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Shirt Armholes

Manton

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iGent lore holds that high armholes are good. I fully endorse this view, when it comes to coats. I like the armholes to be as high as possible -- I want to just feel the bottoms ever so slightly, but not have them bind.

However, I wonder of this applies to shirts. While the following experience is from a long time ago, the BB side-discussion in the Thom Browme thread prompted this recollection.

When I first went to Geneva and we worked through the first several shirts, I kept asking Mike to raise the armhole, raise the armhole, raise the armhole. And he did, until finally he advised me that to go any further would throw everything off and make the shirt feel tight in the chest and across the blades when I moved my arms. I felt one of the armholes, and noticed that there was still some room, and so confidently said, Do it anyway. And he did.

Well, he was right. The next shirts felt tight when I moved. I sheepishly admitted my mistake. He grinned widely, took out my pattern and pointed to the Scoth tape where a crescent moon piece of pattern paper had been affixed. He got his knife and excised the offending piece. The next shirt fit fine, and felt perfect.

While I have had the problem of a high coat armhole grabbing a low shirt armhole and pulling up the sleeves, this does not happen with the Geneva shirts. So the armholes seem to be high enough, and low enough, at the same time.
 

TheFoo

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There's certainly such a thing as too high. When I was measured for a MTM shirt at Borrelli a couple of years ago, they had my put on a try-on shirt with armholes that were way too small and high. It made the chest tight and bunch in funny places.

That experience, more than any than any other, taught me to be careful of having things made too trim.
 

Cary Grant

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I agree there can be too much of a "good thing".

The size of your delts (front/rear and side) plus shape of you pec and traps play a real role.

I'm still looking for the right blend of armhole in a shirt versus the coat so that neither binds yet you aren't left with significnat excess/bunching of shirt material in a coat that is trim in this regard.
 

Reborn

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This may be stupid, but should width of the armhole of a shirt also be discussed to avoid too much of the shirt being bunched under the arm creating sweat issues? Thinking about it I'd assume that the less material trapped in the armpit when the arms are at the sides the better.
 

vitaminc

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Originally Posted by Reborn
This may be stupid, but should width of the armhole of a shirt also be discussed to avoid too much of the shirt being bunched under the arm creating sweat issues? Thinking about it I'd assume that the less material trapped in the armpit when the arms are at the sides the better.

conversely, if the armhole of your shirts are too big compare to the armhole of your jacket, they could cause some major discomfort.
 

MetroStyles

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Originally Posted by Reborn
This may be stupid, but should width of the armhole of a shirt also be discussed to avoid too much of the shirt being bunched under the arm creating sweat issues? Thinking about it I'd assume that the less material trapped in the armpit when the arms are at the sides the better.

It's not stupid. This has happened to me. I got some custom shirts made by CEGO and I kept insisting on higher armholes. Sweat can definitely be an issue when the armholes are riding up too high the whole day.
 

philosophe

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The official SF aesthetic does tend toward the tight. Trim is good, but we do need to move our arms.
 

Fuuma

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Originally Posted by philosophe
The official SF aesthetic does tend toward the tight. Trim is good, but we do need to move our arms.

YOU need to move your arms, I decided to hire Manouche to type for me to remove that obstacle. He's starting tomorrow so you should see a change of tone when he ads his stylistic flourishes to my prose.
 

chorse123

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I have not reached that point yet, although I do believe I held off on an incrementally higher armhole with my last order. Their argument the two or so times I had them raise it was that it would be uncomfortable. I've never been uncomfortable, but once in a while I will get annoyed that my undershirts don't fit as well as my shirts.
 

randallr

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Originally Posted by chorse123
I have not reached that point yet, although I do believe I held off on an incrementally higher armhole with my last order. Their argument the two or so times I had them raise it was that it would be uncomfortable. I've never been uncomfortable, but once in a while I will get annoyed that my undershirts don't fit as well as my shirts.

I never really wear undershirts. Even though they don't make me look more bulky I feel very bulky.
 

philosophe

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Originally Posted by chorse123
I have not reached that point yet, although I do believe I held off on an incrementally higher armhole with my last order. Their argument the two or so times I had them raise it was that it would be uncomfortable. I've never been uncomfortable, but once in a while I will get annoyed that my undershirts don't fit as well as my shirts.

Perhaps this will be a new business venture.
 

tlmusic

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A shirtmaker taught me one of the virtues of higher shirt armholes. If your jacket has fairly high armholes, and your shirt does not, the result will be that your shirt sleeves will tend to be pulled up by your jacket. The sleeve length might be just perfect with the jacket off. But, when you put on the jacket (and move around), the sleeves may end up to be shorter, possibly not allowing you to show enough cuff.
 

yfyf

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On my shirts, I still like a very high armhole but I also like a little extra fabric to pleat where the arm meets the torso.

Have you ever considered what happens when you have a very high jacket armhole with a larger shirt armhole? Shouldn't you keep armholes proportionally similar? (edit: tlmusic just laid it out)
 

Manton

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Originally Posted by tlmusic
A shirtmaker taught me one of the virtues of higher shirt armholes. If your jacket has fairly high armholes, and your shirt does not, the result will be that your shirt sleeves will tend to be pulled up by your jacket. The sleeve length might be just perfect with the jacket off. But, when you put on the jacket (and move around), the sleeves may end up to be shorter, possibly not allowing you to show enough cuff.

Originally Posted by yfyf
Have you ever considered what happens when you have a very high jacket armhole with a larger shirt armhole? Shouldn't you keep armholes proportionally similar? (edit: tlmusic just laid it out)

Covered in the original post.
 

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