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UPDATE On the Street....Outerwear Sleeve Length, New York, Florence


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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

UPDATE On the Street....Outerwear Sleeve Length, New York, Florence

Not to beat a dead horse, but this outerwear sleeve length isssue is really something to consider. It's not something I'm just making up.

The first time I really noticed it was while watching the Cary Grant movie, The Awful Truth. There's a fantastic scene with Ralph Bellamy dressed in formalwear for a night out on the town. There was something so chic about that half-inch of white shirt cuff peeking out from his perfectly slim fitting overcoat; it was the only thing I could look at for the entire scene. I'd never seen anything like it before.

It was one of those images I put in my memory bank. On those rare occasions since when I've see it in person, it still rings true as such a refined look.

I mentioned in the post originally that maybe this was a sportier affect. As you can see in the photograph above, it does still look great in the most formal of situations.

To be honest, I was surprised at how dogmatic the response was to the original post - "A coat is supposed to keep you warm! You'll never be warm with an exposed wrist." Come on. I'm not suggesting you wear this all the time. If it's freezing, wear a different coat. You can tell the guys in the pictures below are not freezing - it was maybe 40 degrees when these were taken.

What I'm suggesting is...don't hide behind "form follows function." What I'm trying to do is not create a rule but share options that I've seen.

Last thing: Let's make a special note of just how perfectly Ralph Bellamy's coat fits in this photograph. Another victory for the slim fit coat!

Not only do I think we wear our outerwear too big but I also think we wear the sleeve length too long.

As you see these two very elegant gentlemen wear a shorter sleeve length with a healthy amount of shirt cuff showing. Notice they are also wearing this look with a knit and not a suit. Maybe this sleeve length is a bit sportier?

Comments on "UPDATE On the Street....Outerwear Sleeve Length, New York, Florence"


Blogger Elaine said ... (4:18 PM) : 

I think it's because American "sizes" are just getting too big!


Blogger TheMen'sSide said ... (4:22 PM) : 

Awesome jacket on the first photo!


Blogger caribbelle said ... (4:23 PM) : 

Hmmm originally I wasn't to sure how I feel about the shorter outerwear sleeve, but now that I think about it you could just wear longer gloves.


Blogger gregorytoddsmith said ... (4:24 PM) : 

I love having a sleeve that stops at that exact place on my wrist. I think it's perfect. Plus, I have good wrists and want to show them off. But, every sweater, cardigan, and jacket I have has a too long sleeve so the cuff of my shirt is forever hidden. I need my own personal tailor.


Anonymous Allie said ... (4:25 PM) : 

Definitely agree. Not only are the sleeve lengths stylish themselves, but they allow the under style to show as well. Like :)


Blogger Chevron d'Azur said ... (4:26 PM) : 

I was about to give to my Church Bazaar a coat whose sleeves were on the short side, purchased too quickly.
I always thought that the sleeves should completely cover the cuffs and fit with the gloves. Comfort over style?


Blogger Nolita said ... (4:27 PM) : 

It is cool that the shirt or cardigan is peeking out!

FB: Nolita Vintage Shop & Blog


Blogger Cristy and Duda said ... (4:29 PM) : 

amazing pictures, I follow your blog and love everything about it.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:30 PM) : 

love these pics ;))


Blogger Rowena said ... (4:30 PM) : 

Hmm, while that does look quite sporty and I would agree that adding too much bulk can be a bad thing, there's often the issue of practicality to deal with. As I write this, it is 14 degrees Farenheit, and windsheilds ice up in ten minutes. Anyone who's spent more than 5 minutes outdoors in this kind of weather know that it's essential that there is no gap between the sleeve of your coat and your gloves, or your hands will go numb almost as fast as without the gloves.
Surely there's a way to be fashionable without risking the loss of outer extremities? Sometimes I wonder if the nasty weather in the midwest is the cause of all the lousy fashion in the area, lol.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:30 PM) : 

love these pics


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:30 PM) : 

The second pic just looks too small for him.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:31 PM) : 

As a tall woman, I always have a problem with sleeves being just a bit too short. Does this mean that I shouldn't worry about it?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:32 PM) : 

I love a half inch of cuff under a suit, but i'm not so sure about outerwear. There is something distinctly pretentious about these looks, not to mention the severe inauthenticity of wearing a motorcycle jacket in such an overly manicured fashion.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:33 PM) : 

We wear large outerwear because it's fucking cold outside.


Blogger G. said ... (4:33 PM) : 

that first jacket - so good


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:33 PM) : 

very cute post.))

love it.))


Blogger William Newton said ... (4:33 PM) : 

I suspect that, like myself, these gentlemen wear a "Long" with respect to sleeves on off-the-peg items like casual or trendy outerwear. Neither is wearing something like a custom-fitted camelhair topcoat, but rather items which are mass-manufactured for standard sizes. I don't think it's a question of wearing sleeves too long, I think it's a question of practicality. Winter outerwear should protect you from the elements. You need a longer sleeve to keep out sleet, snow, and rain. If one chooses to wear off-the-peg that shows cuff, fine, but that does not mean that outerwear sleeves are too short per se. It merely means that mass-produced goods cannot cater to all sizes.


Blogger Sara Szatmary said ... (4:34 PM) : 

I love shorter sleeved coats. They allow you to show off your style underneath without risking hypothermia :)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:35 PM) : 

It looks great, but I am afraid that wearing that sleeve length in winter Sweden would make you freeze to death! We need to be as covered as possible! :) But I have to agree with you regarding the fit!


Blogger a Broad said ... (4:38 PM) : 

I don't love it.
It looks like they bought something that doesn't quite fit.
Personally, I like a longer than it should be sleeve, when it is really cold..


Blogger Becky-May said ... (4:39 PM) : 

I love the first fella's craft cigarette

The Flower Girl



Blogger diana kang said ... (4:41 PM) : 

it looks way better with shorter sleeves!


