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Dress shirts: proper sleeve length and cuff size?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Ligament, Sep 25, 2004.

  1. Ligament

    Ligament Active Member

    Messages:
    43
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Hi All,

    This is how I understand a dress shirt should fit. PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong:

    Sleeve Length: Should be able to move arms in ANY direction without sleeves restricting movement and pulling cuff up away from hand.

    Cuff Size: Should fit SNUGLY around wrist. Should be tight enough to keep sleeve at wrist at any extreme of motion.

    I have a new Jantzen shirt with a sleeve lenght that allows me to move anywhere without pulling much on the cuff, however the cuffs themselves are a little too loose.

    Am I wrong in my thinking?

    Thanks.
     
  2. armscye

    armscye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    182
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    There is no single standard for fit, despite what all those "guides to dressing well" would have you believe. Italians typically wear their cuffs snug-- so much so that some put the watch over the cuff. By the same token, there are a lot of very well dressed men whose cuffs are rather loose. I wear a substantial chronograph at least once a week, and it requires a largeish cuff opening.

    You'll get a lot more enjoyment out of dressing once you recognize that no too garments fit precisely alike, and that the rules should really be seen as general statements, not laws of the land.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. BjornH

    BjornH Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    503
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    Sep 18, 2002
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    The cuff's snugness has two purposes and keeping the sleeve in place during movement is the secondary one. The main reason is to keep an sleeve of proper length from riding down hour hand when you hands point downwards. This all works togeather; proper sleevelenght with a typical off-the-rack shirt often results in a disaster with the cuff covering half of your hand. I don't like my cuffs tight - just tight enough to stop the above from happening and I think that Ricky does that well. I just gave him my wrist measurements and it's spot on.

    B
     
  4. Ligament

    Ligament Active Member

    Messages:
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    Jul 26, 2004
    followup question: should the cuffs be stiff as a collar or less so? My Jantzen shirt cuffs are much less stiff than the collar, which results in the cuffs wrinkling and not holding shape with arms down at my hips.

    Thanks.
     
  5. BjornH

    BjornH Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    503
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    Sep 18, 2002
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Since Jantzen fuse their cuffs and collars you could ask Ricky for firmer interlining for the cuffs. My dressy shirts from Jantzen have french cuffs and they seem to make them a bit stiffer that the barrel cuffs. My barrel cuffs do this a bit but I don't mind and in fact I think that stiff and snug barrel cuffs could be uncomfortable.

    B
     
  6. Shirtmaven

    Shirtmaven Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    As a shirtmaker I will add my 2 cents. Unbuttond and fully shrunk shirt should hang slightly above the v of your thumb and index finger. MOst shirt makers allow 1/2"-1" for shirnkage. The cuff is usually 2 3/4"-3" larger then your snug wrist measurement. Most men's wrists measure 7" Buttoned i uusally can slip on finger inside. a small watch does not need any additional allowence. The larger the watch the more room it needs. I have allowed as much as 1" for those huge Rolex diver watches. Do you really want a 3 pound time piece strapped to your wrist? I normaly use a lighter lining in my cuffs then my collars. That is also personal taste. I do not like to fuse cuffs oor collar bands. I find they shrink too much with commercial laundries. Carl www.cego.com
     
  7. AlanC

    AlanC Well-Known Member

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    Heart of America
    I have a very narrow wrist (about 6 1/4"), and big cuffs on RTW are a problem. I'm the guy who uses the second, tighter button on those two button cuffs. Since joining the forums I discovered that I was wearing my sleeves too short and have moved from a 33" to a 34" length. That meant I had cuffs that were hanging down on my hand. When I find my wife in an agreeable mood, I've been having her move my cuff buttons in, which has really made a big improvement on my RTW shirts. It somewhat throws off the line of the gauntlet, but as that's usually hidden by a jacket anyway the trade off is well worth it. I do need to give Jantzen a try, though.
     
  8. Ligament

    Ligament Active Member

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  9. Alias

    Alias Well-Known Member

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    I love snug French cuffs. There's a picture of Cary Grant in Dressing the Man, and he's wearing snug French cuffs that hug his wrists. My wrists are exceedingly thin, and it took several tries to convince Ricky to make my cuffs smaller and smaller until they fit like they do now. I love them. It's impossible to get this size from RTW shirts, and even some MTM shirtmakers don't consider this factor.
     
