AMERICAN GANGSTER

With this post I wanted to take it way back, back when men used to wear sleeve garters. As it happens, sleeve garters has a history that’s much more about function than fashion. Back in the 19th century, shirts came in one size. Extra large. Because the shirt was considered an undergarment, no thought was given to its fit on a man’s body, since nobody was ever likely to see it. Shirts were sized roughly according to neck circumference and shoulder-width, but everything else was measured and made to be as accommodating as possible. This included shirtsleeves. Prior to the arrival of the modern shirt that we know today, shirtsleeves were all made and measured to be extra-long. This way, they would fit the largest man in comfort. But if you weren’t the largest man, shirtsleeves would be too long which is why sleeve garters were created.

There was a time where almost every well-dressed man owned at least one pair and kept them on his dressing-table. Made of elastic material, sleeve-garters were worn on a man’s shirtsleeves, just above the elbow. They worked by holding back the extra sleeve-material that would otherwise cascade down a man’s arms and prevent his hands from doing any useful work. They were also handy for holding a man’s shirtsleeves back to keep his sleeves and cuffs from getting dirty. My sleeve gathers are gold and I got them from Reclaimed Vintage. Feeling like Denzel for the day, this is my way of styling them. Enjoy!





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