Wednesday, February 2, 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.

Actually, the first time I noticed it was when I was 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 where I still see it in person today, it rings so refined.

I mentioned in the post originally that maybe this was more sporty. As you can see in the photograph above, it does still look great in the most formal situation.

I was surprised by 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 am 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 take a special notice 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?


Close comment

Detach comments


  1. Elaine

    January 31, 2011 at 4:18 pm

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

  2. TheMen'sSide

    January 31, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Awesome jacket on the first photo!

  3. caribbelle

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

  4. gregorytoddsmith

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

  5. Allie

    January 31, 2011 at 4:25 pm

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

  6. Chevron d'Azur

    January 31, 2011 at 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?

  7. Nolita

    January 31, 2011 at 4:27 pm

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

    FB: Nolita Vintage Shop & Blog

  8. Cristy and Duda

    January 31, 2011 at 4:29 pm

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

  9. mademoiselleandcomag

    January 31, 2011 at 4:30 pm

  10. Rowena

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

  11. mademoiselleandcomag

    January 31, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    love these pics

  12. Anonymous

    January 31, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    The second pic just looks too small for him.

  13. Anonymous

    January 31, 2011 at 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?

    • Stan

      December 18, 2012 at 3:21 am

      Quite frankly I’ve seen women w. longer arms that show a bit–heck more than a bit!- -of wrist. It can actuallybe down right sexy!

  14. Anonymous

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

  15. Anonymous

    January 31, 2011 at 4:33 pm

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

  16. G.

    January 31, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    that first jacket – so good

  17. Mary ❤ Mur

    January 31, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    very cute post.))

    love it.))

  18. William Newton

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

  19. Sara Szatmary

    January 31, 2011 at 4:34 pm

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

  20. Anonymous

    January 31, 2011 at 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!

  21. a Broad

    January 31, 2011 at 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..

  22. Becky-May

    January 31, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    I love the first fella's craft cigarette

    The Flower Girl


  23. diana kang

    January 31, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    it looks way better with shorter sleeves!

  24. Angel

    January 31, 2011 at 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

  25. Andrea @ Andrea Reh

    January 31, 2011 at 4:45 pm

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

    Andrea x

  26. Fashion Agony

    January 31, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Great shots, the first one is my favorite!


  27. Castigo de Dior

    January 31, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Que guaposssss!

  28. T H E C O O L H U N T E R S

    January 31, 2011 at 4:51 pm


  29. Anonymous

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

  30. VicissitudiniLombarde

    January 31, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    The first coat is amazing!
    Love it.


  31. no nonsense tim

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

  32. Jennie Nhi Nguyen

    January 31, 2011 at 4:57 pm

  33. Caroline

    January 31, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    And a nice watch peeking out always helps!!!

  34. Fashion Monstre

    January 31, 2011 at 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

  35. Sophie Mhabille

    January 31, 2011 at 5:07 pm

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

  36. Mary Martha

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

    • Stan

      December 18, 2012 at 3:28 am

      I think there is a difference between say the “utilitarian” vs the ” lookin’ good” look. When you are puttin’ on the threads to impress you are not probably gonna’ be splittin’ firewood in the backyard.

  37. Anonymous

    January 31, 2011 at 5:08 pm

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

  38. Clem

    January 31, 2011 at 5:09 pm

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

  39. Thinman

    January 31, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    uh, ok. What's special?

  40. jimjims

    January 31, 2011 at 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!

  41. Anonymous

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

  42. KatyE.

    January 31, 2011 at 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!)

  43. The Goodfellas

    January 31, 2011 at 5:23 pm

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

  44. Tristan

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

  45. Tristan

    January 31, 2011 at 5:25 pm

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

  46. Kristen

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

  47. Danielle

    January 31, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Oooh I love Barbour jackets! :)


  48. pommieknight

    January 31, 2011 at 5:45 pm

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

  49. Cat

    January 31, 2011 at 5:51 pm

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

  50. Ruhvana and Flanelli

    January 31, 2011 at 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.


  51. Anonymous

    January 31, 2011 at 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?

  52. BRAD

    January 31, 2011 at 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/

  53. Anonymous

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

  54. Anonymous

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

  55. Anonymous

    January 31, 2011 at 6:04 pm

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

  56. Petey

    January 31, 2011 at 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!

  57. roelien

    January 31, 2011 at 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?

  58. Dominika

    January 31, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    they are both amazing!