  10. Leo Jay

    Leo Jay Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    212
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    Sep 28, 2004
    This may sound silly, but... As far as maintaining proper sleeve length is concerned, pay attention to whether you're a person who has a tendency to store his daily stress tension in his shoulders. Â Over the last couple of years, I've become increasily aware that I tend to store my tension in my shoulders, and that can make as much as 3/4" difference in my cuff position. Of course, I'm a traditional uptight native New Yorker -- yoga devotees and otherwise more spiritually balanced or 'chilled out' personalities may not have this issue... Â [​IMG]
     
  11. kidkim2

    kidkim2 Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion, one half hour with Johnny Hartman is worth a battalion of yogis.
     
  12. kidkim2

    kidkim2 Well-Known Member

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    "Yogum"?
     
  13. iroh

    iroh Well-Known Member

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    As a shirtmaker I will add my 2 cents. Unbuttond and fully shrunk shirt should hang slightly above the v of your thumb and index finger. MOst shirt makers allow 1/2"-1" for shirnkage. The cuff is usually 2 3/4"-3" larger then your snug wrist measurement. Most men's wrists measure 7" Buttoned i uusally can slip on finger inside. a small watch does not need any additional allowence. The larger the watch the more room it needs. I have allowed as much as 1" for those huge Rolex diver watches. Do you really want a 3 pound time piece strapped to your wrist? I normaly use a lighter lining in my cuffs then my collars. That is also personal taste. I do not like to fuse cuffs oor collar bands. I find they shrink too much with commercial laundries. Carl www.cego.com
    Do you (or anyone else) have a picture of this? I find it hard to believe, I want to see it in order to believe it. Won't the sleeve be too long once you button up the cuff, the extra sleeve material will pile up the arm right?
     
  14. iroh

    iroh Well-Known Member

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    Do you (or anyone else) have a picture of this? I find it hard to believe, I want to see it in order to believe it. Won't the sleeve be too long once you button up the cuff, the extra sleeve material will pile up the arm right?

    bump, because I have a new shirt and I am wondering if my sleeves are too long.
     
  15. dshin

    dshin Well-Known Member

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    Nov 11, 2007
    Sleeve Length: Should be able to move arms in ANY direction without sleeves restricting movement and pulling cuff up away from hand.

    Isnt this more a function of the height of the arm holes than the actual length of the sleeves?
    With my slim fitting shirts (like Thom Browne), i can move my arms around in all and any direction and the length stays pretty consistent, except in extreme cases like when I hold my arms straight in the air.

    With my less slim fitting shirts with lower (or larger diameter) arm holes, the cuffs sometimes ride up half way up my fore-arms when i hold my arms out straight.
     
  16. gyalos

    gyalos Well-Known Member

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    May 20, 2010
    I think that the softer the cuff, the snugger it needs to be in order not to slip. With a stiff cuff you can go wider.
     
  17. Student

    Student Member

    Messages:
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    Oct 16, 2010
    Do you (or anyone else) have a picture of this? I find it hard to believe, I want to see it in order to believe it. Won't the sleeve be too long once you button up the cuff, the extra sleeve material will pile up the arm right?

    Manton writes in The Suit that a little bunching is considered by some to be aesthetically desirable. (And that if you don't give the sleeves some extra length, it's very difficult to tailor a shirt so perfectly that the sleeves don't ride up.)
     
  18. Doublecuff_fanatic

    Doublecuff_fanatic New Member

    Messages:
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    Jan 5, 2011
    The English convention seems to be to show about half an inch of shirt sleeve below jacket, which I think works well.
    Surely much better for sleeves to be a bit too long rather than too short?
    I always wear double cuff shirts and have the cuffs well-starched and ironed into the folded back position. I think this tends to give a better shape.
     
  19. eynon

    eynon New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    There is no single standard for fit, despite what all those "guides to dressing well" would have you believe. Italians typically wear their cuffs snug-- so much so that some put the watch over the cuff. By the same token, there are a lot of very well dressed men whose cuffs are rather loose. I wear a substantial chronograph at least once a week, and it requires a largeish cuff opening.

    You'll get a lot more enjoyment out of dressing once you recognize that no too garments fit precisely alike, and that the rules should really be seen as general statements, not laws of the land.


    well said I think, this must be right?
     

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