Blogger Angel said ... (4:42 PM) : 

I really like this idea and totally agree, but when its cold I like my jacket to leave no skin exposed. I personally will have to keep my coat sleeves where they are at since my coat collection is on the small side.

Angels Point of View - Street Style Blog


Blogger Andrea @ Andrea Reh said ... (4:45 PM) : 

I think this applies to women, too - there's nothing sexier than a bit of wrist.

Andrea x


Blogger Fashion Agony said ... (4:47 PM) : 

Great shots, the first one is my favorite!



Blogger Castigo de Dior said ... (4:50 PM) : 

Que guaposssss!


Blogger T H E C O O L H U N T E R S said ... (4:51 PM) : 



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:51 PM) : 

You certainly love Barbour! This length is sporty.With equestrian sportswear, this is a good length. It looks professional. With these two guys, it looks cool.


Blogger VicissitudiniLombarde said ... (4:52 PM) : 

The first coat is amazing!
Love it.



Anonymous no nonsense tim said ... (4:55 PM) : 

The simple reason for this is that companies like Barbour make coats big on purpose, because they're designed to be worn over a load of other layers. in order to get a slimmer coat, you have to buy it too small, so the sleeves come out short.


Blogger Jennie Nhi Nguyen said ... (4:57 PM) : 

cool men!



Blogger Caroline said ... (4:59 PM) : 

And a nice watch peeking out always helps!!!


Blogger Fashion Monstre said ... (5:07 PM) : 

i just recently bought a winter coat and i noticed that the sleeve was a tad shorter than i usually get- i fell in love with the shortness though, its definitely something to consider when shopping for a coat or jacket


Anonymous Sophie Mhabille said ... (5:07 PM) : 

They look like cute old teenagers who refuse to grow up in their old jackets


Blogger Mary Martha said ... (5:08 PM) : 

It's a question of style or utility.

Shorter sleeves on outerwear may be more appealing visually. However, freezing snow covered wrists are not particularly helpful when actually doing something (skiing, ice skating, shoveling) out in the cold weather.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:08 PM) : 

In the second image it appears like he couldn't get his size but just had to have the coat anyhow.


Blogger Clem said ... (5:09 PM) : 

I like these two looks! nice to see some great looking men!


Blogger Thinman said ... (5:09 PM) : 

uh, ok. What's special?


Anonymous jimjims said ... (5:14 PM) : 

i like this sleeve length.

its hard to pull this off with some people.

my shoulders are kind of broad and funky so its rare that i can do such a thing, but i stand behind this thought!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:15 PM) : 

Nice distinction between outerwear and overcoats.

I suppose outerwear can be like a jacket [suit or sportcoats] that you wear over a shirt, and so a healthy amount of cuff can/should be shown.

If the article is truly an overcoat or over the suit/jacket outerwear, consideration of covering the gloves at the wrist needs to be accounted for.


Anonymous KatyE. said ... (5:18 PM) : 

As much as I agree (because, it does look better), I do think that it is an advantage of having longer sleeves on outerwear because it helps us stay warmer. But, I AM the practical fashionable person. I would be the one with gloves and a hat on with this look-(if I were a man!)


Blogger The Goodfellas said ... (5:23 PM) : 

i would never trust a man who wears his sleeves too short.


Blogger Tristan said ... (5:23 PM) : 

Yes clothes in America always seem to have a little excess fabric..

I mean I like the country gear, but country clothing should be left for the country side. It feels so patronising seeing city folks wearing country clothes.


Blogger Tristan said ... (5:25 PM) : 

If it's cold and your wrists happen to be exposed, can't you simply wear gloves?


Blogger Kristen said ... (5:33 PM) : 

I agree that we wear our outerwear too big. A lot of times, I think people tend to consider it more of a utilitarian, functional piece, just to keep you warm. I get really happy when I find a winter coat that is perfectly seamed for me. :)

I might disagree a little bit about the sleeve length though. While they shouldn't be super long and hanging off your hands, I think that if it goes down to the place where the hand and the wrist meet, it creates a longer, leaner line from the shoulder (where the seam really needs to be in the proper place - a hazzard of oversized anything) to the hand. I know that's the case for me, at least: when sleeves are shorter, my arms look stumpy.

However, these guys look great! I wonder if it's because the cuffs of their shirt sleeves continues the visual line. If the cuffs weren't poking out, I think it wouldn't look that great.


Blogger Danielle said ... (5:39 PM) : 

Oooh I love Barbour jackets! :)



Anonymous pommieknight said ... (5:45 PM) : 

Both very stylish, but not very practical. Remember, form follows function.


Blogger Cat said ... (5:51 PM) : 

I love the jackets! and love The Sartorialist too! :)


Blogger Ruhvana and Flanelli said ... (5:52 PM) : 

I'm a fan of short sleeves like this. Only problem with it is that when it's -25c it becomes quite impossible, but lovely non the less.



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:55 PM) : 

YES! I agree, I agree! and very often the upper arm is way too wide also.

Barbour coats for women have a good length sleeve but not the mens - why is that?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:56 PM) : 

Interesting concept that you bring up here, Sart.... Hmmm.... will have to think about this - But, right now, I don't think I'm diggin' the shorter sleeve, to be honest. Heck, I'm still strugglin' with the shorter trouser length that has been all the rage in Italia for the past few seasons - One @ a time, Sart !! :-)

♥ when you bring attention to such seemingly innocuous things... ♥ That's why I, & many others ♥ 'The Sartorialist' !! ☆

- Brad/


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:01 PM) : 

I don't know that I would call the guy in the second picture "elegant." That coat looks way too small, like he shrunk it in the dryer by mistake. His coat looks secondhand in a bad way.

I agree most people wear their sleeves entirely too long. I think it makes the overall look sloppy. Especially with suits; the wearers of ill-fitting jackets look like they're playing dress up.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:04 PM) : 

I love this website and photographs, but man your choices of style completely disregard things like the fact that sometimes, the weather drops below zero.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:04 PM) : 

ok, the second one is just too tight, that's not chic .


