On The Different Kinds of Shirt Cuffs

When it comes to dress shirts, a simpler way to increase your style range is to buy shirts with different styles – from various collars to diverse fittings to interesting cuffs.  In fact, adding shirts with unique cuffs offer a visual enhancement that accentuates your physical appearance. We dive into the world of shirt cuffs in order to display just how diverse these small shirt additions can really get.

Barrel cuffs

When purchasing department store shirts, you’ll notice that cuffs are traditionally attached with buttons. Although these generally come with single buttons, two or three buttons can also be found with these types of men’s dress shirts. Honestly, it’s no mystery why businessmen today choose plain barrel cuffs as opposed to fancier ensembles: they’re simply easier to maintain and adjust to one’s liking.  You may frequently hear these cuffs referred to as button cuffs, too.


French cuffs

Designed without buttons, these cuffs are kept together with fancy cuff links or even silky knots.  While some fashion bloggers agree that these cuffs should be phased out, these cuffs are still popular among young professionals. Traditionally, these are worn by more affluent men, although anyone looking for that classier style could definitely benefit by wearing these.  In terms of size, these cuffs are roughly twice as long as barrel cuffs.

Turnback cuffs

You may hear these occasionally called James Bond cuffs (for obvious reasons). Strikingly similar in appearance to French cuffs, these fold then button for an incredible suave look. Since it’s not entirely necessary to wear department store dress shirts with cuff links, many men seem to be unaware that expensive shirts made with turnback cuffs can be accompanied with cuff links for added pizazz, although the cuff will be buttoned after folding anyway.  For a live look at these cuffs in action, check out James Bond’s Dr. No and pay close attention to his attire and see how it’s all in the cuff.


Single Cuffs

Often confused with barrel cuffs, the single cuff is traditionally worn in formal settings and lacks the massive length of French cuffs.  These are normally fastened with white or black cuff links, although silver or gold would also spice up the shirts equally well.  Visiting other countries, you may notice formal dining environments will feature men with these cuff styles.

Choosing the best cuff

Choosing which cuff should be worn for professional careers, formal dining and other occasions can be a daunting task with so many options available, but a few important factors can narrow the field.  First, take into account how long or short your arms are; although you’ll probably have your shirts tailored to fit your arms, it’s always good to avoid cuffs that may expose too much wrist or forearm.

Also, consider whether you’ll wear jackets with your shirts; this will help determine which style would show through your jacket sleeve or not.  Finally, always buy the shirt cuff before the cuff link and not the reverse since gold, white and black are rather neutral and can match nearly any cuff you desire.

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