9 June 2014

Arm bands, invaluable with off-the-rack shirts

I am aware that the opinions on shirt arm bands or sleeve garters are divided. Some seem to think they are items of the past and others seem to find it embarrassing to wear them. The embarrassment seems to stem from the thought that arm bands are signalling that you can't afford to buy bespoke shirts or have your off-the-rack shirts altered. Personally I think this is rubbish. I see the arm bands as one of the essentials for any gentleman.
One of the most important things with a shirt's fit is the sleeve length in relation to the sleeve length of the jacket. The shirt sleeves should be slightly longer than the jacket sleeves, so that the shirt cuffs are always showing when wearing a jacket. How much cuff should be shown is a matter of personal taste but I think anything between one and three centimetres is acceptable. This is, however, difficult to achieve unless you have the perfect, fully bespoke wardrobe with complete consistency in sleeve lengths of all your jackets and shirts. This scenario applies to hardly no anyone, so the solution is arm bands. 
The arm bands are one of those things that you wear to create consistency in how you dress and to get the details of dressing well correct. The arm bands should, however, not be shown and there is no need for anyone to know that you're wearing them. They should be worn over your shirt sleeves, I like to wear them just below the elbow, on the thickest part of the lower arm. Some people like to wear them on the upper arm, this all depends on what you're most comfortable with. They should only be worn when you're wearing a jacket. Without the jacket they lose their function, unless you need to pull your shirt sleeves up in order to protect your cuffs when doing work with your hands. I sometimes find it useful to use the arm bands to keep the shirt cuffs as far up as possible when I'm cooking. Anyway, when worn to keep a consistent and correct amount of cuff to be shown below the jacket sleeves, there is no need to wear the arm bands if you should happen to take your jacket off. 


My arm bands.
Invaluable for showing a consistent amount of shirt cuff.
Photo: AGL

I bought my arm bands from one of the shirt makers in Burlington arcade, London, but it may be more convenient to get yourself a pair online, like these sold by TM Lewin.

These arm bands are available from TM Lewin for as little
as £10, a small price to pay for a significant style
improvement.
 

The arm band worn right below the elbow will
keep the shirt cuffs at the correct length.
Photo: AGL

7 comments:

  1. Great read. Didn't know about these. I'll have to try them out. Unfortunately won't help with the couple of nice shirts I have that are a little short in the arm.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm pleased you found the article helpful. Haven't got a remedy for too short sleeves I'm afraid.
      Good luck with the arm bands!

      Delete
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