What is a Wedge Sleeve?

Janis Adams

The armhole line of a wedge sleeve is designed in a wedge shape, the reason for its name. The position of the armhole in a pattern is pivotal to the way a garment will fit when it is finished. The armhole of the wedge sleeve is situated on the chest line and not the bust line, as some less fitted sleeves often tend to be.

A raglan sleeve has a seam that moves from the underarm to the neckline.
A raglan sleeve has a seam that moves from the underarm to the neckline.

Types of sleeves vary in a large degree, and are designed with style and functionality in mind. Sleeves have two basic ways they are attached to a garment. The first way is the set-in sleeve where the sleeve is attached on or about the armhole. The second way is raglan sleeve which extends all the way to the neckline. The wedge sleeve is considered a set-in sleeve, which is the most common way a sleeve is attached. The size of the wedge sleeve opening varies greatly from garment to garment.

Sleeves are made in numerous styles and can be fitted or puffed, gathered or tapered, along with a host of other styles. The cut of the sleeve and how it will fit around the arm of the wearer is a main factor in choosing the type of sleeve used in a specific piece of clothing. The other factor is the length of the sleeve. The wedge sleeve is a more fitted sleeve and so is used more often when a more refined look is desired, and the sleeve length can vary from short to long, depending on the garment.

Within the world of fashion, sleeves are often designed to accentuate positive characteristics or minimize perceived flaws of the wearer. While the wedge sleeve is a more fitted design, it is considered a universally employed sleeve for garments for all body types. Its fitted design gives a slimming affect to the shoulder and upper arm of the wearer.

Considering the design of this type of sleeve, it is often used on garments that are more tailored and fitted. A wedge sleeve is often the type of sleeve used for a business suit or a dress shirt worn, it is also used on fitted t-shirts and shirts made from jersey material as well as linen and cotton blends. This type of sleeve is seen in both men's and women's wear.

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