Primer to Wearing French Cuffs

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French cuffs are quintessentially stylish and the perfect touch for formal business wear. When combined with funky colors and fashionable prints, they can be the mark of a seriously fashionable man. Dress them up or dress them down, French cuffs are an essential.

What They Are

If you’re not familiar with a French cuff, think of the ultimate power suit. Now imagine your cuffs…are you wearing cufflinks? If you are, then you’ll be wearing a French cuff shirt.

Definition: A French cuff, also called a double cuff, is a folded back cuff that you can secure with knot closures or with cufflinks. These cuffs do not have button closures, which sets them apart from your average dress shirts. French cuffs are often considered more formal, particularly with the use of high quality cufflinks.

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How to Wear French Cuffs

• When you put on a French cuff shirt, you’ll see that the arms extend down over your hands.

• Next, fold this flap that covers your hands up and over the bottom of the sleeve to form a cuff.

• Then, line up the buttonholes located at the front and back of each cuff. Put your cufflinks through the buttonholes to secure your cuffs together.

Style Tips

French cuffs are an easy way to dress up any shirt. As an executive essential, French cuff shirts can get dressy with a fancy cufflinks, so you can maximize your look for business without dressing to loud or daring.

To match cufflinks to your French cuffed shirt, forget all your novelty cufflinks. French cuffs command attention, but more the kind that appreciates sterling silver and tasteful shapes. Try double-sided cufflinks. While they may be more difficult to wear, try this technique: attach the cufflink before slipping your cupped hand through the cuff. While your cuff needs to accommodate your hand enough to slip through, it makes double cuffs a lot easier to wear.

Shopping for a French Cuff Shirt

If you prefer double-sided cufflinks, then British French cuff shirts will most likely fit you better. American shirts with a French cuff tend to be produced for shirts with a toggle cufflink, which is more popular there. When you go shopping for your French cuff shirt, bring your favorite cuff links or your largest pair to help gauge whether or not they will fit in your shirt.

Tips For Wearing Yours

• Love your French cuffed shirt but aren’t crazy about cufflinks? Try silk knots, sometimes called monkey’s fists, which are an inexpensive alternative with appeal and high regard. You can find silk knots at most cufflinks shops, such as Brooks Brother and most major department stores.
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• When wearing cufflinks, try to keep them on sync with your necktie and shirt. Pick up a color accent to coordinate without necessary matching colors completely. If you are wearing gold or silver-plated cufflinks, match them to your belt buckle and watch.

• Don’t wear your French cuffs open and loose! They were meant to be closed with cufflinks, so do it. Otherwise, you’ll just look silly.


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