Fashion / Fashion Feature

Are arm warmers the chaotic accessory to embrace as we enter goblin-girl autumn?

arm warmers

There's this thing that keeps happening which has me convinced that clothing, not scent, has a stronger pull on nostalgia. Ever since the Y2K revival sauntered its way into our wardrobes around two years ago, I've had childhood memories dumped on me like cold water each time an old trend is declared to have made a comeback — tooth gems, skinny eyebrows and mini skirts, I'm looking at you. More recently this phenomenon took place upon landing on Bella Hadid's wholesome self-care routine as she pulled on a long forgotten pair of arm warmers. Sure, nostalgia is the point of a revival, but I've never experienced it as viscerally as I did here. All of a sudden it's 2002, Avril Lavigne is blaring from my sisters bedroom and there's a post of her tacked to the wall. What is she wearing? Striped arm warmers of course.

 

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Not to be confused with the evening glove (although they're having a moment too), the arm warmer has wriggled its way back into the zeitgeist. Aesthetically, it owes a lot to the dinner glove except it's been modified with the fingers sliced off — a detail that is perfectly suited to our incessant phone swiping. Truly, arm warmers are quite functional even if first glance wishes to render them as purely decorative. It means that as winter sweeps towards us, we don't have to forgo our skimpy, strappy tops and baby tees in the name of practicality, or be burdened by heavy outerwear, because, whaddaya know, we have a set of detachable sleeves. A blessing for club kids.

 

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The other thing is, arm warmers somehow manage to blend the grungy, ragged sensibilities of indie sleaze with the impractical and ditzy traits of Y2K, while feeling adjacent to balletcore and skater street style simultaneously. Depending on what season you're in, they can be woolly and warming (as the name suggests) or laced with cutouts and criss-cross patterns. There's surprisingly a lot of options for a piece of clothing that feels so niche. We've seen fluffy iterations of the sleeve in Marc Jacobs' Heaven line and a dance perspective from Australian label Maroske Peech — both of which sold out immediately upon release. And as mentioned, Bella Hadid is a fan, as is Olivia Rodrigo, Amandla Stenberg, Hunter Schafer and a whole lineup of Gen Z style icons. Could this be the accessory we take with us as we reach peak feral and embrace goblin-girl Autumn? My heart says yes.

 

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Below, we're bringing you our top picks if you're warming up to the arm warmer.

Chet Lo Spiky Armguards

 

Rick Owens New Wool Arm Warmers

 

Dion Lee Black Garter Arm Warmers

Maroske Peech Brown Gathered Arm Warmers

Heaven by Marc Jacobs Pointelle Lace Dress and Matching Arm Warmers

 

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