Blogger Petey said ... (6:07 PM) : 

I like a shorter sleeve on a woman's coat but not on a man's jacket. It just looks like it's too small. Same goes for the jacket on the second man. Yes, he's handsome, but his jacket is not and looks like he nicked it from his teenage son or nephew. Not buying it!


Blogger roelien said ... (6:11 PM) : 

these coats are manufactured for men with a shorter, stockier build than the guys you picture here. the same goes for the ladies' versions. i'm all for the practical approach – long sleeves in winter to protect against cold, wet and dirt. as much as i like barbour coats, i can never wear them, because they just don't fit me.
but really, what is this obsession you have with clothes that are too small?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:14 PM) : 

they are both amazing!


Blogger Brianne said ... (6:18 PM) : 

I like shorter sleeves because it adds another layer/level to the overall presentation, and lengthens the line of the arm. Also, it kind of gives the impression of confidence, like you have nothing to hide ;) If being cold is an issue, well, a little ingenuity can go a long way - I'm sure there are men who make it work and still stay warm.

International Fashion


Blogger My Heart Blogged said ... (6:18 PM) : 

I love that with the shorter coat you can show off a nice wrist watch. It looks like a more casual look though.
My Heart Blogged


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:32 PM) : 

more fantastic observations, :)


Blogger a Broad said ... (6:33 PM) : 

Wait a minute, look closely at guy # 2 .. did he cuff the sleeves ? they look like they are cuffed back a tiny bit.


Blogger Κάλαθο said ... (6:38 PM) : 

Straight to the point!


Blogger Lisa (aka sweetie) said ... (6:41 PM) : 

I do like the fitted look on men. I started dressing my hubby in more fitted clothes and it looks fact, I bought him a jacket similar to this one here..



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:42 PM) : 

Well, are you going for comfort or style? Like many others have pointed out, the longer sleeve and larger sizes that you get with outerwear are because they're meant to be worn over layers and to protect you from the elements. A shorter sleeve might look chic here, but in northern climates where there are feet of snow it just isn't practical. I don't care how I look...I just want to make sure I don't get frostbite!


Blogger Efren Jarquin said ... (7:02 PM) : 

The problem I think lies in the fact that a lot of men think that fitted clothing is not very masculine. What I am glad is to see a new wave, a sense or appreciation for tailored, more fitting clothing among a younger
group of men.


Blogger Glennardo said ... (7:14 PM) : 

Not to diminish the embodied heat of anyone's personal or "Sartorialist" style . . .

But -- if, one lives in or dresses for the actual outerwear demands of a cyclic semi-arctic climate (read: Minneapolis, Stockholm, New York 2011?, etc.) -- then, "fashion ought follow (or at least, complement) function".

My well-travelled, well-weathered, well-worn, and worn-well winter suggestions:
Transitional-season sport coats, blazers, suits should be tailored to -- share a bit of style, and thus "show a bit of sleeve".
But, if you're actually wearing a piece of outerwear for durable caloric comfort (rather than for momentary photogenic fashion) -- then, "Listen to your mother!". Cover up those sensitive veinous thermal radiators (aka: your wrists).

It's your style.
Use your head, not someone else's.
Keep your heart, and your core, warm.
Wear your style on your head, not on your sleeve.


Blogger Robert Sisson said ... (7:16 PM) : 

The shorter sleeve and pant lengths remind me of something Steve Erkel might wear :- )


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:23 PM) : 

Like the gentlemen are wearing it cold air manages to seep between layers much more than with a big long-sleeved jacket.

Please, first comfort, then fashion.
Ideally we seek both but in this case COMFORT AND WARMTH.


Anonymous Gabriel said ... (7:33 PM) : 

Not just on outerwear, but I think the sleeves are too long (and overall proportions too wide) on most men's clothes in the US (I mean, look at the Urban Outfitters models, to begin with: they look like they were dressed by their moms!).

That's yet another thing contemporary designers and manufacturers could learn from vintage clothes, which were usually cut shorter and narrower.

I think showing at least an inch of cuff on a suit jacket or overcoat looks elegant, and even makes the person look taller and leaner.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:41 PM) : 

Disagree. I wear a coat for warmth, not to show off my cuffs.

The top guy looks like his jacket's too short for his long arms and legs. The second guy rolled up the cuffs on his jacket, which is the better way to go when there's some relief from the cold.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:46 PM) : 




Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:16 PM) : 

Love to people watch through your eyes/lens! I think the jacket looks uncomfortably small - ill fitted. Not a fan of the shorter sleeve length - and there is the practical side of outwear with properly fitted (in length) sleeves since it's cold out.


Blogger S said ... (8:23 PM) : 

I think this definitely looks better. As long as the colour of the shirt compliments the jacket.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:43 PM) : 

I hope there is more to life than proper sleeve length.


Blogger Francesca said ... (8:50 PM) : 

agreed! love it


Le Kiss Kiss- Click Here!


Blogger Kathleen said ... (9:03 PM) : 

I don't know about this debate or better put question you're are asking us. And I do agree with another blogger regarding sleeve shortness, or how much skin is exposed versus, the actual outdoor temp. I was taught a rule of thumb concerning blazer or jacket or sleeve length that I've always followed. The sleeves on both shirts are correct according to our house rule. The jacket a bit shorter than I would wear, but just a tad. I think this goes to personal choice and what the weather deems.


Blogger Ultra Violette said ... (9:13 PM) : 

I really love those jackets! follow me at and I'll be sure to follow you back :)


Blogger fashioneggpplant said ... (9:23 PM) : 

I think his jacket looks fine. as long as the houlder seams are in the right place, I don't see any problem. He has the figure to back it up anyway. The second pic is awesome though. The guy looks like such an interesting character. Someone I'd like to sit down and have a conversation with.


