Q: How long should my suit jacket sleeves be? And how much shirt cuff should I be showing? I’ve asked around and heard everything from no cuff showing to 1 inch of cuff showing.  - Terrance M. 

A: Your suit jacket / blazer sleeve should end right above the top of your wrist bone (or the hinge of your wrist). However, in order to show the proper amount of shirt cuff based on the correct jacket sleeve length, your shirt sleeve length must obviously fit correctly; a properly fitting shirt sleeve should end at the base of your hand. Once these two are properly fitted, you’ll notice that naturally some shirt sleeve cuff will show. The general rule of thumb is that you want to show 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch of shirt cuff, so feel free to adjust your garments to achieve your desired look.

Why is a “minor” detail like this so important? Showing no sleeve may have the visual effect of making your jacket sleeves look sloppily too long on you while showing too much cuff may have the visual effect your jacket sleeves are comically too short on you – both will betray the powerful effect of the superb fit you’re going for. A proper relationship between jacket sleeve length and shirt sleeve length suggests a man who is in control of his appearance and knows that a pleasing aesthetic is comprised of these “minor” details.  So while sartorial matters such as these may seem insignificant, it is the perfection of these details that will enhance your image immediately. See below for visual examples:

 

A note on wearing watches: If you wear a watch, make sure you leave enough space under your cuff to accommodate the typical watch you would wear with that shirt. A shirt cuff should be able to go over and cover some of your watch when your arms are relaxed at your sides.

Got more questions about proper suit jacket sleeve length? or any other suit/style-related questions you’d like us to answer for our next “Ask a Black Lapel Stylist” post? Leave a comment below or send us your questions at concierge@blacklapel.com!