There is so much more to a dress shirt than just its color, pattern, cut and collar design. For example, one very important aspect that people miss out on are the cuffs. Cuffs are that extra layer of fabric at the lower edge of your sleeve that believe it or not; are a fashion statement.
Cuffs are a significant aspect of your shirt style. And most prevalently, there are two types out there, the Barrel and the French cuff. So let us look at the difference between the two.
The Barrel Cuff
Barrel cuffs are the most common type of cuffs and are present on virtually all shirts. It comes in different button variations so you can choose in between; single, double, and triple buttons, but keep in mind that most triple button cuff shirts are custom made for tall men as they are a tad longer than the out of the rack cuffs.
Out of rack cuffs, such as double button cuffs, are more popular, especially in Europe after its appearance in a James Bond movie from 1962. These are slightly more formal than the single button barrel cuffs, and also, a bit longer so that both buttons fit it perfectly. And with a double button barrel cuff shirt, you have a spare button if one of them fall off.
The same can not be said about the single button cuffs, as one button is all it has. So keep some safety pins at hand. Single button cuffs are more commonly found in the states and generally look better on shorter men, this is because it gives the illusion of longer arms, so if you are short, give them a try. Just keep in mind that single button cuffs are considered a casual style, so mostly used with jeans, khakis, chinos, and shorts.
For additional style, and to make you stand out, Barrel cuffs come in either a straight cut, an angled cut or as rounded cut. You can pick and choose the one you like the most. Some say that angled cut cuffs work well with a cutaway collar because they have a similar style and creates a matching look.
Overall, Barrel cuffs are usually worn to work and are preferred when working on a computer since the cuffs do not get in the way. And you can quickly roll up your sleeves at any time. This aspect of simplicity makes them even more popular when compared with French cuffs.
The French Cuff
French Cuffs are also called double cuffs and have to be worn with cufflinks. Different than the Barrel cuffs, you won’t see a French cuff with two cufflinks, only one is required. Another difference is that a French cuff doesn’t go around your wrist. Instead, it is joint together at the ends, which creates a tear shape.
French cuffs are not something we see in everyday wear. It is formal and sophisticated, so if you are looking for a more exquisite look, this is the way to go. You can never go wrong with French cuffs and the right pair of cufflinks.
In particular because cufflinks these days are considered a key part of the French cuff. It represents your personality, your state of mind, and can also tell a lot about your financial status. Keep this in mind when wearing double cuffs and pick your cufflink wisely.
A very popular cufflink style is the one used by Daniel Craig in the classic James Bond movie Casino Royale. They are small, silver, sharp and yet, a huge sensation, in fact, the whole James Bond style became a huge sensation, the cars, the women, the suits and off course, the French cuffs with classic cufflinks.
Cufflinks are not just a little functional piece; they are actually considered jewelry and a symbol of status. Hence the fact that many are made of gold, silver, even platinum what explain their extraordinary high prices. But don’t worry, you don’t need to get a second mortgage at your home to buy a decent cufflink. There are a ton of good quality cufflinks online at a mid-range price that will still boost up your style and get you noticed.
Despite the glamor, it is not all smooth with double cuffs. Not only is it time-consuming to figure out which cufflinks go with which shirt, but neatly turning back the cuffs to hold them in place is a task that requires some level of expertise. Also, French cuffs tend to be bulkier than other cuffs, so think twice before getting a cufflink and keep it simple.
You should always pay attention to cuffs when purchasing a new shirt, and if you usually wear the same type of cuff day in and day out, why not change a bit. Remember, independent of French or Barrel, cuffs are a fashion statement and can boost your outfit, so think about them as a refined detail that you want to get just right to improve your style.
The Secret to a Stylish Outfit is in the Details
Don’t mind the fancy and expensive so much, focus on the details; a black suit is just a black suit, but with the right shirt, tie, and handkerchief, you can make it a stylish black suit. The same concept is valid for your cuff, wherever you choose to wear, think about what it can add to your outfit. So ideally, you should be flexible and have shirts with both, barrel and French cuff in your closet as you never know when you will need a bit of glamor.