Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Reply To: Sleeves


I don’t know specifically about Scottish women’s dress at this period but generally detachable sleeves were about both fashion and practicality. It meant that sleeves could be washed as they became grubby or replaced as they became worn/out of style, without the time and expense of laundering/making an entire dress. It also meant the dress or bodice could be adapted to suit the weather or the occasion. For example, removing the outer sleeve and rolling up your shift sleeve if you were making dough.