, than on the catwalk. The culprit behind this exotic accessory is Spanish brand Uterque (one of the of companies owned by the Inditex group, which also owns Pull and Bear, Zara and Massimo Dutti to name a few).  The brand is known for its clean and sophisticated approach to trend-driven pieces. It always offers something more, and the value is excellent. But these arm warmers have me a bit baffled, to say the least.

Bejewelled arm warmers, €59 at uterque.com

Bejewelled arm warmers, €59 at uterque.com

“Printed arm warmers with rhinestone details and velvet trims” is how the website describes these warmers. The model doesn’t look fully convinced either, does she? A brighter colour combination – or classic monochrome – would work better than this dated blue and brown combination. The velvet trimming isn’t flattering and the rhinestones feel out of place. I appreciate Uterque’s efforts to style these anomalies with a toughened up leather skirt and a simple (Uterque does ‘simple’ dressing so well) white sleeveless top. But it’s really quite simple; commit to the full sleeve or don’t!

This unusual trend is the hybrid cousin to statement, billowing sleeves, which has been dominant on our Instagram feeds for some time now. Let’s hope the billowing sleeves continue to dominate, or we could find ourselves walking around with these nostalgic fake tattoo sleeves… and not just for Halloween either

If you really want to decorate your arm then do it with bright coloured beads, statement jewels and gorgeous colours. Don’t do it with arm warmers.

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