Something I’ve been noticing a lot lately is the importance of sleeve lengths on suits, jackets, shirts, and/or any sort of outerwear.
We all know that proper fit is of the utmost importance when it comes to looking good in your clothing. However, I will admit that there are certain aspects of fit that are more important than others. For example, shoulder fit. I believe that having the right fit at the shoulders is more important than 90% of other fit types, mainly because the correct shoulder fit can reduce alteration costs substantially. Also, aesthetically it’s just very pleasing when the shoulder hems hit at the right spot on your body.
Meanwhile, in my opinion, a little excess fabric in the torso area, or too much height in a collar, or puffiness in a jacket can all take a step back as tertiary concerns when thinking about the overall fit of your clothing. These are alterations that can and perhaps should be done, depending on how bad the fit is, but they don’t matter quite as much.
Sleeve length though, is starting to really creep to the top of that list for me… Why?
Take for example this jacket above. I think there are several issues with the fit on it, but to me, the thing that really catches my eye and makes this jacket look ridiculous is the sleeve length. If the sleeves on this jacket were about 3 inches shorter, I might even forgive the bagginess of the rest of the jacket, but as it stands, I just can’t respect the fit.
I have two coats that were actually a little long on the sleeves. There were a multitude of other fit problems (body was a bit long, armpits were tight, etc.), but the moment I altered the sleeves, I honestly forgot about the rest of the issues. Before the alteration, these coats looked gigantic on me, as my arms were drowning in the extra fabric with just my fingers peeking out. After the alteration, everything just looked… right.
So here’s my ask of you. If you have a jacket, shirt, or any other top with extra long sleeves, go to a tailor right now and get them cut a bit shorter. Believe me, even an inch or two can make the biggest difference. The difference between you looking like you’re drowning in your jacket, versus looking completely meant for it.