Anonymous YogaSpy said ... (9:46 PM) : 


Unless the sleeves are specifically short (such as 3/4-length), long sleeves above the wrist bone just look shrunken.

After all, limbs (arms and legs) should appear long! If the sleeves are short, they truncate the limb length and look stubby and awkward.


Anonymous Andrew said ... (9:51 PM) : 

I like this sleeve length. I understand what the people are saying regarding the longer length being necessary for the cold, but a shorter length is great for the warmer days and if it is colder it is just an opportunity to bust out some gloves and tie them in with the rest of the ensemble.


Blogger KM said ... (9:54 PM) : 

I like the look of the second one, but not the first as much. As much as the shorter sleeve might look stylish on coats, it's not that utilitarian.


Blogger La Petite Marmoset said ... (10:35 PM) : 

You always notice these wonderful details! Honestly, in our part of the US right now (and I mean NY and DC and the northeast in general) wearing outerwear too big is more out of necessity!


Anonymous Maryanne said ... (10:50 PM) : 

i noticed the slicked back longer length hair.
a possible trend? keeping with the center parted 60's vibe prevalent with women's hair at the moment.

The shorter sleeve length makes's usually the sleeves which get dirtiest fastest.


Anonymous Christine said ... (11:10 PM) : 

short sleeves+NY weather=cold wrists


Blogger Lisa Petrarca said ... (11:11 PM) : 

I see what you mean, but there is nothing better when it's cold than to be able to tuck your hands up in your too long sleeves for warmth!


Blogger Marrisa said ... (11:18 PM) : 

I love the first photo with the hand in the pocket and the hint of the watch. Very classy!

Please check out my blog and follow me!


Anonymous Mike said ... (12:01 AM) : 

Went to dinner with my french cuffs poking out my trench tonight. Just happened to stumble upon the right combo. Felt like a baller.


Blogger SOFIA said ... (12:04 AM) : 

love it!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:44 AM) : 

The first look isn't awful, but the second is just silly. As a tall person I get twitchy about sleeve and inseam lengths--I know too-short is in right now, but I really hate it.


Blogger Kristian said ... (1:22 AM) : 

The gentleman on picture no. 2 is wearing his otherwise very nice Barbour too small. Never been a fan of sort sleeves nor anything clothing that sits tight around he wist like that. Also...that jacket is creaming for a new layer of oil. It looks as dry as an empty Martini glass.


Anonymous @unChCh said ... (1:45 AM) : 

I prefer the first one!


Anonymous deka said ... (1:56 AM) : 



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:54 AM) : 

You`re absolutely right! When I wear my classic black jacket with shorter sleeves - I feel much more comfortable! And..jacket with longer slevees is simply forgotten..


Blogger Ionuț Rădulescu said ... (3:21 AM) : 

The scarf...the jacket...the glasses...the patterns...the composition!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:34 AM) : 

It's been said here already and I must agree: it's about functionality. I'm not only small but short too (167cm), so virtually everything I buy off the rack has sleeves that are longer than those of the gentlemen pictured.

However, this leads to the second point: in the winter I am very happy for this! On a bicycle my hands and wrists lead the way, so to speak, and it's important not to have a gap between glove and sleeve.

The third point: outerwear (and everything else, actually) that fits to the body is essential: you also know this if you ride a bicycle. The clothes must not only keep you warm, they must move with you - and move the way you do. So yes, tailoring is very important. Clothes that do not really relate to the body wearing them look like a costume.

But is it really true that Americans wear everything too big? Here in Germany, people are also sometimes unsure about sizing. It may have to do with the role of the body in the culture...


Blogger dEJOISS said ... (3:46 AM) : 

Nice. :D


Anonymous Che cosa said ... (4:06 AM) : 

This is my own shirt cuff showing


Blogger Matt Lents said ... (4:29 AM) : 

A Nordstrom attendant told me that a jacket's sleeve should come almost to the knuckle because it's tacky to have your sleeve popping out.

I told her she was an idiot and that she should read your website.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:44 AM) : 

I'm ok, very nice but COLD???


Blogger E... said ... (6:37 AM) : 

So british cool these pcis!!


Anonymous Mark said ... (7:02 AM) : 

The first jacket is very stylish, a good British countryside gents look with a twist of continental Europe. When it’s extremely cold, you find that quilted jacket is also used as an undergarment to the Barbour waxed overcoats, hence having a slimmer fitting. The Liddesdale Barbour jacket is very warm and has been tailored to give a wonderful look. Here is a link to the jacket:

Personally, I have a disdain towards the way the chap is wearing the second jacket (Belstaff vintage XL500); it’s ill-fitting and badly worn. This classic Belstaff jacket was originally designed to be fitted and as such does not need to be bought two sizes too small…


Blogger reigs said ... (8:35 AM) : 

Barbour jackets always have a slghtly shorter sleeve length - it's just how they're made.

Jacket in 2nd photo doesn't fit him.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:53 AM) : 

who cares about the sleevelengh in the second photo??? That guy is HOT!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:56 AM) : 

It looks very nice and is fine if the weather is good. Otherwise, short sleeves defeat the purpose of outerwear. I want to be warm and protect clothes from the elements.


Blogger CW said ... (9:10 AM) : 

Long sleeves on outerwear serve a purpose - to arms and hands warm. Sometimes the sleeves are cuffable. However, just as miniskirts led to maxicoats and thigh-high boots on women in the 1960s-1970s, shorter outerwear sleeves should lead to gauntlet gloves. This should be the adaptation to fulfill clothing's basic function - to protect us from the elements.


Anonymous Lucy said ... (10:23 AM) : 

ugh, as a tall woman I absolutley hate that coat sleeves are always this length on me. I had to knit little wrist warmers to keep the draft out.


Blogger KC said ... (10:32 AM) : 

i do believe cuffs are meant to be shown.


Blogger Davidikus said ... (11:05 AM) : 

I have been thinking the same lately: should I shorten the sleeves (obviously from the shoulder, rather than at the cuff) on my overcoat?

