I’ve never liked the look of long sleeves, I always roll them up but need to invest in wearing them more. Not sure how to fit them into my style, could use some tips.

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  bittersweet_juniper 1 week, 6 days ago.

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    Hopefully right subreddit.

    So without getting too deep into it, I never wear my sleeves on my tops long except for jackets in the winter. I really don’t enjoy the feeling or look of long sleeves, and even in winter I roll them up to my elbows as soon as I come indoors.

    However, recently I have heard concerning things on why the way people see me, and it has come to my attention that people tend to avoid me based on the fact that I have old, faded and thin self harm scars on my arms. I used to self harm as a kid, over six years ago, so they’re barely visible and I don’t think about them at all ever, but apparently according to trusted contacts people avoid me because of them. This breaks my heart, as I can’t help having made mistakes as a kid.

    So I decided to introduce long sleeves to my wardrobe. I don’t like the look of hoodies or dress shirts with the sleeves down.

    I generally tend to wear statement pieces on top – think loud prints, very oversize t-shirts, strange cuts. Then I usually pair that with distressed jeans, in winter like now I pretty much always also wear my Doc Martens and big socks, knitted scarves and big knitted beanies.

    I just can’t seem to fit long sleeves into my wardrobe in a good way, so if anyone has any advice I’d greatly appreciate it. Thanks.



    I hate most long sleeves, because I don’t like feeling trapped, but shoved up to the elbows is fine. I can’t explain it, but anyway.

    Give people something else to comment on: people who make (rude!) comments like that are probably easily distracted and what’s the easiest kind of distraction? Shiny things. Maybe you could try wearing multiple bangles or bracelets?

    I started wearing these along with a FitBit because I didn’t want to answer questions, “doing the exercise thing, huh? Lots of salads, right?” So far, it’s worked and now people focus on the shiny shiny circles instead of my attempts to walk more.



    First of all, I’m glad you’re doing better now <3

    Second, I wouldn’t change your wardrobe just based on other people’s discomfort. It’s not like it’s a work dress code asking you to cover up tattoos; you’re not flaunting anything inappropriate. It sounds like you’re still fairly young, so I’m guessing you’re still at an age where people tend to judge and sort into in-groups really quickly. People can be cruel, or even just awkward, but that’s their problem, not yours. Your scars are part of your story, and not even the most important part. If they’ll avoid you just based on that alone, I’m sorry, but they’re kind of dicks.

    Rock what you like, and if long sleeves aren’t comfortable to you, you don’t have to wear them. But if you are interested in fading the scars more, try /r/skincareaddiction; they have some great advice on scar care.



    This situation sounds so upsetting and frustrating – I’m sorry you’re going through it. It’s true that people have no right to judge you. At the same time, I totally understand the desire to avoid showing your scars now that people have commented.

    I’m a fellow sleeve-roller, but sometimes I’ll wear a very thin, slim-cut t-shirt or turtleneck with the sleeves down, and use bracelets and my watch to anchor the sleeves. It’s a little bit of an unusual look but it seems to prevent the sleeves from annoying me so much. You could always layer a long-sleeve undershirt under your statement tops, too – I’ve seen some modest fashion bloggers pull off this look in a really cool way.

    Another option: have you considered some sort of tattoo, either temporary or permanent? It’s not for everyone, but I do know people who have successfully hidden various sorts of scar with a design. Of course, that means a more obvious thing that you might have to hide at work, depending on your career.

    Hopefully this is a generational thing. The stigma of mental illness is finally lifting just a little, I guess. In the mean time, hang in there 🙂



    I also have self harm scars that are noticable enough that I have to wear long sleeves 24-7. I don’t know if this will be helpful for you or anyone reading but I wanted to share how I am able to survive long sleeves all the time (it gets pretty boring-so many cute sleeve trends I can’t participate in, but there are worse things I guess). Part of being able to do it for so long is feeling comfortable and liking what you’re wearing.

    * Seconding cardigans. It sounds like you have a slightly edgier style if you’re wearing doc martens. Sometimes I wear a flowy silk tank top (I have a black one and a maroon one with a pattern on it) and I wear a thin black forever21 cardigan (it’s lasted me years because I wash it on cold and air dry it-but cheapo cardigans have zero warmth so they’re good for summer) over it in the summer and a thicker/warmer cardigan in the winter. I pair it with necklaces and black demin.

    * In the summer if you have to go outside and you’ll be around others who will judge you and you don’t want to broil, under armour has long sleeve shirts that are moisture wicking and super light. (I forgot the name but they have tiny holes in them and I got them off Amazon-theyre the best I’ve found so far. It’s like youre wearing nothing). There are some other unbranded ones on Amazon too but I’m not sure if they’re as good. Just make sure it’s moisture wicking.