  59. Brianne

    January 31, 2011 at 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

  60. My Heart Blogged

    January 31, 2011 at 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

  61. Ru

    January 31, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    more fantastic observations, :)

  62. a Broad

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

  63. Κάλαθο

    January 31, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Straight to the point!

  64. Lisa (aka sweetie)

    January 31, 2011 at 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..


  65. Anonymous

    January 31, 2011 at 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!

  66. Efren Jarquin

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

  67. Glennardo

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

  68. Robert Sisson

    January 31, 2011 at 7:16 pm

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

  69. Anonymous

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

  70. Gabriel

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

  71. Anonymous

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

  72. Anonymous

    January 31, 2011 at 7:46 pm



  73. Anonymous

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

  74. S

    January 31, 2011 at 8:23 pm

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

  75. Anonymous

    January 31, 2011 at 8:43 pm

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

  76. Francesca

    January 31, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    agreed! love it


    Le Kiss Kiss- Click Here!

  77. Kathleen

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

  78. Ultra Violette

    January 31, 2011 at 9:13 pm

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

  79. fashioneggpplant

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

  80. YogaSpy

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

  81. Andrew

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

  82. KM

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

  83. La Petite Marmoset

    January 31, 2011 at 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!

  84. Maryanne

    January 31, 2011 at 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.

  85. Christine

    January 31, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    short sleeves+NY weather=cold wrists

  86. Lisa Petrarca

    January 31, 2011 at 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!

  87. Marrisa

    January 31, 2011 at 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!

  88. Mike

    February 1, 2011 at 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.

  89. SOFIA

    February 1, 2011 at 12:04 am

    love it!

  90. Anonymous

    February 1, 2011 at 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.

  91. Kristian

    February 1, 2011 at 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.

  92. @unChCh

    February 1, 2011 at 1:45 am

    I prefer the first one!

  93. deka

    February 1, 2011 at 1:56 am


  94. laurakly

    February 1, 2011 at 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..

  95. Ionuț Rădulescu

    February 1, 2011 at 3:21 am

    The scarf…the jacket…the glasses…the patterns…the signs…cool composition!

  96. Anonymous

    February 1, 2011 at 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…

  97. dEJOISS

    February 1, 2011 at 3:46 am

    Nice. :D

  98. Che cosa

    February 1, 2011 at 4:06 am

    This is my own shirt cuff showing

  99. Matt Lents

    February 1, 2011 at 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.

  100. Anonymous

    February 1, 2011 at 4:44 am

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

  101. E...

    February 1, 2011 at 6:37 am

    So british cool these pcis!!

  102. Mark

    February 1, 2011 at 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…

  103. reigs

    February 1, 2011 at 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.

  104. Anonymous

    February 1, 2011 at 8:53 am

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

  105. Anonymous

    February 1, 2011 at 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.

  106. CW

    February 1, 2011 at 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.

  107. Lucy

    February 1, 2011 at 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.

  108. KC

    February 1, 2011 at 10:32 am

    i do believe cuffs are meant to be shown.

  109. Davidikus

    February 1, 2011 at 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.

  110. Wojtek G

    February 1, 2011 at 11:32 am

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

  111. lintmag

    February 1, 2011 at 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.

  112. Agne

    February 1, 2011 at 11:36 am

  113. Alec OJ

    February 1, 2011 at 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…

  114. Anonymous

    February 1, 2011 at 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

  115. Red Red

    February 1, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Disagree. Not for outerwear.

  116. Anonymous

    February 1, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    short sleeves are colder fer chrissakes wtf

  117. fabulous

    February 1, 2011 at 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!

  118. SartorialMan_DK

    February 1, 2011 at 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!

  119. Lucy Lu

    February 1, 2011 at 4:10 pm

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

  120. Wolfgang

    February 1, 2011 at 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.

  121. Anonymous

    February 1, 2011 at 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.

  122. Juxta

    February 1, 2011 at 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 :)

  123. Anonymous

    February 1, 2011 at 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?

  124. Christiane

    February 1, 2011 at 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.

  125. Brummagem Joe

    February 1, 2011 at 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!

  126. Anonymous

    February 1, 2011 at 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.

  127. Anonymous

    February 1, 2011 at 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!

  128. Anonymous

    February 2, 2011 at 10:34 am

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

  129. Juxta

    February 2, 2011 at 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 :)

  130. Anonymous

    February 2, 2011 at 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

  131. jdit

    February 2, 2011 at 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.

