Who knew that arm hole heights could be so important?

Downsides to high armholes | Styleforum

High arm hole suits

DVC - Why Your Suit Should Have High Armholes


Since the bulk of my pattern making deals with period mens costumes - I know. Period suits were definitely more fitted.

Armhole placement in suits is also important to to the fit for less than normal body shape - for example, one with extremely sloped or square shoulders.


Yes, off the top of my head, The armhole height is very important to the movement of the arm & the behaviour of the fabric :slight_smile: So if you want to lift your arms up, then the armhole height must be very close to the armpit. If it isn’t, then it will lift the fabric at the shoulder & put pressure on the back seam. It’s a very overlooked measurement in garments with fitted sleeves.

And also setting the feel of a period when it comes to theatre productions and movies. The cut, under garments, and accessories (such as shoes) will determine not just how one looks, but also how they move.

At the shop we have to deal with this all the time… usually when there are dancers involved - such as the tails coats in A Chorus Line. Or even the money coats we recently made. What we do is use a sleeve with a built in gusset to allow more arm movement.

Such as this:


Oh, wow! That’s very clever :slight_smile: I’d have cut the gusset separate. Thanks for the tip! I’m learning all the time :grinning:

We’ve done that too… it just fits better when it’s part of the sleeve. If you note the gusset is just the armhole curve mirrored along the line between the 2 dots.

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Yes, I noticed that. It will save a lot of underarm bulk.

Yup… and it’s just easier to cut and sew… which for us saves time. Not to mention the designer of the money coats specified built in gussets. :slight_smile:

We built some pastel plaid jackets years ago for the Disney World Easter parade and they also had a built in gusset, although it was much larger than what we normally would do now. That job was actually my first exposure to digital patterns - Disney sent us all the patterns . Heres the under arm sleeve for comparison:

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