    * I think you could find some great sweaters that match your aesthetic. Edgier sweaters are a thing (like the brand All Saints, but they’re more expensive and there might be a cheaper alternativr) , and if worse comes to worse you could always get a plain V neck, crew neck, etc and just spice it up with statement necklaces, earrings, etc. Keep in mind that sweaters you buy in fall and winter will be warmer than the ones you buy in spring-spring sweaters are meant to be lighter. It’s good to keep in mind if you want to wear something in the summer.

    * There are long sleeve blouses and dresses (if you ever need one) but they’re harder to find than short sleeve. If you’re looking for either, start online and be willing to buy those things with enough time before any formal events you have. Ive had a few stressful times where the night before an event I realized the dress I just bought didn’t cover my arms enough.

    * If you’re wearing long sleeves on a hot day and you’re worried about being over heated, wear breathable shoes/sandals, breathable pants or shorts, and maybe a hat. Those should balance out the long sleeves.



    Are you sure you want to be around those people? I’m gonna assume that these are people you have to interact with, because choosing to spend time with people who say things like that doesn’t seem fun.

    I think having sleeves that are narrower would help with both the look and feel. Alternatively you could go the opposite route and have much wider bell sleeves that won’t make your arms feel “trapped” but there’s much more fabric, and a chance that the sleeves will still show your scars. Personally, I like the look of a long sleeved top with high waisted shorts or a skirt. You could also try to use a little concealer or something to cover the scars. There’s some heavy duty tattoo concealer that would certainly do the job. There are a lot of products that can lighten the scars too, like vitamin E oil and micro needling.



    I would really consider whether you want people who are that judgmental in your life in the first place.

    But if you really do feel compelled to cover your scars, have you considered tattoos? It’s definitely a drastic option, but your look sounds like it would work well with ink, and they could make your scars less noticeable. I know a lot of people who have tattoos that celebrate personal growth and overcoming obstacles, and they’re all really beautiful.



    I just wanna throw some support your way. I have to wear long sleeves year-round because my self-harm scars are so bad, despite being decades old. I know we all have to find the people and things that make us feel safe and confident, and I hope you find yours. <3



    I saw in one of your other comments that part of your issue with long sleeves is that they usually aren’t long enough. I’m only 5’7″ but I have long limbs – I’m about 76″ wingspan assuming you’re measuring from the tips of the middle fingers, so just a little bit shorter than yours. I like when long sleeves are fitted and I prefer that they reach to about the base of my thumb.

    I’ve had really good luck with the tall section at Old Navy. I bought a few of their [henleys](https://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1009293&pcid=41730&vid=2&pid=286951032) last year and loved them; I bought another one this year but I haven’t worn it yet so I can’t guarantee that it’s the same fit, but it looks to be the same hanging in my closet. I also saw that you said you like to wear looser items of clothing on your top half; maybe you would prefer something like [this](https://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1009293&pcid=41730&vid=2&pid=286747062) or [this](https://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1009293&pcid=41730&vid=2&pid=343183042), where the torso is loose but the sleeve is fitted, so it looks intentional instead of sloppy?





    that being said. I understand. I have scars on my hip/leg that I almost always hide, which means bathing suits are weird for me. In terms of long sleeves, would loose bell style sleeves help the sensory stuff?



    I wear nothing but long sleeves to work. I hide tattoos and feel in proper uniform when in long sleeves. Lots of cardigans and cozy sweaters. I do thin button downs in summer.



    First of all, people should stop being judgy assholes.

    Apart from that, I can totally relate to the sleeve situation, I have mine rolled up to the elbows right now 😀
    I am trying to incorporate more sleeves in my wardrobe too, and I have noticed that I tend to roll up my sleeves less when wearing sweaters. I have no idea why though. So I bought some nice, thick knitted items that work really well, especially in this time of year. Another item I never roll up are (thin) turtleneck shirts, bc they make me feel so skinny and sleek that I don’t want to ruin that vibe.



    I always wear long sleeves for the same reason. I am a knitter and massively into making fingerless gloves/armwarmers, which take care of the wrist stuff in winter. I like a sort of Victorian aesthetic sometimes, so long lace sleeves work well in warmer weather. I also wear a lot of marinière type tops with a drop shoulder and long sleeve, which I feel has a casual yet put together vibe. I’m also a huge fan of scarves, partly because if I’m rolling up my sleeves I can just gently drape some scarf over my scars. It’s amazing how adept you get at this when you’ve been hiding your arms for fifteen years or so!

    I will just say, though — I totally understand why you want to bring more long sleeves into your life! — but please, please do not lose that instinct you seem to have not to hide away. It seems like your scars don’t actually bother you. Mine make me feel like I carry all my trauma around with me every moment of every day, and I hide them for my own benefit. By all means go ahead and cover yours, but don’t let other people’s discomfort create a discomfort in you that doesn’t exist right now. Just a little something to be cautious of.




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