  132. Anonymous

    February 2, 2011 at 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

  133. Chris

    February 2, 2011 at 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.

  134. Anonymous

    February 2, 2011 at 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.

  135. CW

    February 2, 2011 at 5:23 pm

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

  136. JMH

    February 2, 2011 at 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.

  137. Anonymous

    February 2, 2011 at 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 players….no offense but there has got to be someone out there that can dress those guys!

  138. Anonymous

    February 2, 2011 at 5:39 pm


    Ignorance is Bliss, I suppose.


  139. saraH

    February 2, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    you are simply splendid. love your work.

  140. Anonymous

    February 2, 2011 at 5:52 pm

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

  141. Donna

    February 2, 2011 at 5:53 pm

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

  142. Anonymous

    February 2, 2011 at 5:57 pm

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

  143. Anonymous

    February 2, 2011 at 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

  144. Shaun Crowley

    February 2, 2011 at 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.


  145. pommieknight

    February 2, 2011 at 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?

  146. pommieknight

    February 2, 2011 at 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.

  147. Anonymous

    February 2, 2011 at 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"!

  148. choicesmultiple

    February 2, 2011 at 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.

  149. Carolyn Robbins

    February 2, 2011 at 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?

  150. Anonymous

    February 2, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    AND Ralph Bellamy looks pretty hot!

  151. I V E S T I T I !

    February 2, 2011 at 7:29 pm

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

  152. Kaitlyn

    February 2, 2011 at 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

  153. Anonymous

    February 2, 2011 at 8:02 pm

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

  154. Anonymous

    February 2, 2011 at 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.

  155. Kristen

    February 2, 2011 at 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!

  156. Anonymous

    February 2, 2011 at 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.

  157. Christian

    February 2, 2011 at 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! :)

  158. Anonymous

    February 2, 2011 at 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.

  159. amanda archambault

    February 2, 2011 at 9:36 pm

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

    xoxo, A

  160. Raquel

    February 2, 2011 at 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.

  161. Montreal

    February 2, 2011 at 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

  162. IGM

    February 2, 2011 at 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.

  163. La Nouvelle Observatrice

    February 2, 2011 at 10:27 pm

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

  164. WichitonianGraft

    February 2, 2011 at 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.

  165. Anonymous

    February 2, 2011 at 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

  166. Anonymous

    February 2, 2011 at 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.

  167. Ninjagaiden78

    February 2, 2011 at 11:56 pm

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

  168. Anonymous

    February 3, 2011 at 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.

  169. harmony1274

    February 3, 2011 at 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.

  170. MARK

    February 3, 2011 at 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.

  171. YogaSpy

    February 3, 2011 at 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.

  172. safra

    February 3, 2011 at 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.

  173. Arthurs House

    February 3, 2011 at 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.

  174. The Pilgrim

    February 3, 2011 at 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.

  175. Sarah Keliher Walsh

    February 3, 2011 at 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.

  176. jimjims

    February 3, 2011 at 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.

  177. shoes uk

    February 3, 2011 at 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

  178. smokey primrose

    February 3, 2011 at 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.

  179. Anonymous

    February 3, 2011 at 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!

  180. Kill Your Darlings

    February 3, 2011 at 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.

  181. Anonymous

    February 3, 2011 at 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.

  182. Anonymous

    February 3, 2011 at 5:22 am

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

  183. Anonymous

    February 3, 2011 at 5:35 am

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



    February 3, 2011 at 5:50 am

    love the last jacket!!

  185. Buch

    February 3, 2011 at 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.

  186. Hannah

    February 3, 2011 at 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.

  187. Sαrαh

    February 3, 2011 at 7:46 am

    mmm Barbour

  188. JOE

    February 3, 2011 at 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.

    Joe USA

  189. amaia

    February 3, 2011 at 8:12 am

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

  190. 82Brute

    February 3, 2011 at 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.

  191. holly ann

    February 3, 2011 at 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.

  192. apasionadablog

    February 3, 2011 at 10:40 am

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

  193. Anonymous

    February 3, 2011 at 12:33 pm

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

  194. Kathleen

    February 3, 2011 at 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

  195. fashionsdirtylaundry

    February 3, 2011 at 12:48 pm

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

  196. Anonymous

    February 3, 2011 at 12:50 pm

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

  197. Ru

    February 3, 2011 at 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

  198. Anonymous

    February 3, 2011 at 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.



