Measuring shirt sleeve length

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mano, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. mano

    mano Senior member

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    How does one accurately measure the length of a shirt sleeve? I have several shirts to put on eBay, but they are only marked in cm (41, 42, 39) or inches 15.5, 17.

    I measured from the middle of the back to the seam of the sleeve, and then from the seam to the cuff. Is this correct?
     
  2. bch

    bch Senior member

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    I believe you measure the length of the sleeve from the shoulder (not the armpit) seam to the end of the cuff. Add this number to 1/2 the width of the yoke.
     
  3. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    Your addition is correct. The measurement is usually taken by placing the tape on the center of the yoke, going out over the shoulder, and down the arm to the end of the cuff. That way, for dense old shirtmakers, no addition is necessary. [​IMG]
     
  4. mano

    mano Senior member

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    Thanks. I was measuring to the shoulder seam from the center of the neck, just below the collar, then from the shoulder seam to the cuff. The measurements seemed a bit long (36 to 37"), so I wasn't sure.
     
  5. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    Alex, when you do this measurement, is it necessary (or useful) to have arm bent so that you account for movement and sleeve-length?
     
  6. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    Horace: No. If not a bespoke shirt, you should buy one about 1/2" longer than your actual measure which will take this into account. Bending the arm tends to make for very inaccurate measurements.
    Alex
     
  7. uriahheep

    uriahheep Senior member

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    Why do shirtmakers measure from the middle of the back to the shoulder to the bottom of the arm and call that sleeve length?
     
  8. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    Because it works much better than measuring up from the foot. EDIT: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    I think he meant: why not just measure from the shoulder seam?
     
  10. uriahheep

    uriahheep Senior member

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    Exactly. Thanks Manton.
     
  11. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    Oh, poo. Loud Bronx cheer to you caffiene-less dullards.

    It is custom. It is adhered to by the RTW shirt industry. Changing it would probably be as successful as was the attempt to switch the United States to the metric system.
     
  12. uriahheep

    uriahheep Senior member

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    Thanks for the answer, AK. Didn't mean to be a dullard.
     
  13. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    Thank you Alex. I know you've kindly answered many a question on this board & perhaps you've been asked these ones: but, nevertheless, I am curious:

    1) in general in the RTW shirt rag-trade, is the body of a full-cut Brooks or Hathaway shirt scaled to the measurements of the collar and sleeve. That is, is the body of a 15 1/2 -3 shirt smaller than a 16 1/2 -3 shirt? And what about a 15 1/2-3 v. 15 1/2-4, etc, etc.

    2) You make some very astute comments on your site about the decline in quality in products in general. That is, people not taking time to do things the right way, or skimping on certain steps in the manufacturing process, etc. This obviously doesn't apply just to shirt-making but to those of us old enough to remember, the cars coming out of detroit, etc. Anyway, in the standard process of making an American RTW shirt, what steps have been discontinued from the days when you started in the rag-trade, to the present time? Cheaper thread? Less quality control (e.g. insuring that seams are straight, etc.)?....
     
  14. SmartDresser

    SmartDresser Well-Known Member

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    Are your shirts from European shirtmakers? From your description, the cm measurments measure just the neck, using an average arm measurement. I use a tape everyday, the translation is
    41 cm = 16
    42 cm = 16 1/4
    39 cm = @15.5

    Yes on yoke center seam to the bottom of cuff.
    Yippee, the warm weather is back.
     
  15. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    (mano @ Mar. 19 2005,16:50) How does one accurately measure the length of a shirt sleeve? I have several shirts to put on eBay, but they are only marked in cm (41, 42, 39) or inches 15.5, 17. I measured from the middle of the back to the seam of the sleeve, and then from the seam to the cuff. Is this correct?
    Are your shirts from European shirtmakers? Â From your description, the cm measurments measure just the neck, using an average arm measurement. Â I use a tape everyday, the translation is 41 cm = 16 42 cm = 16 1/4 39 cm = @15.5 Yes on yoke center seam to the bottom of cuff. Yippee, the warm weather is back.
    I thought 42 = 16 1/2 -- at least that's how my RTW New & Lingers measure.
     

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