Posted by Mehdi Raad

In previous blogs, we examined the role of patterns, collars and colors for men’s dress shirts. These aren’t the only factors we need to consider, though. It’s important, too, to get cuffs and buttons right as well. There are innumerable types of cuff and button styles these days. While choosing the right buttons is not a major style factor, it’s important to get these factors right to refine the look.

Types of Cuff

There are two main types of cuff we consider here:

  • Standard button cuffs
  • French cuffs

Button cuffs come in a wide variety of styles – some formal, some informal.

The vast majority of standard shirts are button cuff shirts. Button cuff shirts comprise a single cuff which can be buttoned up – usually with one set or two sets of buttons.  French cuffs offer a much more formal look – a double cuff tied together with a cufflink to produce a distinctly sophisticated look. Though the look is more formal, it may typically be worn in a casual manner in certain corporate environments.

Though button cuff shirts are significantly more informal, you can modify and upscale the shirt very easily. For example, it’s possible to change the button type. There is no need to stick to the standard plastic button. Alternatives are available. For instance, you can exchange the plastic button for mother-of-pearl. This has three advantages.

First, it enhances your overall look. Second, the substance is more durable; the problem with many standard plastic buttons is that they frequently break in two. Third, you can create a shirt that navigates the boundary between what is formal and what is informal. It’s a great alternative to either choice; a middle option that works very well for many occasions, formal or informal.

Final thoughts

Cuffs and button choice matters.

Whether you’re hoping to impress at a formal or informal event, you need to choose the right shirt, the right buttons and the right cuff. Choosing the right cufflinks matters, too. Preferably, the cufflink should match or compliment the color of your jacket or pants. The cufflink shouldn’t stand out in an awkward or inappropriate way. No matter how expensive the cufflink may be, if it is improperly matched with the jacket or pants, you come across as cheap – fashion-wise at least.

The cuff should also rest across the wrist – not too far nor not too withdrawn. That’s where tailored men’s shirts come into play. By tailoring the shirt to the unique length of your arm, it rests across the wrist in the most appropriate manner. It also presents the right level of cuff-to-jacket length ratio; an essential factor that maximizes style. Again, getting cuffs and buttons right is about refinement; a vital element that presents you in the best possible fashion light.

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