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How high are your armholes?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by yywwyy, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. yywwyy

    yywwyy Well-Known Member

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    I've been wondering about well-fitting, high armholes of jackets. I've done a search, and certainly read up a lot about them. However, a lot of the photos I'd like to see have been deleted, and currently, there really aren't many examples to see. It would be great to see some more examples of well-fitting, high armholes. Would such armholes make it possible to lift your arms horizontally without lifting the jacket at all? Personally, the arm/armhole is the most important aspect of my suits-- No matter how well the jacket fits otherwise, a low, ill-fitting armhole makes me feel that the suit is not "mine."

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Here's some that I've found, but if you have better examples, I'd appreciate them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  2. Svenn

    Svenn Well-Known Member

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    Mine are infinitely high; I developed a system similar to a shooting/norfolk jacket that indeed allows me to raise my arms in the most extreme positions, with no tension in the shoulders or disturbance in the body of the jacket. A conventional sleeve cap-on-armscye system will never allow you to raise your arms without disturbances, no matter how high it is... the sinusoidal curve of the cap, which makes the fabric fitted and smooth around the shoulder, necessarily prevents movement when the arm is raised (inverting the curve).
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  3. yywwyy

    yywwyy Well-Known Member

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    Makes sense. It's hard for me to develop a sense about what's a good fit in the armhole/arm area, since most people do not take photos while moving their arms about. Although the fit of my suits look good to me, and I generally ask for armholes as high as possible, I'm unsatisfied with the armhole area when I move my arms-- I feel like they could be improved by a lot.
     
  4. Svenn

    Svenn Well-Known Member

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    It's not as great as you think... for years I had bespoke tailors hike the armhole up as high as physically possible, even grinding into my armpit with ripples coming out of it... but at the end of the day, because of the nature of fitted sleevecap construction, you'll start getting pulling and tension at horizontal and above, no matter how high the bottom of the armscye.

    If you're really worried about it and don't want a norfolk bi-swing back, you could get perfectly straight sleeve caps with no sinusoidal curve... those obviously would be smooth and 'at rest' when your arms are perfect horizontal out to your sides. Downside is the ripples would be fairly severe when your arms are lowered to the side in normal position.

    ...and then there was lycra...
     
  5. bloke11

    bloke11 Well-Known Member

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    Svenn never fails to chime in on threads like these:D
     
  6. Svenn

    Svenn Well-Known Member

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    ^ the fruits of my obsession will be revealed to SF soon enough...
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. yywwyy

    yywwyy Well-Known Member

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    Any photos of your jacket?
     
  8. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    This is not a thing.
     
  9. jrd617

    jrd617 Well-Known Member

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    Here ya go, tried my best to follow your instructions

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Despos

    Despos Well-Known Member

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    They are discussing armholes not a**holes
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  11. jrd617

    jrd617 Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  12. Svenn

    Svenn Well-Known Member

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    It's at the tailor's at the moment, take a look at the underarm gussets in bi-swing backs (in some norfolk jackets) if you want a rough idea.

    Foo, what isn't a thing?
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
  13. Butler

    Butler Well-Known Member

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    Steven Hitchcock is generally considered to make the highest armholes on Savile Row - here is a blazer of mine :bigstar:



    [​IMG]

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
  14. Svenn

    Svenn Well-Known Member

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    ^I've always liked that pic, but it seems a bit misleading ;) Steed did this one for me, which is very high, but as you can see it doesn't solve all mobility problems:

    [​IMG]


    I only do bi-swing backs now, even for business wear.
     
  15. imanewbie

    imanewbie Well-Known Member

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    looks great on you man....
     
  16. yywwyy

    yywwyy Well-Known Member

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    Wow. That looks really good. Butler and Svenn, thanks for the pictures.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
  17. jt10000

    jt10000 Well-Known Member

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    What are the reasons most OTR jackets don't have high armholes? Is they harder to construct, or is there a downside in fit when the arms are not raised?
     
  18. Louis XIV

    Louis XIV Well-Known Member

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    Lower armholes "suit" a grater range of potential customers, I guess.
    Just the same as with OTR shirts which always have very wide cuffs and two buttons to accommodate for that.
     
  19. smc

    smc Member

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    As has been (I believe) mentioned, the height of the armscye isn't the only variable in the equation. The angle the sleeve is set at makes a huge difference, as I found out when commissioning my dance tails. The sleeve on all my normal coats are set close to vertical, where the sleeves on my tails are set almost horizontal. This means that a normal coat looks great and unruffled when the arms are down by the side, but goes all to hell with I flap like a bird. Conversely, my tails look spectacular when I'm holding my arms parallel to the floor, but the combination of a high angle and the narrowness of the sleeves and armscye means I can't actually lower my arms by my side.

    Bottom line, I doubt anyone will ever invent suit coat that looks perfectly unruffled no matter the arm position. The further you get from the position the coat is "designed" to look good in, the worse it's going to get. (With the possible exception of the bi-swing back, but imo that's a very odd detail for anything but a casual coat. I personally dislike the look, but to each his own).
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
  20. Despos

    Despos Well-Known Member

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    The collar gap is not related to the armhole height. This armhole looks too narrow and I don't like the forward position of the side seam. This is contributing to the collar gap. Armholes are only part of the equation. This jacket looks like it has too wide of back and too narrow armhole.
    Armhole width, shoulder line, front/back balance, collar height and the armhole all have to relate to each other to give movement and comfort. You might be compensating for an "over fitted" armhole/jacket with a bi-swing back. You could get a similar effect with an inverted pleat on the center back with out the bi-swing.
     

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