Let’s Talk Shirt Sleeve Length, Guys

Shirt sleeve length

The next blog post in our series about common fashion mistakes that men tend to make. As we've said before, it’s really the small things that can throw off even the most stylish of guys - like wearing the wrong socks or not wearing a belt with trousers that have belt loops.

Shirt sleeve length is another one of those things. "Sleeves?" you say. "Seriously?" Yes! Sleeve length unfortunately do give some guys issues. Sleeves can easily be too long, too baggy, or hey - we'll even compliment you - fit too tightly in the bicep region! Here are some hard and fast rules for successfully sleeve-ing yourself each day.

The Common Shirt Sleeve Length Rules

  1. Sleeves on shirts should always cover your wrist, but sleeves shouldn't cover any part of your hand. A good litmus test? Ask yourself: does this sleeve feel comfortable? If sleeves are too short, they'll be tight. If sleeves are too long, they'll be flat out annoying. Always try things on to determine your best fit.
  2. Jackets and blazers should show about half an inch or so of your shirt cuff. Therefore, you want to purchase these items a bit shorter than your sleeves.
  3. When it comes to business attire, the only possible excuse for pushing your sleeves up is if you've dropped a valuable object in the toilet. Just don't do it.
And, now...

The Precise Science of Sleeve Length

  • Your shirt sleeve should end exactly an inch above the V in the thumb-finger joint on the back of your hand.
  • Your cuffs should be tight enough so that your sleeve doesn't slide too far down your hand
  • Half an inch is the common shrinkage after you first wash a 100% cotton shirt. Account for that length loss
This is it. It goes without saying that when it comes to shirt sleeve length a good tailor is a man’s best friend. A tailor will be able to tell you exactly where everything should hit, and will leave you feeling and looking like a million bucks.

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