Mauvelli | Fashion Words: Cap Sleeves, Batwing Sleeves, Ruffles

Batwing Sleeves Are Generally Exaggerated And Dramatic Puffed Sleeves. Here's What They Are Best Designed For

September 21, 2020 | by bolu | 0 Comments

As fashion entrepreneurs, being familiar with certain terminologies and processes used in the fashion industry can be very beneficial. 

This column, Commonly Misused Fashion Words, is designed to correct the wrong notion fashion entrepreneurs, including designers, creative directors and many more, have of certain terminologies. Previously, we taken an in-depth look on how sweetheart necklines are classy and are mostly used for bridal dresses, and how V-necklines are mostly used for evening dresses. You can read all about it here.

So, how are cap sleeves, batwing sleeves and ruffles best used in fashion designing? We spoke to the creative director of Styled By Kenke, an Afrocentric fashion brand that creates stylish outfits for women, and she had a number of things to share.

Cap Sleeves

In fashion designing, cap sleeves are just small sleeves that extend a little bit past the shoulder. According to Adun Obadofin, the creative director of Styled By Kenke, cap sleeves are the bridge or borderline between sleeveless and short-sleeved outfits.

They are specifically cut and seamed to fit on the shoulder and taper to nothing underneath the arm. One thing to note, however, is that they may not be suitable for people who do not feel comfortable exposing their underarms.

Batwing Sleeves

Batwing sleeves, in fashion designing, are a form of a long sleeve which are usually cut wide at the shoulder with deep armholes that leads to thin wrists, hence giving a wing-like appearance. 

"It is basically an exaggerated and more dramatic expression of puffed sleeves." - Adun Obadofin, creative director of Styled By Kenke

Batwing sleeves give off an interesting and breezy look, and they are quite comfortable to wear. They can also be worn by all body types.


A ruffle basically means any gathered or curled strip of fabric which is added to an outfit as trim or decoration. Ruffles can be utilised as a form of sleeves as well. 

"I'm definitely partial to ruffled sleeves because they give the covering of the typical sleeve without physical contact." - Adun Obadofin

Ruffles sleeves are best made with a thin lightweight fabric that has good drape. 

How They Are Used

Like the creative director of Styled By Kenke shared as well, cap sleeves are very classy, chic and can be used to design corporate or casual dresses and tops. Many ready-to-wear and bespoke fashion designers utilise cap sleeves for their collections and outfits for customers.

For simple or plain dresses that probably look a bit drab, infusing batwing sleeves from the design stage would definitely add a pop of style and drama. Batwing sleeves can be used for short dresses, chiffon tops, organza tops and all other forms of outfits that can be worn to various parties.

Due to the sway that the ruffled sleeves give, they can be used for short dinner dresses, tops, casual dresses and many more. They are very versatile, comfortable and chic as well.

So, considering the following designs and processes, were any of your wrong notions corrected? Well, be sure to let us know in the comment section below!


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