I have come to the conclusion that an overcoat is just that: Something you can wear over a coat/jacket. It needs to protect the coat/jacket cuffs (from wear) & the wearer from cold.

On the other hand, of course coat/jackets should let some of the cuff show! It would not be elegant otherwise.


Blogger Wojtek G said ... (11:32 AM) : 

Ohh.. lovely coat on the second photo. Does anybody know where can I buy similar one?? Cheers.


Blogger lintmag said ... (11:35 AM) : 

I think the lower photo guy looks good with that length, possibly because it's a sweater underneath, but in the top photo the jacket sleeves look too short as if he's borrowed someone smaller's coat.
As a woman I like to sometimes wear the shorter sleeve and then fill it in with bracelets and watch.


Blogger Agne said ... (11:36 AM) : 

jackets <3


Blogger Alec OJ said ... (11:39 AM) : 

The second picture looks stylish, but this Belstaff jacket is made to ride a motorcycle, so imagine if this man would put his arms on a handlebar... problably it would look ridiculous and maybe his jacket would even rip out! Long sleeves in this kind of jackets are made for a reason. I wear a Barbour International, I don't ride motorcycles, but it remains a motorcycle jacket, and has to look as it! Forced styles risk to result uncool...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:14 PM) : 

Yuck. Looks adolescent: outgrown sleeves. Not a good look for mature men. An outside coat is for cover; save the wrists and cuffs for indoors.
Having said so, I have an absurd fondness for skin-thin leather blazers with a mile or so of made-by-mom muffler perched at the neck.
- Jean


Anonymous Red Red said ... (12:15 PM) : 

Disagree. Not for outerwear.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:11 PM) : 

short sleeves are colder fer chrissakes wtf


Blogger fabulous said ... (3:32 PM) : 

Americans seem to always wear clothing a little too big! I personally love the shorter sleeve and have purchased a number of jackets a little short to show the details underneath!


Blogger SartorialMan_DK said ... (4:00 PM) : 

This is something I'll remember when I'm going shopping for a new coat in a few weeks - thanks for opening my eyes!


Blogger Lucy Lu said ... (4:10 PM) : 

The second man is so casual-classy: can I have a date?


Blogger Wolfgang said ... (4:29 PM) : 

Most of the Barbours are tough to pull off that way because the inner cuff feels two inches off. While the look might be ok, it throws off my equilibrium.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:00 PM) : 

let me teach you all a thing or two about these jackets. the first one is a barbour waxed cotton field jacket LINER. it is not a jacket, but just a snap-out insulating liner. the sleeves are short because the outershell extends past them. the second jacket is a belstaff motorcycle jacket. beautiful. i wear one too. however, the sleeve length is short not for style, but for practical applications - the ease of wearing long motorcycle gloves over the jacket sleeve to prevent freezing wind drafting up your arm. the "fashion" here is a by-product, not the main purpose.


Blogger Juxta said ... (5:36 PM) : 

Surely if the sleeve is too long then the rest of the jacket doesn't fit across the shoulders and does up wrong, that is unless it has been designed with this in mind ... Is it something to do with the shorter trouser leg and the showing off of the socks??? Im amused :)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:44 PM) : 

While I think it can look stylish personal experience living in a cold environment will have me skipping this bit of advice. It is fine when it is 40F, but at 20F it just is not worth the style points. One commenter suggests gloves, but in all honesty who wants to always have to wear gloves because the sleeves on their jackets are too short?


Blogger Christiane said ... (6:23 PM) : 

There is the question of fitted or just plain short. Americans seem to be bigger than other people in general, that with a generation of kids fed to bermuda shorts and baggy jeans, you have a whole lot of people who don't know how to dress up. Maybe it's the 5 years in france that ruined me, but some told me I was a snob for saying the shirt needed to be fitted, lol, I used to work in italian retail so I found it funny. Granted issues of proportions get in the way to finding the perfect item and we've mistakes/flaws become trends.


Blogger Brummagem Joe said ... (7:22 PM) : 

Well you'd be wrong on the matter of sleeve length Scott. Nothing, with the possible exception of puddled pants on your shoes, looks worse than a top coat with acres of jacket and/or shirt cuff sticking out. And I say that as someone who wears well fitted covert and chesterfield coats but wouldn't dream of having their cuff a couple of inches above the wrist. And you shouldn't encourage others to pursue this naff look. The guy in the Barbour is fine because all he's done is fold his cuff's back which is something one can do all the time with semi formal coats but there's a world of difference between this and the guy in the paddock coat which quite simply doesn't fit him!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:29 PM) : 

I don't mind the look of shorter sleeves if you consider this outerwear for spring or fall, but both of these jackets would be ridiculous for winter. I live in a city where gloves are not optional from November to March, so short sleeves are not a fun opportunity to wear gloves, they are a sign of poor design.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:49 PM) : 

Fashion should not always be practical. That is what makes it fun. I say embrace the new bracelet sleeve length for both men and women!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:34 AM) : 

I'm from Canada. Beleive me, you want your wrists covered.


