1. Styleforum Gives - Holiday Charity Auction 10: A full set of Aesop's Fables pocket squares from Vanda Fine Clothing

    We are very proud to present this year's edition of the Styleforum Holiday Charity Auctions, this year in support of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Spokane (www.rmhcspokane.org). Each Auction lasts 24 hours. Please follow and bid on all the auctions.

    The 10th auction of the year is for a full set of Aesop's Fable's pocket squares from Vanda Fine Clothing. Please bid often and generously here

    Fok and the Styleforum Team.

    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice

STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

Proper sleeve lengths for shirts and jackets

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by dah328, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. dah328

    dah328 Distinguished Member

    Messages:
    4,603
    Likes Received:
    109
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2003
    The oft-quoted guideline for the amount of shirt cuff shown beyond the jacket sleeve is 3/8 to 1/2 inch. I assume this guideline applies when standing with your arms at your side.

    How does this look when you bend your arms? Consider that the correct sleeve length on a shirt should include enough extra length to prevent the cuff from being pulled away from the wrist when the arm is bent. A jacket sleeve has no such extra length. If it is sized to show 1/2 inch of cuff when the arm is straight, the jacket sleeve will retract when the arm is bent and show considerably more than 1/2" of shirt cuff.

    I assume that's the way it is supposed to be, but I ask this because it's like pulling teeth to get a tailor to cut a jacket sleeve short enough to show anything more than a millimeter of cuff when standing. It's almost as if they intend for shirt cuff to be shown only when the arm is bent.

    Regards,

    dan
     


  2. BjornH

    BjornH Senior Member

    Messages:
    503
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2002
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    This rhymes with my experience with tailors. No matter what I tell them, I almost always get the sleeves of the jacket about a 1cm too long for my tastes leaving only a tiny amount of cuff. Afterwards,I can't be bothered to have them shorten it further as I'm anxious to take it for a spin. This happens in two out of three cases.
     


  3. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Stylish Dinosaur

    Messages:
    13,141
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2004
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    I noticed this as well, if you look in the member pictures thread, the Brioni jacket that I am wearing in the first picture normally shows about 1/2"-5/8" of cuff, but when I have my arms angled slightly forward as in the picture, it shows a bit more, more like 3/4" to 1" I personally don't mind this particularly much, as I think it looks a bit better than say, the second suit, which shows barely a sliver of cuff.
     


  4. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    41,574
    Likes Received:
    2,820
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Location:
    In Hiding
    Shirt sleeves should be long enough so that the cuff stays with the wrist when you move your arms.  When your arms are at your side and the shirt cuff is unfastened, the cuff should hang beyond your wrist.  When buttoned, it should rest on your palm and the base of your thumb.  The excess sleeve should "gather" above the cuff.

    Coat sleeves should be short enough to show 1/2" (or so) of shirt cuffs when you arms are at their side.  If both shirt sleeve and coat sleeve are the proper length, then your shirt cuffs will indeed extend far beyond the coat sleeve end when you move your arms, especially when you extend your arms straight forward.  This is perfectly normal.
     


  5. scottmag

    scottmag Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2003
    My clothes are decidedly more pedestrian than the tailored stuff usually discussed here, but my experience is exactly the same as far as sleeve length. I find I am constantly pulling my shirt sleeves down to extend beyond the jacket. I was noticing this very thing today during a long meeting.

    A related issue I have is that my shirt sleeve buttons are never quite right. My best fit comes from the Brooks Brothers shirts I took to the tailor. I had the two cuff buttons (one to tight, the other too loose) replaced with a single button between the two positions. He charged me a couple of bucks per shirt (Brooks want $15 each). Little steps like this make me realize how nice clothing tailored exactly for me would be.

    Otherwise loose cuffs can extend too far down onto the hand and tight cuffs get hung up above my watch. I think that shirt sleeves should be long enough not to pull away from the wrist when the arm is bent, but that requires the cuffs be sized right to stay in place.
     


  6. acole

    acole Senior Member

    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Location:
    Redwood City, California
    Of course, the cuffs also have to be tight enough not to slide up and down your wrist at the slightest provocation.  All of my Charles Tyrwhitt shirts have far too much slop in the cuffs; I'm still trying to get my MTM shirts "dialed in".

    I've had the same lousy luck getting department-store tailors to listen to me on the cuff-length issue--apparently they have their own standard that puts the cuff in a fixed position relative to the wrist bone, and they just dismiss customers who want something different as ill-informed.  I've been told repeatedly, "Oh, but you don't want it that short."  Well, damn it all, yes I do: I actually shoot for 3/4" shirt-cuff showing, as I'm what you'd call "big & tall".  Luckily, my local independent tailor actually listens and complies when it comes to such requests.  

    You should also consider the distinct possibility that your arms have different lengths.  I only discovered my own 3/4" discrepancy when someone pointed it out to me in a photo I posted here.  I've had in-store alterations done where they just made both sleeves the same length, which naturally didn't work too well.
     


  7. truthhurts

    truthhurts Senior Member

    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    I prefer to never show more than 1" of shirt cuff. To me showing more looks inelegant. I err toward showing a sliver while standing with arms at my side and a max 1" when arms bent.
     


  8. johnw86

    johnw86 Senior Member

    Messages:
    462
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    Ohio
    I do this myself and save even more--and that's about the limit of my abilities with a needle and thread.
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by