Hijabi Girl Problems: Three Quarter Sleeves

*A hijabi is a girl who wears hijab.

For the majority of people reading this blog, or even for the majority of people in general, three quarter sleeves are not a cause of distress. They are not a source of daily torture, of fashion suicide. They’re just an option.

But for hijabis, three quarter sleeves are THE worst.

She doesn’t seem too happy with them either…

When I was young(er) and before I became a hijabi (8 years now!), three quarter sleeves were just another sleeve option that I could go for. Short sleeves, three quarters and then the dreaded full sleeves.

Obviously after choosing to wear the hijab, I ditched all the short and half sleeves. That part was easy. But three quarters? It was difficult to traverse the murky waters of three quarters fabric and one quarter bare arm.

For the longest time, I pretended that those edges reached my wrist, like they were supposed to do. I squinted my eyes when looking down at my bare wrist and the two inches of skin that caught my eye when typing madly or gesticulating even more wildly. Oh, is that bare skin? Whoops, guess my sleeves shrunk in the wash!

Suffice it to say, I recently decided to ditch the three quarter sleeves as forms of covering my arms. It’s full sleeves or nothing, baby!

But dresses are tough. According to my research, they’re very rarely made with full sleeves. This doesn’t bug me though, because the less fabric bunching up my arms under my cardigan or over my long-sleeved t-shirt, the better! At least the extra fabric won’t cause my arms to look like elephant trunks.

This is why I have noΒ problem whatsoever with sleeveless, spaghetti straps and short sleeves. I’m just going to cover them up anyway!

But three quarters? They’re just pure evil.

For one thing, if you try to wear a cardigan over them, the fabric bunches all up, creating some sort of traffic jam of oranges inside your sweater sleeve. Forget the camera adding ten pounds, those bunched up sleeves are capable of doing that. Last time I checked, no one likes to walk around with oranges stuffed up their sweater sleeves, which is exactly what this look gives you.

And then there’s the other option, wearing a long-sleeve t-shirt under. Works well with sleeveless and spaghetti straps; should work well with three quarters, right? WRONG.

Unlike with sleeveless or spaghetti straps, you don’t have a uniform arm. You’ve got three quarters of lovely fabric and then a quarter of gross cotton t-shirt, which ruins the whole look of the dress. So instead of the dress looking pretty and fun, like it’s supposed to, you look like you’re going to the circus with all the different fabrics.

Can you imagine ruining this with hideous cotton t-shirt sleeves?!

Thus, it is with a heavy heart (not), that I’ve decided completely against them. I can’t think of any plausible solution to this highly distressing conundrum, short of chopping the sleeves off and pretending that messy, jagged look is exactlyΒ the look I was going for in sleeves.

I had already banished them from my closet once in the way of sweaters and shirts, but they’ve been trying to gain entry in the form of dresses. Sneaky things.

If any of you have some sort of solution to this irritating problem, feel free to comment below and let me know! Because I really want this dress.

Thanks for reading,


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  1. Chelsey says:

    What about it you had them turned into sleeveless dresses?! Then a cardigan over top would be no problemo =). Alterations would cost a bit, but just pretend the dress was $20 more and voila =). Would that work!?

    • Ikhlas says:

      That’s a good idea, Chelse! I’ve never really thought about alterations…definitely something to look into, instead of letting all those pretty dresses in my closet go to waste!

  2. Yousra says:

    LOL I love how you ended this post, hahahaha. GURL I FEEL YO’ PAIN! Three quarter sleeves are so eeeeevil, like why??? πŸ™ With “western” clothes, it’s so hard! With shalwar kameez it’s so much easier because my mom would take fabric from the dupatta and stick it onto the arms, but where can one obtain this magical fabric from a dress at H&M? -_- Hijabi girl problems!!!

    • Ikhlas says:

      hahahaha, I know right?! And yes, all these fabulous dresses are from H&M, where the dresses are already rather short. Sad, I know πŸ™

      Thanks for reading and commenting! πŸ™‚

  3. Yousra says:

    OH maybe you can make the dress a bit shorter from the bottom and take that fabric and stick it onto the sleeves? It might look weird but I don’t know. :/

  4. Cristina says:

    Ahh that’s the worst! Hmmm, long-sleeved dresses are so pretty. Don’t chop off the sleeves! I agree with Yousra’s comment – make it shorter and sew the extra fabric into the sleeve, if it’s possible. You’ll wear it with a bottom anyway, so a bit less length won’t matter in the end πŸ™‚ Pay more money, but IT’S WORTH IT.

  5. Sanaa says:

    So I know you mentioned the whole long sleeve T shirt thing is unflattering, but what I’ve recently started to do is buy opaque tights/leggings, and use them as sleeves, and they pretty much cover your entire arm. You can buy them in different colours and they tend to not look too bad because they’re so tight (another hijabi problem..but nvm that for three quarter sleeves).

    • halima says:

      I just recently started wearing a hijab nd now I’m having trouble wearing my shalwar kameeza b/c there all half sleeve… I Want to wear them b/c there all from my wedding… But how can I?????

  6. Zainab says:

    Stop wearing dresses! For day-to-day wear at the very least. Blouses are the best way to go and are coming in longer lengths- and they’re either no sleeves or full sleeves (so win-win! because a blouse with a cardi is positively adorable).

    And for dresses- consider going strapless- it tends to flatter more when you put a cardigan/blazer ontop. It does involve some tricky manoeuvring with hijab placement though!!

    Also I think a plain shirt + cardi + skinnes/skirt and a rocking big hijab would look amazing on you!! πŸ˜€

    A repeat-bare-wrist-offender

  7. LeananSinog says:

    Why don’t you try “sleeves” instead? I found them to be really helpful for covering up when I want to wear shirts with rolled up sleeves!

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