Blogger Juxta said ... (11:54 AM) : 

DOH, I just re read my post !!! Surely if the sleeve is too SHORT then the rest of the jacket doesn't fit across the shoulders and does up wrong, that is unless it has been designed with this in mind ... Is it something to do with the shorter trouser leg and the showing off of the socks??? Im amused :)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:25 PM) : 

I like more wrist coverage, I imagine if either of these gentlemen raise their hand to talk on the phone, more wrist will be uncovered and be COLD!
I stick with longer and warmer in the dead of winter, the Spring or Fall is different


Anonymous jdit said ... (1:18 PM) : 

Scott I appreciate the aesthetic of the look a shorter sleeve length gives the wearer. Like all things affected by practicality, where I am most often, dealing with the weather would take the lead position over style and many times even demand a cuff to close around the wrist and leave not an inch of flesh possibly exposed.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:35 PM) : 

Twist and turn it any way you want. The sleeves are simply too short. Sure you may like them like this for this season and next season you will look at them and say they are too short. When we run out of proportions to adjust we look to change perfection. Too short, too short


Anonymous Chris said ... (2:41 PM) : 

More than just the atypical "big american" comment;

Depending on the weather a longer sleeve will keep me warmer. I don't mind the shorter sleeve for warmer weather.
A shorter sleeve also will make my gloves look quite out of place.
So... depends on the weather.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:21 PM) : 

Barbour works perfectly for this look. I don't think they intentionally cut it that way. I just think the size that's "slim" in a fashionable sense is really manufactured for a size "small" man with shorter arms. If you're slender and buy a Barbour that properly fits your body, the sleeves will ALWAYS be short.


Blogger CW said ... (5:23 PM) : 

Not all of us are the "slim fit" sizes we were when we were younger.


Anonymous JMH said ... (5:26 PM) : 

I live in Finland. We commonly have -20°C (-4°F) and colder temperatures in winter. My wintercoats have sleeves that reach to the exactly same spot that Mr. Bellamy sports in the top photo. My gloves fill the gap and I still can be elegant indoors when carrying my gloves.

Both overly long sleeves (that don't show the cuff) and overly long pantlegs (that have a break) share the same effect: they make you look clumsy. Same thing with loose waists, hideously wide sleeves/pants and overhanging shoulders.

It doesn't have anything to do with practicality - there are boots and gloves to fill the gap. It's about willingness to look smart.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:37 PM) : 

Agreed, Agreed, and Agreed!
I can't help to agree with your commentray on sleeve length but maybe due to the fact I always saw things this way growing up. It is these details that sets apart theones who really dress for the pleasure of it.
The oversize outerwear is an epidemic here in the U.S. and do not even get me started on the sports offense but there has got to be someone out there that can dress those guys!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:39 PM) : 


Ignorance is Bliss, I suppose.



Blogger saraH said ... (5:49 PM) : 

you are simply splendid. love your work.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:52 PM) : 

Ralph Bellamy's slim fit is vastly superior to the smoking man's.


Blogger Donna said ... (5:53 PM) : 

I think the same should apply to womens wear too. never a fan of exaggerated slv lengths.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:57 PM) : 

That's what the guy on E's Fashion Police said recently.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:07 PM) : 

You are not beating a dead horse. It is definitely up for discussion. I think it is jarring for most Americans because of the abundance of men wearing clothing too big for them and as a consequence sleeve length is excessive. It all starts with tailoring. I think this link from sometime ago is symptomatic of where and how men dress


Anonymous Shaun Crowley said ... (6:52 PM) : 

An exposed cuff has always be a sign of wealth, and to a large extent vigor and confidence.

It can always be noted that in most or the Rat Pack's iconic images, the guys always have this style detail.



Anonymous pommieknight said ... (6:55 PM) : 

I have a Barbour stockman's coat which exposes my cuff in the way of photo 1. Which is fine, to a point. But the principle of a stockman's coat is to give you real protection against the rain. I don't fancy wearing vet's arm-length gloves to cover the space!!

I also have a Barbour Berwick wool coat which comes with internal storm cuffs. These wouldn't close with the cuff ending so far above the wrist.

I shan't hide behind the "form follows function" dogma, despite my previous comment. Yes, I agree. It does look very stylish. It *is* a great option to be able to wear a coat differently, should the weather permit. However, I like my coats to be practical *and* stylish. To each their own, yes?


Anonymous pommieknight said ... (7:00 PM) : 

Oh, before I forget - I am, however, all *for* the showing of cuff under the sleeve of a suit jacket/blazer. This should be mandatory, gentlemen.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:01 PM) : 

"You'll never be warm with exposed wrists"??? Come on!! Wear a nice glove! That makes as much sense as "I can't wear heels"!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:07 PM) : 

LOve the second outfit, casual but really elegant at the same time. Love the cuff detail, either in a formal or an informal way.


Anonymous Carolyn Robbins said ... (7:14 PM) : 

Just recently I have been hemming all my pant legs shorter. I do like flashing a bit of color with the socks I wear. I'm not a fashion expert, but an interior designer, yet I sense a similar thing happening in interior situations, especially with the use of a small bit of a color. Maybe it's time to play the Victorian card but with a different skew on 'how' we are noticed. Like a dropped handkerchief; we recognize subtleness. We have been so completely blasted with skin and bellies and everything showing, for so long, it may be a moment of inhale. The less you show, the more provocative....or in this case, you tease with color.

Like an opposite color on the inside of a pleat. Peek a boo is wonderful isn't it?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:20 PM) : 

AND Ralph Bellamy looks pretty hot!


Blogger I V E S T I T I ! said ... (7:29 PM) : 

I wish more men would dress like this to go out on the town...


Blogger Kaitlyn said ... (7:39 PM) : 

I definitely like the shorter sleeve length on jackets! Being from Australia, I can't say whether I'd love it in the biting cold of those Northern Hemisphere winters, but from a purely aesthetic point of view I think it creates a far more balanced silhouette. Definitely nothing wrong with showing off a slim wrist when the rest of your arm is under bulky wrapping. Women have been doing it for years, and we're never wrong ;)

x K


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:02 PM) : 

I disagree. There is "too short" and there is "too long." Post some "just rights" and we're in business.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:27 PM) : 

Despite feeling a little chilly today, this post kept me feeling quite warm, if not a little smug, as I sported my favorite wrist-length coat around New York's icy streets. I haven't quite thrown "form follows function" out the window, but as you suggested I do feel more and more open to flattering options.


Blogger Kristen said ... (8:29 PM) : 

Mr. Bellamy looks great here! And, don't get me wrong -- the other guys look great! It seems like his sleeves are longer than those of the two men below, though. I see what you're saying, however. A little bit of cuff poking out is good.