  199. Maison

    February 3, 2011 at 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!

  200. Anonymous

    February 3, 2011 at 1:42 pm

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

  201. Brynn

    February 3, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    i love the blue and green plaid scarf!

  202. Morgan

    February 3, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Oh, Monsieur Sartorialist, I adore your enthusiasm and attention to detail.

  203. Diana Maistrova

    February 3, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    I was excited to read Scott's passionate respond. I have to say that I know exactly what he ment and absolutely agree. ALthough it is nice to combine fashion and practicality, sometimes that can happen, and at the same time fashion is an art form. Personally, I have a couple of things I even don't have to wear, they are so aestetically beatiful that I need just look at them to have a blast, or I can say "visual high." I guess it all comes to what is important to you.

  204. Megan Sellers

    February 3, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    I agree, I like coats that fit tighter to the body and have room perhaps for your watch or a nice pair of gloves.

    Buying jackets over-sized is, I think, a trait left instilled in us by our mothers… "Leave room to grow!". :-)

    Most of us are done growing, invest in clothes that fit now. :-)

  205. Anonymous

    February 3, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    "You'll never be warm with an exposed wrist."
    That's why there are these things called gloves.

  206. Best of Beehive

    February 3, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    I have a friend who wears all of his sweaters with a slightly exposed cuff. It looks great when he's wearing a solid sweater and a patterned shirt. I think it definitely has a place and although you don't see it much, it looks great as a change of pace, if nothing else.

  207. Miz.November

    February 3, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Wow. I've never thought of this before as an issue. I have personally always thought that cuffs look better peeking out from under the outer sleeve. If I am wearing two layers, (jacket, sweater, even sweatshirt) I always pull the first layer sleeve out a little longer.

  208. Anonymous

    February 3, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    I like my sleeves short because I love to show off my wrists. For years I have worn my pants short, just above the ankle and yes it drives people nutty.

  209. avid chancer

    February 3, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Whenever I put on my peacoat I think of your last post on this subject. My sleeves end at my wrist and I have always thought this was a mark of good tailoring because of you. I definitely thinks it looks very classy.

  210. Holly

    February 3, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Will there be chances that his arms are just a bit long?
    We are not talking about haute couture, most of the people in Scott's photos are still wearing clothes available in the store, we can all get the same outfit ( but may not be the same stylish taste, that's why we check out Scott's blog for inspiration!)
    As long as the person feels good in own clothes, things are all fine!
    Plus, there are pockets on his jackets where he can put his hands to keep warm and consider he's all bundle up, I think he can survive in colder weather! Functional and stylish!

  211. Anonymous

    February 3, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    Totally agree about the shorter sleeve length. It looks chic here. The black quilted jacket is transformed from something quite ordinary into something refined – just because of the cuff.

  212. bixx

    February 3, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    don't give a damn. but it's a good movie.

  213. Anonymous

    February 4, 2011 at 2:29 am

    Yes, wearing outerwear sleeves short is an option.

    But you do realize that Ralph Bellamy was in a movie, and not dressing for the real outdoors. Right?

  214. Anonymous

    February 4, 2011 at 3:48 am

    this is a really nice post. and indeed the sleeve length is a controversial question. i was wondering what do you guys think about sleeve length for women's outwear: do same rules, what is the best esthetically plausible length?

  215. Anonymous

    February 4, 2011 at 4:18 am

    You don't need to buy a coat that fits too small to get slightly short sleeves, but under my point of view, one won't be able to wear short sleeved coat over a jacket as sleeves have to be wider and short sleeved coats are only nice when they fit slimmy.

  216. eveok Melbourne

    February 4, 2011 at 4:19 am

    My father always used to have some cuff showing. He had perfect taste, and wwas often desrcibed by people as a 'true gentleman'. He also could wear multiple plaids successfully.
    Eve, Melbourne

  217. Renata

    February 4, 2011 at 9:20 am

    NO ONE tops Cary Grant! Always and forever a style reference!

  218. [anna]

    February 4, 2011 at 11:12 am

    This is so true.

    Here in the States, jacket/outerwear sizes are getting too big and bulky. My younger brothers listen to my advice when it comes to clothes, and this is something I definitely will be nudging into their wardrobe.

    One of my favorite posts by far!
    Thanks bunches.

