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File:Sleeves of justice.jpg

An outfit with sleeves that aren't attached to a top. Usually they're strapped onto the arm close to the shoulder and allowed to flow freely around the wrist — therefore, they are not gloves, more like arm-warmers taken to the flowy extreme. Sometimes, however, these sleeves are very tight and feels like a detached tight clothing, but the concept is still pretty much the same. Common in Anime.

The appeal of detached sleeves may be related to that of Zettai Ryouiki.

Compare Anti-Gravity Clothing and Opera Gloves.

Examples of Detached Sleeves include:

Anime & Manga

Comic Books

  • X-Men
    • A common feature in Emma Frost's innumerable Stripperiffic outfits, but let's be honest: there isn't a single Stripperiffic trope that hasn't had Emma Frost's incomparably busty shadow cast over it.
    • Ms. Marvel as well.
  • Karolina of Runaways did in the beginning, when her powers were revealed.

Films — Animation

  • Wallace of Wallace and Gromit appears to be wearing a long-sleeved shirt under his vest, but a scene in The Wrong Trousers, in which he is dressed by a series of robotic gizmos, revealed that it's actually a pair of standalone sleeves. This was meant as a gag, but has been repeated in more recent films.
  • Kida's dress at the end of Disney's Atlantis the Lost Empire. However, we never see the armband she wore as a princess under the upper portion of her left sleeve.

Films — Live-Action

  • There was a really crazy example of this in The Fifth Element: Bruce Willis in a tank top and detached sleeves. They appear to be some kind of futuristic bandage.
  • Balthazar sports a pair of detached sweater sleeves worn over a long-sleeved shirt in The Sorcerers Apprentice.
  • There seems to be quite a fashion for these in Old Republic of a Galaxy Far Far Away....
  • Quorra in Tron: Legacy. In fact the only real flesh she shows (besides her face), despite being for some the obligatory fanservice girl.
  • Rocket in Sucker Punch appears to have detached leather sleeves joined to the body of the outfit by thin straps. Goes with the Animesque feel of the movie.
  • In School of Rock, a guitarist in Battle of the Bands takes this to the logical extreme by wearing sleeves and no shirt.

Live-Action TV

  • Faith, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, wears these in her first appearance and a few times afterwards.
  • Real occasionally wears some pretty tight ones on Real Chance of Love
  • Degrassi features this twice during its tenth season. Fiona, rich enough to always be on the absolute cutting edge of fashion, has an outfit with the typical flowing sleeves hanging from her elbows on down. Wesley, a middle class nerdy boy, at one point in time sports double arm casts.
  • Brittany from Glee invokes this look by wearing leg warmers on her arms after she foolishly wears a tank top in the middle of winter ("No one taught me how to read a calendar!").

Music Videos

  • Let's just sum it up as saying the majority of Vocaloids and their derivatives (fanmade ones, UTAUloids, etc.) have these.
  • Worn by Brian Molko of Post-Punk Revival band Placebo in the official video of "Pure Morning."


  • It's all the rage in Basketball these days to wear long arms bands, all the cool folks are wearing em, e.g. Kobe Bryant, Melo, Lebron James. E.g Here.

Tabletop Games

  • Ameiko Kaijitsu is illustrated wearing these in the Jade Regent Pathfinder Adventure Path.


  • Mimi wears detached sleeves in the "Out Tonight" number from Rent. Presumably, this is how she can be a stripper and still hide the fact that she has track marks on her arms.

Video Games

Web Animation

Web Comics

Web Original

Western Animation

Real Life

  • Occasionally used in dance and ballet costumes for freer movement of the shoulders, while still being showy.
  • The sleeves on women's kimono (and other traditional Japanese clothes) are unattached underneath. Men's sleeves are sewn shut. This is, naturally, the ultimate source of this trope's prevalence in Japanese works.
  • Gowns worn by medieval women were often designed with separate sleeves that would be laced to the gown. When you read about a lady giving her knight a sleeve as a token, she simply unlaced a sleeve to do so, instead of taking scissors to her dress.