Proper Sleeve Width and Fit

Wearing too tight of sleeves not only looks ridiculous, it is very uncomfortable with any subtle movement in your shoulders or elbows and can cause tears to the fabric and seams. Too loose of sleeves with incorrect armhole size can cause the shirt to untuck easily while raising your arms; it also gives a blousy sloppy appearance and adds unnecessary wrinkles and folds that are very unflattering. The perfect sleeve should have 2-3 inches of excess fabric when arms are hanging straight, with the majority of excess fabric near the upper arm tapering down evenly toward the cuff. This allows for a clean tailored appearance and optimal comfortable movement.

Sleeve width is proportionate to your chest size. If you make changes online to your chest circumference measurements, the system automatically adjusts sleeve width higher or lower in accordance with the changes.  For men with athletic builds, the system automatically adds an extra 1/4″ for sleeve width. However, if you prefer a fitted sleeve, simply reduce the sleeve width accordingly. A good test while wearing the shirt is the “pinch test:” however much fabric you can comfortably pinch off of excess without it constricting too much movement, that’s the amount to remove. If the amount pinched equals 1/4″ per side which is 1/2″ laying flat, then you would remove double that, and in this case, an entire inch from the bicep of the measurement to account for the full circumference.

Slight trend adjustments:

Some men prefer a slightly slimmer cut on the sleeve so they should make sure to mention this to their tailor and stay closer to the 1 inch of excess fabric at the upper arm rule with the fabric tapering down to the cuff (as mentioned above). But any less than 1 inch and they run the risk of looking ridiculous and tearing their shirts frequently, because adjusting the width of the sleeve also adjusts the size of the armhole. The one exception to this might be choosing a fabric with stretch, but anything too tight in the custom made-to-measure world, even if it feels comfortable with the stretch aspect, simply defeats the purpose of a polished gentlemanly look.

Risks of elbow splitting:

Although slim cut sleeves have been a trend, it’s important to keep trends in perspective; especially when they cause discomfort and decrease longevity in the shirt.  Tight sleeves and armholes will inevitably make it more difficult to enjoy full range of arm motion comfortably, and will most likely eventually cause rips and tears in the seams; especially near the elbow area. Read more about elbow rips here Elbow Shirt Rips