  219. Mark Thuesen

    February 4, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Another great photograph! Nice distinction between outerwear and overcoats.

    mark thuesen

  220. Anonymous

    February 4, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Not caring about the sleeve length…..and I kinda doubt this guy was too worried about it either. But I love the look……very jeep punk!

  221. James

    February 4, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    These two styles of coat are shorter in sleeve length for functionality. This look is currently very popular in Britain as the two brands, Barbour and Belstaff, are rich in English Heritage.

  222. Brummagem Joe

    February 4, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    "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."

    Obviously one has cuff showing from the sleeves of a jacket (that's why I buy bespoke shirts)but both are subsumed beneath the sleeve of your topcoat. None of this is incompatible with having well fitting Italian or London cut clothing.

  223. Brummagem Joe

    February 4, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    For the poster who thought Cary Grant would have his jacket and shirt sleeves poking out beneath his topcoat.

  224. Anonymous

    February 4, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    I loved hearing your insightful two cents, so tactful, modest and diplomatic, reminds me of when you silenced the critics of the boot pic without a word through the beautiful mini-docu…you rest your case, you're a class-act!!!!

  225. Anonymous

    February 4, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Love it. I bet this guy only has cool things in his closet, so this kind of thrown together look happens naturally. Reminds me of my friends from Iceland. Any thoughts of going there to take some photos?

  226. Anonymous

    February 5, 2011 at 7:45 am

    For years, truthfully decades, I've been fitting riding coats for the equestrian industry and have seen consistent reflections of the English riding style in fashion. The 1 to 2 inch cuff rule adds contrast and that classic look. These are wonderful photos!

  227. Marianne

    February 5, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    yes!! I completely agree. I'm a hunter-jumper equestrian, and it's customary to let the cuff of your shirt peek out from underneath the hunt coat and over your riding glove. It's such a simple, yet luxe little touch, and I love seeing the same thing happen in menswear.

    • Metalhead

      July 19, 2017 at 9:12 am

      Great idea, You are right, wrists should to be some naked between cuffs and gloves and its customary and nice for both sexes. I wear biker leather jacket and (in winter times) classic leather US patrol gloves, some too short sleeves of my jacket and shirt make a little gap between cuffs and gloves too, especially when I ride a bike. Its very comfortable, practical.
      Its turn me on, when I can see when this same happen in womenswear, especially on beautiful girls.
      Its suit with many male and female outfits, with most badass menswear and most delightful, feminine womenswear.
      Best regards, women who are hunters is cool and they impress me.

  228. Alan D West

    February 5, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I have worn shirts that poke out of my overcoat for a while now. Now I know it is cool after seeing your images and comments here.

  229. The Clever Pup

    February 6, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Whenever I see the man on the bottom now, I assume he has no socks on.

  230. Anonymous

    February 6, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    In mr Bellamy's case I guess it all could boil down to the prop master having a bad day. He looks a bit like someone is lifting him in the armpits. I recognize the body posture from my self in the fitting room, blinded by a sale bargain to good to let go off although I'm totally aware of it being two sizes smaller than what I'm usually wearing.

  231. Sebastian

    February 6, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    I do understand the elegance of the sleeve length. But as I think of myself clearing snow from the top and sides of my jeep, I also think of the snow getting between the sleeve and my gloves, melting and feeling funny.

    I feel you on this, but practicality kicks in…hard.

  232. KatyE.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:44 am

    I agree! You won me over! Shirt sleeve dominance over sleeve of outerwear-wins!

  233. miss anna katie

    February 7, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    well said scott! <3

  234. Zarich

    February 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    You should *always* wear a shirt cuff that is a half an inch longer than your suit jacket sleeve or coat. It looks so elegant and it is just the only way to wear a suit or coat. Why would you cover up a shirt cuff??? When you shoot your cuffs you're making sure your cuffs and cufflinks are on show. Anyone talking about cold wrists has forgotten gloves! Mens gloves should go quite a way up the wrist to cover the shirt cuff. Bit silly if they don't. Driving gloves are different but driving gloves are a sporting item and would originally have been worn to provide grip, not warmth.

  235. Stephen

    February 8, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    The obvious thing about wearing overcoats that don't cover your cuffs is that it's a quick way to end up with wet cuffs when it rains, and if it's not cold or raining why are you wearing the coat?

    You're going to take your coat off when you get to wherever you're going. You can wrap up until then.

