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Why have coat sleeves gotten so long?

Clench Million

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While I agree with pro-short sleeves in theory, in practice I'd prefer not to have my sleeves slide up to my elbows when I move around. I dunno. Shorter sleeves look nicer when your arm is draped perfectly, but a little longer sleeves seem to look better over the course of your daily movements.
 

grimslade

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Originally Posted by Clench Million
While I agree with pro-short sleeves in theory, in practice I'd prefer not to have my sleeves slide up to my elbows when I move around. I dunno. Shorter sleeves look nicer when your arm is draped perfectly, but a little longer sleeves seem to look better over the course of your daily movements.

As I noted above, this is not a problem if both the suit and shirt sleeves are the appropriate diameter, absolutely and relative to themselves.
 

Bird's One View

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Originally Posted by el Guapo WOngO!
Even today I struggle with tailors when getting my sleeves altered - they insist on longer even with my insistence that I like the coat sleeve to be at the point of wrist bone (this is important as the left is never the same as the right). I consulted my retired tailor & he suggested the following when even I get sleeves on coats altered. Normal stance, arms down, raise hands till horizontal to floor (need to be flexible here, so this may not apply to all), the jacket sleeve should rest on the back of your had with no break. This will give you the exact point where the wrist meets the fore-arm. From here you either lengthen by what ever your preference. In my case, that is where all my coat sleeves sit. Then it's up to the shirt to stuff it all up!
I am going to try this next time I have a coat altered. My tailor considers 4" from the thumb tip "normal" coat length and, while he does cut my sleeves shorter than that by request, they still seem too long to me. (Playing with a steel builder's measuring tape, I'd say 5" or 5.25" from the thumb tip is close to what I'm after.) A question about the procedure: when the hand is raised and the palm is facing the floor, should the fingers point straight forward or out to the sides, or does it matter? (It is more comfortable for me to do this with my forearms rotated so that the fingers point straight ahead.) Manton has posted some pictures which show very nice sleeve lenghts (most recently at http://www.styleforum.net/showthread.php?t=64680) -- longer than Grant's at the top of this thread, but shorter than is common today. If his flexibility permits, I'd be interested how much longer (if any) his sleeves are than the break of the wrist.
 

voxsartoria

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Originally Posted by Bird's One View
I am going to try this next time I have a coat altered. My tailor considers 4" from the thumb tip "normal" coat length and, while he does cut my sleeves shorter than that by request, they still seem too long to me.

To me, the ideal relationship of shirt and jacket sleeve lengths has little to do with where one's thumb ends. It has to do with where one's wrists end and where one's hands begin.

Once a man has derived what looks correct for each arm, then of course, measurement from each thumb can be used for duplication of effect. But, I think a tailor who begins by measuring from a thumb is taking shortcut that is bound to produce unfortunate varibility among his or her clients.

Do you have one shirt and one jacket with the lengths that you think are correct? If so, I think you are safest taking that combination to your tailor and telling him to duplicate that on your alterations.

- B
 

palladio211

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Out of my bespoke suits, the ones from A&S have by far the longest sleeves. I've asked several times for a bit shorter, but they don't seem to want to do it. They really only show cuff when the arm is extended.

The only time I think it is better to have longer coat sleeves, is when the underlying shirt doesn't fit properly at the cuff (too long or too short).
 

voxsartoria

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Originally Posted by palladio211
Out of my bespoke suits, the ones from A&S have by far the longest sleeves. I've asked several times for a bit shorter, but they don't seem to want to do it. They really only show cuff when the arm is extended.

One part of that doesn't sound like A&S...no cuff...here's one of RSS's A&S photos...sleeve lengths look quite right to me, and I like shorter sleeves...



...but the other part..."but they don't seem to want to do it" does sound like A&S of storied fame. They've apparently gone more flexible recently.

May I ask who cut your suits at A&S?


- B
 

TheFoo

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Bill, what are you thoughts on the amount of cuff showing on my Rubinacci?
 

