Shirt Cuffs Demystified: Understanding the Three Fundamental Types

The pivotal elements shaping the character and formality of a shirt are undoubtedly the collar and the cuffs. While I extensively delved into collar variations in the article "Shirt Collars: From Imperial to Italian," today, our focus shifts to the intriguing world of cuffs. Unlike the myriad options available for collars, the realm of cuff types is more streamlined, yet equally fascinating as we explore their nuanced applications across different occasions.

Shirt Cuffs Demystified


Decoding the Diversity of Shirt Cuffs

Single Button Cuff

Single Button Cuff:

Widely regarded as the most ubiquitous and versatile, the single-button cuff graces the majority of shirts, excluding formal ensembles like tuxedos and tailcoats. Within this category, diversity emerges through distinct shapes and variations in the number of buttons. Charles Tyrwhitt's shirt collection serves as a testament to this diversity, offering different shapes and the charm of two-button configurations.

Browse: shirt size chart

French Cuff (Double Button or Cufflink Cuff):

Elevating the formality quotient of a shirt, French cuffs often find their home in white shirts. However, they seamlessly adapt to colored, striped, checkered, or patterned shirts. Winchester shirts, featuring a white collar and cuffs, frequently showcase French cuffs. These cuffs become indispensable for formal occasions, such as weddings, and are a staple for shirts designed for tuxedos.

Cocktail Cuff

Cocktail Cuff:

Positioned as the epitome of style, the cocktail cuff effortlessly bridges the formality spectrum between regular button cuffs and the sophisticated French cuffs. When discreetly visible beneath a jacket's sleeve, cocktail cuffs inject a subtle touch of elegance without the perceived formality associated with French cuffs. Crafted with finesse, cocktail cuffs exude a unique style. Despite their appeal, they remain a distinctive choice, not widely embraced by the mass market, catering to connoisseurs of classic and refined fashion.

The Art of Revealing Shirt Cuffs:

Beyond the choice of cuff type, there's an art to subtly revealing shirt cuffs. Allowing approximately 1.5 to 2 cm of the cuff to protrude from beneath the jacket sleeve adds a touch of sophistication. While it's acceptable for shirt cuffs to remain hidden, the choice to reveal them can elevate the sophistication of an outfit. Striking the right balance is paramount, ensuring the shirt cuff extends to the wrist joint without protruding excessively, as elucidated in the accompanying infographic detailing the ideal relationship between jacket sleeve and shirt cuff lengths.


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