What I love even more about his outwerwear, though, is how it is overall fitted. Looks great!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:36 PM) : 

In the case of the Barbour jkt, I think it's just that old-school English labels tend to have shorter arms than equivalent U.S. products. Shoulders are narrower, too. Brits are definitely not smaller than their American peers nowadays, and you notice that in more up-to-date U.K. labels' sizing.


Anonymous Christian said ... (9:29 PM) : 

Yes, a slim fit coat is cool, and it's a rule in for many Italians, me too. Nice that you noticed...but it's not appreciated abroad they look at you in a strange way. Go ahead Scott! :)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:35 PM) : 

I usually agree with Mr. Schuman's opinions on men's style but not in this case I'm afraid. The purpose of outerwear is to shield one from the elements. It is more function than form or fashion. Consider a man wearing gloves in the winter. The outerwear sleeve should extend beyond the vent of the glove to keep the wrist warm and shielded from snow/rain/cold etc... Of course this is not the case with the odd jacket which looks quite rakish when showing a bit of shirt cuff. However the odd jacket and outerwear, although similar in design, serve completely different purposes.


Blogger amanda archambault said ... (9:36 PM) : 

I love the style of these men! I love to see men in suits and dressed up.

xoxo, A


Anonymous Raquel said ... (9:36 PM) : 

I have to say I love a good cropped coat sleeve with an extra long sweater or top sleeve ruched up to the wrist just under it. This also helps with the cold wrists for those of us who are constantly forgetting where we've placed our gloves.


Anonymous Montreal said ... (9:53 PM) : 

Totaly agree Sart.
After reading your post I put on my slim fit double breasted Armani overcoat to step out to our local watering hole in Westmount and guess what? I had shirt cuff's showing. Now for the comments to wear it this way when only warmer. It's 22F. here this evening, warmer than the last two days at around 0 F. I put my warm leather gloves on and my shirt sleves don't show and I'm very warm but when I arrive and take them off they do show again with style


Blogger IGM said ... (10:01 PM) : 

How you treat your sleeve is a detail that says enormous amounts about you and how you get dressed. Ive never got a jacket or a coat that i did not need to have shorten or fix to fit exactly.
showing some cuff is perfect!
love the post and the pic.


Blogger La Nouvelle Observatrice said ... (10:27 PM) : 

Shorter sleeves, shorter cuffs, too I'm seeing a trend here.


Blogger WichitonianGraft said ... (11:02 PM) : 

When I was younger I always had a taste for french cuffs and the way they show slightly beyond the jacket sleeve. There's something to be said about that look.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:11 PM) : 

OK Scott, you like Bellamy's coat. The real question is, "Is this coat over a suit, and where does the suit's sleeve fall?"

If he wears a "coat" as an "extended sportcoat" over a shirt [can't tell because of the scarf], then yes, maybe a little sleeve. This, provided that he keeps his "coat" on all evening.

- M


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:16 PM) : 

Don't you think Ralph Bellamy's coat looks a "tad" more polished and better-fitted than the second photo of the gentleman on the street? A hint of cuff is fine as long as the look doesn't appear ill-fitting. I just see some of the men in current-day photos as wearing clothes entirely too small for them. So unattractive, and not particularly masculine in my opinion.


Blogger Ninjagaiden78 said ... (11:56 PM) : 

I agree Sart.
I think that Americans have been programmed to buy and wear everything bigger, instead of a nice fit.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:04 AM) : 

OK sp everybody's figure is unique, but as an over-arching value thank you Sartorialist for offering the alternative of a slimmer fit with stylish details like the cuff showing. It's an idea worth touting, and the gentleman with the physique and the occasion might sport this look. It's an option, not a one-size-takes-all solution for every man in every climate. The slim cut from the movie still is so refined and gentlemanly, it ignites my fire.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:11 AM) : 

is it really that hard to imagine wearing outerwear that is a wee bit shorter to show the cuffs underneath? (cold or not....Or maybe I'm just willing to suffer for personal style every once in a while.) Sometimes "rules" can be stifling. I think all three men look fabulous.


Blogger MARK said ... (12:13 AM) : 

As much as I would like to own a Barbour jacket, this is the reason I have never purchased one. The short sleeve looks and feels uncomfortable to me.


Anonymous YogaSpy said ... (12:19 AM) : 

Bellamy's sleeves are not nearly as short as the two modern men you photographed. There is a big difference between a jaunty hint of sleeve showing--and stunted long sleeves that look like an overgrown kid wearing last year's coat!

I agree that a flash of white (or whatever the shirt color might be) can be a stylish touch! But that wasn't the case with the recent photos.

Also, there's a difference between a suit coat and an overcoat, which looks better with fully long sleeves.

Just my two cents.


Anonymous safra said ... (12:30 AM) : 

interesting that you say that. i find so much comfort in my oversized military parka. but i agree with coats such as these - there's not to be too big.


Blogger Arthurs House said ... (12:59 AM) : 

Like Hitchcock said, "Cary Grant has no age".

Thanks Scott for your eye to detail. I feel better that my Barbour always fit me a little short in the sleeves.


Blogger The Pilgrim said ... (1:12 AM) : 

Oh, the whole clothing size and sleeve length debate! Personally I think clothes that fit too big or sleeves that are too long are loathsome, and it's absolutely true that off-the-rack clothes in the US are usually larger than in Europe (I think this responds to the old myth that American men are bigger. Yeah, OK). I'm about 5'9 and wear a 46/48 italian suit size, and a size S in most American retailers is too big for me, whereas in Europe I buy a size S or sometimes even M.

Now, a short sleeved coat over a suit can look awkward and one needs the extra sleeve length to accommodate the jacket's shoulder pads (unless the whole thing is perfectly tailor-made, as Ralph Bellamy's ensemble probably is), but in the modern example you show it looks casual and chic, imho. By the way it seems that some fail to notice that the gentleman in the second picture is wearing a cuffed jacket and folder the sleeves up a little, otherwise they would come to about half his shirt cuffs.


