Style and Styling

Style Glossary: E

Earrings, Elbow Sleeve, Embroidery

Happy day, reader dear!

It’s Style Glossary time! If you are new to Closet Play Image, Welcome! Starting in January, I began taking a letter of the alphabet and exploring a few style words starting with the letter of the month. For our fifth installment, I’d like to introduce you to the ever so stylish letter E! (Please pray for me a few years from now when we get to X… I’m going to be in serious trouble!)

Grab yourself a cup of something warming, or cooling if you live near me. (There just isn’t enough ice to stay cool right now…) and read on for some sartorial musings on the letter E.

For your amusement (and possibly edification), I present to you: Earrings, Elbow Sleeves and Embroidery! (I expect you know what most of these are, but I hope to provide a surprise or two along the way.)


This one is easy! And one of my favorite accessories! Especially during the hot summer months when you might prefer not to be wearing necklaces or bracelets. Jewelry worn on the ears is a great way to add sparkle and color near the face. (And who can’t use a little color and sparkle?) There’s an earring for every personality style, from the classic pearl stud to mismatched statement earrings that might appeal to the more dramatic or creative. Yes, statement earrings have been on a run for a few years now. I’m partial to hoops, which don’t catch on my scarves (And work pretty well with a mask, too!). If a subtle dangle is more your speed, enjoy! I am frequently asked about wearing glasses and jewelry; here’s a post that starts to address that.

Elbow Sleeve

This one sounds like what it is. A sleeve that ends at, just below, or just above the elbow. What you might not know is that an Elbow Sleeve is perfect if you want to draw attention to your waist. Proportionally, on most of us, the elbow is just about at waist level. Now, if you have an undefined waist, and don’t want to draw attention there, you might prefer a short sleeve or 3/4 length sleeve. These create a horizontal higher and lower than the waist. Elbow Sleeves create waist flattery for the waisted figure. Don’t know if your figure is waisted? Read here.


Embroidery is ornamental needlework, either done by hand or by machine. Embroidery is a most ancient form of decorating clothing. Archaeologists have found examples of embroidery and beadwork from 30,000 BC on a hunter’s clothes, boots, and hat. Lest you think all embroidery looks the same, there are more than five pages of distinct types of embroidery listed in A Dictionary of Costume and Fashion, taking us from Anglo-Saxon to woolwork. (Which I grew up calling crewel.) Sorry, there are no Z embroidery entries!

Some of the most amazing embroidery I have ever seen is the tapestries in the Vatican Museum of Art. They are gorgeously mind-boggling, and the care and feeding of these works of art is equally mind-boggling. (Tapestries are both woven and embroidered.)

I don’t normally go in for embroidery, but I couldn’t resist it on this blouse…

I’ve had this embroidered blouse for a few years now, and it’s still a winner!

How About You?

Do you wear earrings? Like elbow sleeves? Are you partial to embroidery? All these things say something about YOUR style that is different from anyone else’s! Did any of what you read today surprise you? What E fashion or style words might you have chosen? Do you have any F words you’d like me to explore for next month? (No, I’m not talking about that F-word.) Do tell! There’s plenty of room in the comments, and I do so love to hear from you…

Stylishly yours,


  • Lydia

    Love earrings! I can’t wear the statement ones as much as I did since I have a toddler who likes to grab.
    For F, how about fabric or fiber?? I always check labels but I don’t really know what I’m looking for.

    • Liz K

      Great F idea, Lydia! Thank you! I totally get the earrings thing… My boys were like that for quite some time. That and sunglasses. Our oldest grabbed by RayBans and they were done for. It was cheapies for me after that. I finally bought another pair of Bans when he was learning to drive!

  • Lise

    So interesting that my preferred earrings in your image are the Dramatics, Creatives, Rebellious & Classics. All my style descriptors! Never thought too much about jewellery matching personality but it does.

    • Liz K

      Hi, Lise! Great to hear from you! I would say that often jewelry is even more of a personality match than clothing! When we buy clothes, sometimes you have to settle on something not really “you” because there’s a wardrobe gap that needs to be filled. Jewelry doesn’t fill that same need, so we can wait for what really speaks to us!


    Liz, Earrings are so great in the hot eather here in Arizona. orn ith bangles in the summer can be so special. My F- ord that I believe is so important is Fit. I struggle ith this myself. I like things bigger. I hate clothing that I feel binds!

    • Liz K

      Fit is definitely going into the F’s! And tricky! Too large just adds visual bulk, but you want enough ease to sit and move comfortably.

  • jodie filogomo

    I’m all about fun earrings especially in the hundred degree heat here in Arizona Liz!!
    And while I used to be much more conservative in my style, I go gaga over embroidery now for some reason. I call it the magpie in me, LOL!!

    How about fringe for the F???

    • Liz K

      Fabulous, Fringe! Thank you for the idea, Jodie! Are you in the hundreds yet? We had some close days last week, but have cooled off again (For the moment!). Statement earrings are a lifesaver in the heat!

  • Gail McKelvey

    How about furs????? I know they are not so popular now and it is summer, but…I have a pho fur short coat that I would love to see some style suggestions for. Even though I am in TX and wear it for our one day of winter (more or less). A fun note…when my girls were in grade school they had coats they called “smink,” which was for synthetic mink!

    Love the embrodery shirt! I also have one, and that is it, but I do wear it and get compliments all the time on it! And I too am a hoop girl for earrings. For the exact reason that necklaces make me hot so I go bold with the earrings!

    Thanks much for your posts!

    Gail McKelvey

    • Liz K

      Great suggestion, and Smink makes me laugh! I’ve never heard that one… I call mine my “dead thing.” I bought a vintage jacket at an estate sale back in the early 1980’s… I don’t feel right wearing it, and it’s just too darned hot here, too!

  • Andrea Andresen

    Love these articles, always some interesting thought- for me a reminder as to why I’m not fussed on elbow length sleeves- I’m basically an H.
    If all else fails it could be X factor to the rescue for X- every outfit needs it and every style has it. (It’s also part of my style recipe)

  • Kathleen McDermott

    E – Empire Waist. I had a navy blue empire waist velveteen dress with white color in junior high. Oh how I loved it. At 67 I still remember vividly. Love the look of an empire waist.

    F – Fit! Without it, you have nothing (as Clinton Kelly would say). Nothing ages a woman more than ill-fitting clothes, particularly pants. A saggy, baggy rear end is the kiss of death. I see far too many standing in lines at stores.

    • Liz K

      Fabulous, Kathleen! And thank you! Yes, Fit is definitely on my list for F. Love an empire waist on the right shape! It’s funny how those childhood dressing memories can have such a strong hold on us all these years later! And yes, those saggy baggy trouser rears… 😉

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