Italian shirt sizing

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by dan, Nov 12, 2002.

  1. dan

    dan Active Member

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    What's up with italian shirt sizing? I wear a 15.5 - 33 and would normally wear a 39 in italian due to neck size I guess. However, it seems that all italian sleeves are 34-35. Anyone care to educate me on this?
     


  2. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Senior member

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    I think that shirt sizing varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.  I wear a 15.5-34, so most designer shirts fit me quite well.  Two exceptions based on my experience are Armani Collezioni and Paul Smith (which I'm not sure is made in Italy), both of whose shirts have sleeves that are too short for me.  (Armani also seems to be cut much wider in the body than most other designer shirts.)  And for Helmut Lang, which is cut very close to the body, I have to move up at least half a size.  The bottom line is that sizing is variable and you just have to try a lot of different shirts to find the right fit.
     


  3. bigbadbuff

    bigbadbuff Senior member

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    I wear a 16 1/2-17 neck and 35" sleeves, and finding Italian shirts that meet those seemingly regular specs are a chore.
     


  4. Joe G

    Joe G Senior member

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    You basically have three options:

    1) Have a tailor adjust the sleeves.
    2) Go custom.
    3) Find a marque that cuts the sleeves shorter. The only marque I know to have sleeves consistently too short for me is the Jermyn St. firm Hilditch & Key.

    Peace,

    JG

    PS: A 15.5 should be a 40, not a 39. My US size is 16-35, and I'm a 41.
     


  5. davei

    davei Senior member

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    What's up with italian shirt sizing? I wear a 15.5 - 33 and would normally wear a 39 in italian due to neck size I guess. However, it seems that all italian sleeves are 34-35. Anyone care to educate me on this?
    You basically have three options: 1) Have a tailor adjust the sleeves. 2) Go custom. 3) Find a marque that cuts the sleeves shorter. The only marque I know to have sleeves consistently too short for me is the Jermyn St. firm Hilditch & Key. Peace, JG PS: A 15.5 should be a 40, not a 39. My US size is 16-35, and I'm a 41.
    15.5 inches is 38.75 centimetres, rounded up it's 39. So the Italian measurement is a centimetres conversion. I vaguely remember reading somewhere that most Italian shirts are NOT sold with varying sleeve lengths - they're all more or less equal (depending on maufacturer, of course.) Is that truly the case?
     


  6. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    European shirts do not come in different sleeve length; they are sized according to collar size and come in "regular" (and some "long" ones as well).

    What "regular" means is up to the individual designer or manufacturer. You have to measure the shirt or try it on to see if it comes up to your requirements. Different labels cut differently. Find a make you like and stick to it.
     


  7. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    A European (Italian) 40 coresponds to an American 15.75. 15.5 corresponds to a 39, and 41 to a 16. Wierd system, but there it is.
     


  8. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    There is nothing weird about Continental and American sizing. One comes in centimetres then the change of measurements into inches is only an approximation. The other one comes in inches, so it just works the other way round. Do you prefer 41 cm shirt collar marked as 16 3/8" or a size 16" as 40.65 cm?
    Garment making is hardly rocket science, so there is no need for a greater degree of exactitude.
     


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