Blogger Sarah Keliher Walsh said ... (2:07 AM) : 

i totally agree, probably because all my outwear pieces are fabulous hand-me-downs from my grandmother who is a much shorter than me. finally i can look back on years of cold wrists with pride.


Anonymous jimjims said ... (2:08 AM) : 

I've been thinking this same thing for years.

My shoulders are a little broad and mess with the lengths of the tops I wear.

This simple look screams perfection in this imperfect balance of sleeve lengths.

It just feels and looks right from an aesthetic perspective.


Anonymous shoes uk said ... (2:13 AM) : 

I love shorter sleeve with woman's coats but i think man's jacket is better than woman's. It just looks like too small. But Same goes for the jacket for the second man. Because he is handsome person and have a nice personality. Overall nice collection i like all the jackets so much


Blogger smokey primrose said ... (2:41 AM) : 

with all due respect (and i love your work), i think the trend is not toward shorter sleeve lengths, but toward *proper* sleeve lengths. my understanding always was that a suit sleeve was to hit at the wrist-bone, period, so a bit of shirt sleeve can peek out.

i like this new "direction" though ... is a good thing.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:03 AM) : 

I think you are right. I worked for Tom Ford for years and always found the white cuff peaking out from his coat / suit sleeve very chic. It has and old school seducitve quality that we don't see enough of any more.

Take a page from Tom Ford's book. Even if only for special occasions, do the shorter outerwear sleeve lenght and let the impeccable white shirt sleeve show!


Anonymous Kill Your Darlings said ... (4:32 AM) : 

I love it when the shirt cuff peeks out!
I think it's very chic, not only for men, but also for women.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:13 AM) : 

I always pull my shirt sleeves long enough so that they can be seen... never paid much attention just do that without really thinking... just looks better that way.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:22 AM) : 

So hot and humid in Australia at the moment that no sleeve is the only length tolerable!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:35 AM) : 

That is exactly how I wear my Barbour. Some might find it too small but I like it.



Blogger THESTREETFASHION5XPRO said ... (5:50 AM) : 

love the last jacket!!


Anonymous Buch said ... (6:07 AM) : 

I must say, as a man living in Norway, that the argument "it's going to get cold" is not valid. As it is not unusual for it to be 10 degrees where I live, I can from personal experience say that cutting an inch off your sleeve will not kill you.
And, if you're not the polarbear I am, just wear some bloody gloves.


Anonymous Hannah said ... (6:58 AM) : 

Shorter sleeve lengths are great - I see this look qhite regularly in the UK, and being of lengthy proportions myself usually opt to 'pull up' my coat sleeves to accentuate the look!

Note to the many new Barbour wearers out there - you can send your Barbour back to HQ in Newcastle and they will (for a small fee) alter your coat to your own specification.


Blogger Sαrαh said ... (7:46 AM) : 

mmm Barbour


Anonymous JOE said ... (7:59 AM) : 

Hey Sart - Concur on your justification, and I guess it's all personal taste ! I do love the Barbour country coat fit. If I am correct, he's sporting a blazer underneath. I think the blazer, and the french cuff shirt really brings the coat out. I have been putting off by this country coat as I do have the Barbour International, but I don't think I can pull off this look in my International.



Blogger amaia said ... (8:12 AM) : 

Me encanta este estilo casual, desenfadado pero muy chic...muchos


Blogger 82Brute said ... (9:04 AM) : 

I love the fit of Ralph Belamy's coat here--(Bespoke?) It looks like it's even nipped in at the waist a bit, which makes his chest look broader and adds an element of masculine vitality. Really flattering. Change the fit of the coat, lengthen the sleeve and he goes from gentleman-going-to-the-theater to well-heeled thug. And here I have no beef with this exact sleeve length, even in very cold weather. A pair of gloves would easily make up the difference.


Blogger holly ann said ... (9:34 AM) : 

I was always under the impression that this was the proper way for a suit to fit. I Gathered this from my very elegant 90 year old grandfather who still wears a tie every day.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:40 AM) : 

The first pic looks so "Tango".
Love it!!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:33 PM) : 

My god, that first coat (on Bellamy) is outstanding. Thanks for pulling it out of the archives for us!


Blogger Kathleen said ... (12:38 PM) : 

Okay Scott, now you're hitting below the belt or should I say cuff? You've got a point here. I bet checking out stills of Cary Grant you'd find the same trend. I can picture it in my mind already. You ARE on to something. Keep up the good work. You make us think. Love it, Kathleen


Anonymous fashionsdirtylaundry said ... (12:48 PM) : 

I agree-- there is something very sophisticated about seeing sleeve layers.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:50 PM) : 

or, perhaps, they have just bought a size too small


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:58 PM) : 

you tell them Schumann, sleeve lenghts make all the difference, especially in pic 1... why canT we all live in a black and white world :D


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:01 PM) : 

I've looked at the two color photos before and after the addition of the one with Mr. Bellamy and I will admit that in the original viewing thought the sleeve length on the two gentlemen looked ridiculously short. But now?... I KNOW they are ridiculously short.

While I can see the authors point with Mr. Bellamy's coat alone. To wit, with a FLASH of cuff he looks to have had his coat tailored (which it probably was). HOWEVER, the two "trendy/chic/hip/modern" gentlemen? They both seem like a caricature of Mr. Bellamy.

With all due respect to those who truly like the "new" look, to me, it still looks like two grown men wearing clothes WAY too small for them.

At least I have been temporarily relieved from looking at pictures of men with ridiculously short pants.




Blogger Maison said ... (1:34 PM) : 

Sarto: my husband has our tailor to shorten all his blazers, jackets and shirts cuffs. He got that from his father, that got from his father that was a Japanese tailor!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:42 PM) : 

mr. sart going hard in da paint ! man's got opinions!


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