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In writing this article, I am going to have to address the central issue. Which is: why would anyone make a jacket without sleeves? Isn’t that just plain idiotic, like making a teapot without a handle? After all, the fact that sleeveless jackets are in fashion, and in shops, is not in itself proof they are not idiotic. Being in fashion and being idiotic are not mutually exclusive states.
But the sleeveless jacket is not the handleless teapot of the season. It works, both as a functional piece of clothing and as a wardrobe update. First, the functional. It is a scientific fact that it is more important to keep your abdomen warm than it is to keep your arms warm (something to do with how in your abdomen you have internal organs, whereas all you have on your arms are bracelets). Having cleared up once and for all the issue of functionality, we can move on to the really important matter, as in Will It Make You Look Smart And Devastatingly Hip? This depends on wearing it properly. A sleeveless jacket is not a waistcoat. A sleeveless jacket goes on top of everything else, not as an inner layer. This is a crucial distinction; get that wrong, and the odds on the Devastatingly Hip thing are stacked against you. But get it right, and your wardrobe is successfully, functionally updated. OK, so your arms are a bit cold. But as we’ve established, that’s not the point.
It might sound fairly useless, but over the last few years, the sleeveless jacket has become a failsafe addition to any clever fashion insider’s wardrobe. The best ones add an easy smartness to an outfit – see the classic knee-length collared number worn by Beth in the image below.
But, now that the sleeveless jacket has been in circulation for a few seasons, it comes in different guises. See Pam’s wool one, or the bright white version worn with jeans by Maddie.
It can go with anything, too – from Sylviane’s denim dress to Gloria’s sweater and trackpants. The sleeveless jacket: versatile, easy and, above all, useful.