This post introduced some of the technological innovations that appear in Father Zantus’s turtleneck. This post will explore Raglan Sleeves.
The most notable characteristic of Raglan sleeves, are that they attack to the neck of the shirt, rather than at the shoulder. Shirts with Raglan sleeves have no shoulder seam, because the front and back pieces attach to the sleeve. (Oblig Wikipedia link).
The origin story of the raglan sleeve can be found here, among other places. The super short version: Lord Raglan lost his arm in the mid 1815s. His tailor made him a custom coat with this new style of sleeve that would be easier for him to put on and take off. I was half expecting to find references to earlier raglan sleeves, on the assumptions that, like Mathematical Theorems, sleeves are never named for their originator. (Stigler’s law). I didn’t find any, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
I did, however find some “so close, yet so far” examples. These both come from the early 19th century, the same period where Raglan lost his arm. This spencer (the tiny little jacket) and dress are have so little in the way of shoulders, that the sleeves attach to a couple of inches of fabric around the neckline. They didn’t make that final step of eliminating the neck band altogether.