Know Your Terms: Raglan

Because dropping the lingo is half the fun of dressing well. The first in an ongoing series.
Photo: Selectism

Rittenhouse Raglan Sweatshirt

After a decade-plus in which sharp tailoring ruled the outerwear world, a more rounded look—characterized by a softer, less defined shoulder—is mounting a comeback. The term is “raglan,” and it refers to a sleeve that extends, in one piece, all the way up to a garment’s collar, rather than to its shoulders via armhole seams. (Picture an old school Burberry trench coat; or those long-sleeved T-shirts with contrast-colored sleeves that people wore to baseball practice—or Journey concerts—back in the day.) The term is named after Fitzroy James Henry Somerset (1788-1855), a British Field Marshall in the Crimean War and the first Baron Raglan (Monmouth County, UK). The Baron lost his right arm in the Battle of Waterloo, and it’s thought that the original raglan design may have come about as a way to fit him after his amputation.

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