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Proper dress shirt sleeve length

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quick question re proper dress shirt sleeve length: in the past I've mostly bought 35" sleeves on my dress shirts, but I was getting fitted for a suit at Brooks Brothers last week and the sales person has me questioning if that is right, as he measured me and was sure I was a 35.5" or 36".

Is there a set guideline for where the sleeve supposed to hit on the wrist/hand? The 36" that I bought feels a little long (obviously, since it's in comparison to the ones I have). When unbottoned, the cuff hits about an inch above the thumb/finger V. When buttoned, there is a bit of extra slack in the sleeves that I'm not used to. Is that how it's actually supposed to look?

I've always been under the impression that you want the sleeve to hit just past the palm, but that could be b/c I mostly have OTR dress shirts w/ cuffs that are too large and don't keep the cuff from falling over my hand...

Thanks in advance for the help! thumbs-up.gif
post #2 of 35
Thread Starter 
Also, I realize that the shirt will shrink some in the wash, so the current fit may change slightly, but I need to get another shirt, and want to buy it before the sale ends today (as well as figure out if I should exchange my current shirt).
post #3 of 35

The simple rule is comfort. When wearing 35", with the sleeve buttoned, are you able to raise your hand to shoulder level and then over your head without causing uncomfort at your wrist?

If yes, then you are fine with 35", if no, try the same with 36"

 

The simple reason for the "sleeve should end at x point" is for the comfort factor I mentioned. Now, one may say, I do not exercise or pitch baseballs with my dress shirt on, hence I do not care about these weird movements. 

 

In that case, ignore the advise. Go for what you like and have been comfortable with. If that would have been hanging an inch above your wrist, it was cause for concern, not otherwise.

post #4 of 35
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response. That makes sense to me, and I understand that there is no hard/fast rule for sleeve lengths. I was just thrown off when the sales guy was so adamant about me needing a 36.
post #5 of 35
An inch above the thumb/finger V is right. Of course the cuff should also fit close enough around your wrist to prevent it from sliding too far over your hand. A bit of extra length in the sleeve like that is good since it allows you to bend your arm without pulling the cuff too far up your forearm. 100% cotton will shrink 2% or so. This is about 1/2" in the sleeve, so if you think the 35.5 is perfect off the peg you may really want the 36.
post #6 of 35
This thread got me thinking about my sleeves...

I usually go for a 16/35, but that ends up with the sleeves ending about 3 inches above the thumb/finger v as opposed to the 1 that Seph recommends (I used a ruler to measure). I took a quick look at the WAYWRN thread and there is no question that most people wear sleeves longer than I do.

I had some 36/37 sleeve lengths before, but I didn't like how far they stuck out and how they would get in the way when washing my hands. Using the ruler, 1 inch seems exceptionally long, even by WAYWRN standards. But of course, now I'm second guessing myself?!?
post #7 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arirang View Post

This thread got me thinking about my sleeves...
I usually go for a 16/35, but that ends up with the sleeves ending about 3 inches above the thumb/finger v as opposed to the 1 that Seph recommends (I used a ruler to measure). I took a quick look at the WAYWRN thread and there is no question that most people wear sleeves longer than I do.
I had some 36/37 sleeve lengths before, but I didn't like how far they stuck out and how they would get in the way when washing my hands. Using the ruler, 1 inch seems exceptionally long, even by WAYWRN standards. But of course, now I'm second guessing myself?!?

Haha, welcome to my world! I do think that the key is to have the sleeve length a little longer, but have a proper fitting cuff to keep it above the hand.
post #8 of 35
My shirt sleeves stay just at the bend where the palm begins. My suit sleeves end at the wrist bone. I show about .5" sleeve cuff
post #9 of 35

I size my shirt sleeves according to how they fit with a sportcoat/jacket on so that they allow about .5"of cuff to show (I also try to account for shrinkage during the fitting).  I have found that the jacket armholes and sleeves tend to pull the shirt sleeve up an inch or so therefore a sans jacket arms-by-your-sides method frequently does not work.  My method is similar to the descriptions above of the necessity of being able to raise your arms and not show a lot of wrist but has the added benefit of all your shirts fitting your jackets (assuming that one has proper jacket sleeve length).  Also I rarely do not wear a "dress" shirt without a jacket and if I do it is in a casual setting where a little extra length is no big deal.   

post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seph View Post

An inch above the thumb/finger V is right. Of course the cuff should also fit close enough around your wrist to prevent it from sliding too far over your hand. A bit of extra length in the sleeve like that is good since it allows you to bend your arm without pulling the cuff too far up your forearm. 100% cotton will shrink 2% or so. This is about 1/2" in the sleeve, so if you think the 35.5 is perfect off the peg you may really want the 36.

^ this is the right answer. When you bend your arm the sleeve should not rise up past your wrist. There should be a little material in there to play with.
post #11 of 35
Thread Starter 
Brooks Brothers shirts can be returned after multiple washes, correct? I may just wash it a few times and see how it fits.
post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by acarlton View Post

Brooks Brothers shirts can be returned after multiple washes, correct? I may just wash it a few times and see how it fits.

I was told this rule is no longer applicable because so many people abuse their return policy
post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by CYstyle View Post

My shirt sleeves stay just at the bend where the palm begins. My suit sleeves end at the wrist bone. I show about .5" sleeve cuff

This is how I like them, too. One inch from the thumb/finger V seems too long to me. When you button it, doesn't it bunch up? That drives me nuts. To me, material bunched up at the end of your shirt sleeves looks just as sloppy as excess length on pants bunched up at your feet.
post #14 of 35

^^ This.

post #15 of 35

you should be able to wear them comfortab;y just past your thumb, in excess of that would just look silly in my opinion.

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