  236. mdwalters1

    February 8, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    I'm just guessing, but both these guys look pretty tall (the jacket bodies look a little shorter, too); so maybe it's less a decision than a neccessity. That said, I agree that a bit shorter looks good to the eye.

  237. Anonymous

    February 9, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Nice jackets who is mr Belamy?

  238. VincentsPOV

    February 9, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    I agree with you on the perfect slim fit of the coat. I think for the most part we wear our coats unnecesarily oversized. We don't need bulk to stay warm and certainly not to look good.
    In regards to the shorter coat cuff comment again I agree wth you and disagree with the "freezing" comment. Hello; what are gloves for?

  239. Anonymous

    February 10, 2011 at 4:44 am

    Sorry – commented on wrong picture first. What I was saying is that it all depends on whether or not you're wearing gloves. Short sleeves with gloves look uniformly bad, while with bare hands it can look sharp, if done right.

  240. Anonymous

    February 10, 2011 at 9:57 am

    I don't think either one of them planned this shorter sleeve length. They probably liked the jackets and bought them despite the fact that the sleeves were short. I have done this in the past.

  241. Anonymous

    February 11, 2011 at 3:19 am

    I suspect not many Australians even know what a "Barbour" is? And we only talk "outerwear" if planning a ski trip. Having said that; the men in these pictures are wearing jackets too small for them! :-)

  242. Julian

    October 2, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    What’s the point of wearing overcoat if it don’t cover your shirt cuff… Sorry but I find it looks rather… What’s the opposite of sprezzatura?

  243. Marc

    January 6, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    After owning a winter jacket with shorter sleeves for a year, I’ve realized that it’s not a good idea for casual wear. The jacket should cover your arms up to your hands for warmth. The jacket should also completely shield your top from the elements. Walking around with wet shirt sleeves at the wrist because you walked through falling snow or wet snow isn’t a good feeling.

    Also, not all tops look good with the sleeves showing. I have a wool sweater that I like to wear, but with the sleeves showing past the jacket sleeves, it just looks sloppy. It’s never good to make style choices that restrict the combinations of clothes that you can pull off–it means you have to choose your clothes more carefully and shop more often.

  244. anonymous

    February 7, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    What brands other then the expensive formal Barbour have shorter sleeves on high quality coats?

    I have slightly shorter that average arms (32 inches) while my other dimension are either medium or large. I hate the feeling of a too long cuff hitting my hand. I usually have to look for a coat with elastic inner cuffs.

  245. anonymus

    May 30, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Hi all, I’m not elegant, I’m metalhead and in the winter i wear black leather gloves with black leather perfecto jacket, gloves is short (US military/police gloves), my jacket and blouse has some too short sleeves, so i have little gaps 0,5-1,5cm between glove and sleeve, when I bend or strech my arms, this gaps is bigger, but I don’t have cold wrists because wrists is much more resistant to cold than hands and fingers so wrists can to appear for me. Besides its comfortable and don’t interfere with any actions. I prefere this same rule in job ( sometimes I was physic worker ).
    I love gloves on girls and I think the most sexy option is long gloves with sleeveles clothes (dresses, corsets etc. ) I like when girl expose her legs and feet (barefoot or in open shoes), but female arms in long gloves is very mysterious and delicate for me.
    I heard some girls opinion that look good on guys, that is girls who tell me they like male arms and forearms. I don’t know is this popular female “perversion” ?
    But maybe its to depend on image, for example with hip hop clothing ( loose fitting blouse with hood, broad pants ) longer sleeves look better, but rocker/punk/heavy metal denim & leather image look better with shorter sleeves. For example look for “Mad Max” 1979 classic movie or some 70s/80s punk and heavy metal bands like The Ramones or Tank.
    This post is especially about elegant clothing, so i think a little too short sleeves look better than too long sleeves. Good example is debutante balls, this gaps is common, but girls wrists is hidden under they sexy long gloves.

  246. Metalhead

    July 19, 2017 at 8:58 am

    I think that wrist should to be a little visible between glove and cuff. I’m male and some too short sleeves of my rider leather jacket and shirt under this jacket make a little gaps between gloves and sleeves. Its customary for both sexes, especially men, but sometimes women too.
    I totally agree with Marianne and I like to see when this same happen in womenswear, even though my favourite way to wear gloves by women is long gloves with sleeveles dresses (totally oposite option).

Leave a comment

Related posts