That is the second in our collection taking a look at model features of shirts.

As with the earlier one – on shirt collars – it’ll deal with smart recommendation, fairly than illustrating the myriad gimmicks with which menswear appears to be significantly plagued.

There’s one actually basic selection once you’re choosing the cuff for a shirt: single or double. 

The double cuff

The double, or French cuff was very modern 12 years in the past, when this web site began. It was uncommon to even see a single cuff within the Metropolis for a few years. However then, it was additionally the period of Mad Males and tie clips, so maybe that was on the root. 

As we speak, double cuffs are rarer, each as a result of the style has pale and since they’re extra formal than a single cuff. 

A double cuff is formal as a result of it folds over, hiding the seam at its finish. As with black tie trousers, hiding a seam makes issues smoother, and is subsequently seen as extra formal. 

That’s nice with a swimsuit, or perhaps a good jacket, however it appears to be like misplaced with a woollen blazer or knitwear. That Mad Males period additionally noticed a whole lot of males sporting the identical double-cuffed shirts to the workplace on a Friday, with chinos. If the good materials or unfold collar didn’t inform you this was a mismatched shirt, the cuffs and cufflinks definitely did. 

The factor is, single cuffs additionally look nice with most fits, so they’re much extra versatile – from worsted to woollen to weekend. It’s comprehensible that they’re turning into way more prevalent, even when gown codes weren’t additionally tending in direction of informal. 

I’d nonetheless encourage readers to have a double-cuffed shirt or two within the wardrobe although. It’s a pleasant change, and a pleasant excuse to put on cufflinks – that are, after a watch and a marriage ring, most likely nonetheless the one common manner for a person to put on jewelry.

Types of double cuff

There are just a few various kinds of double cuff, principally relying on whether or not the corners are rounded, angled, or sq. (see above). 

As with a lot on this space, there’s no actual hurt within the first two choices, but additionally not a lot to say on their behalf. Should you like them and need to put on them, nice.

However in the event you begin displaying them off, or describe them as your ‘model signature’, then you definitely’re specializing in the mistaken issues. Get into the subtleties of match or material as a substitute. 

I’d say the identical factor concerning the cocktail cuff, confusingly known as each the Milanese and Neapolitan cuff by some websites.  

This can be a folded-back cuff that leaves a triangular hole, permitting it to be fixed by buttons as a substitute of a cufflink. I believe the very best you possibly can say about it’s that it’s nifty. At worst it’s a gimmick. Actually, the truth that James Bond as soon as wore it’s not justification sufficient by itself. If it was, then sprayed-on fits from Tom Ford can be equally legitimised.  

The only cuff

With the one cuff, there are additionally some small model decisions – although I’d counsel the match decisions are extra vital. 

The model decisions, as with a double cuff, embody whether or not the protruding corners are rounded, angled or sq.. Right here the rounded finish is the default. There’s nothing mistaken with the others in the event you like how they appear. 

You too can have one, two and even three buttons on the cuff. Right here my emotions are stronger. You don’t want multiple button, so why have them? Sure, we don’t want buttons on jacket sleeves both, however they’re a redundancy that’s slowly fading. With a number of cuff buttons you’re needlessly including redundancy.  

There could also be a practical cause for some folks to have a number of buttons. If there’s, and I haven’t considered it, forgive me. In any other case simply have one. 

Personally, I fairly just like the Italian model which locations the one button low on the cuff, and near its edge (beneath). That is typically known as an open cuff.

Being decrease permits the cuff to open extra simply and the wrist to maneuver with extra freedom. The smaller overlap created by having the button nearer to the sting helps too. 


The match of a single cuff is trickier. 

There’s a practical benefit to having it fitted near the wrist: the sleeve can have some extra size, with out the cuff ever slipping additional down the hand. And it’s much less prone to get pulled again when the arm is prolonged. Mainly, it stays the place it’s meant to be. 

The drawback of that is which you could’t match a watch beneath. The identical goes for the conical model of cuff, the place it tapers noticeably in direction of the hand. It’s one cause Gianni Agnelli took to sporting his watch excessive of his cuff. 

(Not one thing I like to recommend, personally. Right here Tom Ford places it effectively: “I believe ‘You poor factor’ if I see somebody doing that. I did it within the late Seventies, however everybody did. Everybody who was affected and pretentious – as I used to be in that interval of my life – would put on their Cartier Tank watches on high of their shirts as a result of Agnelli did.”)

Nevertheless, I discover it’s potential to sacrifice little by way of cuff efficiency, and match a slim watch beneath. It’s one thing price speaking to your shirtmaker about – to get the fitting stability – however it’s not that onerous. 

After all, it’s trickier in the event you put on a giant, chunky sports activities watch together with your gown shirts. However fortunately that’s yet one more pattern that appears to be fading away. 

An alternative choice is to have one cuff bigger than the opposite, so it could actually accommodate the watch whereas the opposite doesn’t should. I used to try this, however discovered it irritating that the 2 functioned barely in a different way. Significantly if for some cause I weren’t sporting a watch at some point.

Of my watches, the one one that may be troublesome to suit underneath a cuff is the IWC Portuguese. For these that may ask, by the way in which, my wrists are skinny at 15cm in circumference, and my shirt cuffs often 20cm, so a great 5cm of clearance. 

Double cuffs are a lot simpler, with most watches often becoming beneath. However then, being smarter, if something the watch is prone to be smaller and sleeker too. 

The novelties 

There are just a few different permutations of blouse cuffs. 

There’s the one cuff made to be fixed with a cufflink, fairly like half of a French one (above). There’s additionally the convertible cuff, which has a button that may be tucked inside, to let you use a cufflink as a substitute if you want. 

And there are cuffs with tabs that stretch from one facet to the opposite, to lock with a button. Why, I don’t know. 

All this criticism of surprising types may sound boring – a suppression of expression. However it’s not supposed to. 

Reasonably, it’s meant to redirect males’s curiosity away from novelties and in direction of extra basic issues: the broad, deep richness of material, the nice, intricate work of match. 

Folks go for gimmicks as a result of they’re and simple. Understanding material, match and drape is lots tougher, however ultimately extra rewarding.