November 24, 2010

The French Cuff—Is it just for formal wear?

French Cuff Tuxedo Shirt

The French Cuff Shirt—Is it just for formal wear?

The French Cuff—Is it just for formal wear?

For a long time the French cuff has been a mainstay for men’s formal wear. Its elegant, rich texture adds depth to a man’s wrist area and creates a certain panache as those white cuffs that are adorned with cufflinks peak out from under the dinner jacket sleeve. But French cuffs aren’t just for tuxedo shirts.

These days as men mix and match at special events or redefine what it is to get dressed up, French cuffs are being seen in places where before they might not have been. Here are a few suggestions when it comes to these wonderful wrist trimmers.

What are French Cuffs?

A French cuff, which is also known as a double cuff, is a piece of material at the end of each sleeve of a man’s long sleeve dress shirt that extends beyond the length of the wrist. In essence, when it is free flowing it doubles the length of the cuff. The extra length, which has a band around it, is folded up and then fastened as a cufflink is passed through the four holes in the cuff.

The effect is the cuff on the shirt is now at the proper length. At the same time, it is thicker and dressier than normal cuffs. This effect is reinforced as the cuffs are held together by cufflinks.

Other than Formal Wear?

You don’t have to limit yourself to wearing French cuffs with formal wear. You can wear them with dressy jeans, a sport jacket or a suit. The trick is to choose the appropriate type of shirt that matches what you’re wearing.

As an example, a formal white tuxedo shirt with French cuffs won’t look right with a suit, sport jacket or jeans. Find a shirt with double cuffs that has the right texture and is the appropriate color.

The cuffs should always be fastened unless you’re going out clubbing or to another such place. They should always be held together with cufflinks. Some stores sell shirts with double cuffs that are held together with buttons. That really negates the whole reason for wearing these special cuffs.

One Final Note

Some say never wear French cuffs without a sport jacket. Jeans and double cuffs are fine as long as theirs at least a sport jacket involved. We’ll leave that up to you, your personal taste and your ability to pull it off.

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