Cornellian

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I'm not Bill, but I think the amount of sleeve looks perfect on your jacket/shirt.
 

voxsartoria

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Originally Posted by mafoofan
Bill, what are you thoughts on the amount of cuff showing on my Rubinacci?

Here we are in one-button tweed jackets:



So, my jacket sleeve is shorter than yours and also I am showing more cuff.

Other bespoke jackets:

If you look at the photos that C posted of Matt and himself in his thread today, I think that you will see something similar to my preference.

But, if you look at a typical Manton photograph, it appears he has longer jacket sleeves than iammatt, cantabridgian, and me, and less cuff, although he's taking his photos downward from above, which would foreshorten the amount of cuff showing.

Then, if you look at yachtie, the sleeves get longer still, and no cuff shows (at least, in the linked shot).

In that range, I think your jacket is a tad longer than where Manton is. This is the absolute longest I could go myself, and I would still want to beat back the sleeve length. I could never go as long as yachtie.

That's just me.

- B
 

palladio211

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Originally Posted by voxsartoria

...but the other part..."but they don't seem to want to do it" does sound like A&S of storied fame. They've apparently gone more flexible recently.

May I ask who cut your suits at A&S?


- B


It's been about 5 years since I've ordered a suit from them and I can't remember who cut the last one (or any of them for that matter). Would it say anywhere on the suit or would I have to ask the sales rep at A&S?

Should I request a certain cutter next time around? Also, don't they use separate cutters for trousers and jackets? Last time I was fitted in NYC by only one gentleman (I already had a pattern). During my first fitting in London many years ago, I seem to remember having a separate fitter for jacket and trousers.
 

itsstillmatt

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Originally Posted by voxsartoria
...
Those sleeves on mine have been lengthened and are shorter than I prefer. I still prefer short, but not that short.
 

TheFoo

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Originally Posted by iammatt
Those sleeves on mine have been lengthened and are shorter than I prefer. I still prefer short, but not that short.

I've considered pressing Mariano to shorten mine a little, but he seems to be extremely insistent that this is the correct length and enough cuff is showing. I don't think this is because he is reluctant to make the alteration, since this has been his view since the beginning--even before the buttonholes were cut.
 

itsstillmatt

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Originally Posted by mafoofan
I've considered pressing Mariano to shorten mine a little, but he seems to be extremely insistent that this is the correct length and enough cuff is showing. I don't think this is because he is reluctant to make the alteration, since this has been his view since the beginning--even before the buttonholes were cut.
I wouldn't worry about it too much either way. It is one of those things that is easy to nit pick in a photo because it shows clearly when a lot of other things cannot. Some of mine are shortish, and others are longish. I try not to think about it too much. In fact, when I was having a final fitting on four things at the same time, Gennaro was checking not to see that the sleeves were the same length from coat to coat, but from sleeve to sleeve. After all, you only wear one jacket at a time, so you can try shorter next time. That is my opinion, at least.
 

voxsartoria

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Originally Posted by mafoofan
I've considered pressing Mariano to shorten mine a little, but he seems to be extremely insistent that this is the correct length and enough cuff is showing. I don't think this is because he is reluctant to make the alteration, since this has been his view since the beginning--even before the buttonholes were cut.

I think that you can safely differ ever so slightly from the great man on this.

Is it possible, however, that he knows something about the fabric of your coat that you do not? What I mean is, perhaps as it's worn, wrinkling at the shoulder and elbow would shorten it a tad. I rather doubt it, since it's a tweed, but still.

Also, the arms hanging down pose shouldn't be, in my view, the only test...in fact, I think that it is a feeble test anyway.

I think how it looks when the arms are in motion is the most salient mode of assessment, and that can only be observed in person, really, or in professional photos where the subject is posed or captured in candid shots.

But, I would go shorter if that was my jacket.

- B
 

voxsartoria

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Originally Posted by iammatt
Those sleeves on mine have been lengthened and are shorter than I prefer. I still prefer short, but not that short.

That makes sense, although I think the original length in that photo also looks good.

- B
 

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