Into It: Drop Sleeves

Drop sleeves and Ladas: two under-rated relics of the eighties
Drop sleeves and Ladas: two underrated relics of the eighties

Good old drop sleeves. Since their glory days in the massive-shouldered 80’s, drop sleeves have been a bit neglected by designers, perhaps for good reason. Arguably, no other sweater shape is more associated with the cliché “unflattering hand-knit sweater” than drop sleeves.

Basically, drop sleeves reduce a sweater to its most elemental: a big tube, with two little tubes attached to it at a ninety-degree angle. They can be fun, and easy to make, and they lend themselves well to elaborate color and cable patterns. But, flattering to the human form? Not so much.

His and hers drop sleeves: for the couple that's shaped like Spongebob Squarepants under their clothes
His and hers drop sleeves: for the couple that’s shaped like Spongebob Squarepants under their clothes

Until recently. I’ve been on the look-out for cute drop-sleeve sweaters ever since I finished my Davis this summer. With short-row shaping, a cropped length, and very slim little sleeves, this sweater manages to avoid all the pitfalls of the drop-sleeve sweaters of yore, looking polished and modern while still slouchy and casual. Browsing through Ravelry’s “Hot Right Now,” I noticed the list was littered with drop sleeves. They are back in a big way, as are boxy, 80’s shapes in general, and lots of designers are doing beautiful things with them.

Top Left: My pal GreenOlivine in her beautiful Toujours, designed by Joji Locatelli

Top Right: Salted by Alicia Plummer, proof that drop sleeves don’t have to be boxy

Bottom Left: Natsumi from Brooklyn Tweed, a sexy update on the drop-sleeve cabled sweater

Bottom Right: Outlined by Suvi Simola, so seamless and elegant!

Also, this sweater:

I love you, little pocketed sweater
I love you, little pocketed sweater

PS If anyone reads Finnish and/or can find this pattern for me, I’d be eternally grateful.

4 thoughts on “Into It: Drop Sleeves

  1. Lauren C October 30, 2014 / 9:45 pm

    Love the title of this post, you should do a whole series of “Into It” posts. I too love drop sleeves. I have a few drop sleeve tees and they are my FAVORITE. I’ve had a drop sleeve hand knit of my list for a while. Really love that Natsumi, I just can’t get enough cables in my life.

    • Huelo October 31, 2014 / 7:07 am

      Thank you, Lauren, and thanks for reading! I’m sold on drop sleeves since I knit my first one this summer. Now I just need one in wool that I can wear all winter.
      Re: Into It: I’m glad you like them! A big reason I started blogging is to organize my thoughts, and figure out if there are themes in the looks that appeal to me so I’m actually creating a style instead of just knitting stuff will-nilly (not that there’s anything wrong with that :)). So, these posts are the result of that effort. Definitely expect more of them!

  2. greenolivine November 2, 2014 / 7:32 pm

    Awesome! I am literally wearing my Toujours right now! The drop shoulder sweater with a loose fit is the ultimate “house sweater”- comfy and easy to wear, but looks like I haven’t given up personal hygiene. I am almost finished with a Boxy and can’t wait to share the pictures.

    • Huelo November 3, 2014 / 9:52 pm

      I can’t wait either!! I hope you don’t mind me using your photo and giving you a shout-out. 🙂

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