French cuffs - why bother?

Russell Street

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I like the idea of cuff links and all, but struggle to find the setting where French cuffs are the best choice outside of, say, a wedding or some similarly formal festive function.

The barrel cuff is inobtrusive and no-nonsense. One can type and eat messy foods with relative abandon. Am I just not fancy enough, not living a genteel enough lifestyle, or is the double cuff a bit of a clumsy anachronism in the modern day?
 
I've always thought of French cuffs as another way to dress up a boring outfit rather than foppery. Though, the fact that the links remain mostly hidden kills much of the public effect.
 
I think I link (yukyuk) the French cuff in with collar pins and tie tacks in terms of unnecessarily finicky bric-a-brac that does add a bit of pizzazz while risking great alienation and stuffiness.
 
I think I link (yukyuk) the French cuff in with collar pins and tie tacks in terms of unnecessarily finicky bric-a-brac that does add a bit of pizzazz while risking great alienation and stuffiness.
See, I go the other way towards mostly harmless, because I never really see the fucking things on people until they either outstretch their arms or take their jackets off. Its not really that visible.
 
Admittedly, the French cuff is likely one of those things that becomes more noticeable the worse it is worn. I generally see them on the contrast collar crowd of showy douches. The more elegant wearer is less visible.
 
Admittedly, the French cuff is likely one of those things that becomes more noticeable the worse it is worn. I generally see them on the contrast collar crowd of showy douches. The more elegant wearer is less visible.
I'll certainly concede my annoyance with them goes up SUBSTANTIALLY when its paired with a ridiculous shirt and/or extreme flashiness.
 
I was once stupid and thought that like two creases were to be put in each cuff, when in fact it should just be flat.
Also, can I request that we call them Freedom cuffs?
 
I think it undeniable that the French cuff is a step up in formality, in the same odd way that a double breasted suit is.

It's rare to see them look right worn with a sport coat, and wearers of open-collar French cuff shirts are abominations.
 
Around here people use french cuffs when they try to dress to impress. Of course they use a black suit, white shirt and a red tie... yikes...

Unfortunately in my business I don't use them to often because I don't want to give a wrong impresson, so I keep them for use if there's a second meeting.
 
I wear french cuffs to work. I have some formal business attire shirts that are french cuff as well. Of course it's another metal to match (belt, tie clip, etc.). It's not practical for travelling through airports so on travel days I go back to single barrel.

I've worn them to interviews although I read somewhere I shouldn't because it's too flashy.
 
I wear french cuffs to work. I have some formal business attire shirts that are french cuff as well. Of course it's another metal to match (belt, tie clip, etc.). It's not practical for travelling through airports so on travel days I go back to single barrel.

I've worn them to interviews although I read somewhere I shouldn't because it's too flashy.
You have to take your cufflinks off at the TSA checks?
 
You have to take your cufflinks off at the TSA checks?
Not if they are silk knots! I'd imagine the mindless goons won't believe that you don't have a knife up you r sleeve unless you push up the sleeve, and that requires undoing a link?
 
I had an unpleasant pat down once going through a regular metal detector. Others seem to go through forgetting their belts, sunglasses, etc. Once body scanners were introduced I was careful with my wardrobe on travel days. No brass stays in shirt collars either.

That said are french cuffs considered sartorial excess nowadays?
 
I love my Spitfire cufflinks

tumblr_n1kv3xA1201spqdezo1_1280.jpg
 
Are cuff links necessary or I can just do silk knots. I am thinking about kopping a TM shirt with French cuffs to wear for a wedding in the summer.
 
silk knots are perfectly acceptable, not expensive and though you can get a rainbow of colours, their shape does not draw attention. in fact last time i was in Duncan Quinn he just gave me a handful after buying some stuff. another nice variation is the double-sided silver knott. i prefer double-sided cuff links as opposed to the swivel bar type as i find them to be smaller. other alternatives to the swivel bar are the one-sided solid bar type. almost all of my dress shirts are french cuff. i actually will commit sartorial heresy and occasionally even wear them with an odd jacket. i rarely see anyone wearing links around here but then again i live in a place where Hugo Boss is the "top tier" RTW maker.
 
i want the single link cuff where you don't need to fold it back. i have a feeling that would need to be custom made.
 
I was just looking at silk knot links on ebay. The Chinese are selling them for like a buck a pair. That makes getting them in a few color combos very simple, whereas I want to say a pair cost ~$12 at Nordstrom last time I bought some.
 
i want the single link cuff where you don't need to fold it back. i have a feeling that would need to be custom made.


Jimmy is right about the level of formality of the single French cuff. But there was a time in North America that it was used not in formal but in business settings. My father wore single cuffs like that in the 60's and he was not a dandy. I seem to recall that Kennedy did the same unless that is an implanted false memory
 
I was just looking at silk knot links on ebay. The Chinese are selling them for like a buck a pair. That makes getting them in a few color combos very simple, whereas I want to say a pair cost ~$12 at Nordstrom last time I bought some.


Go nuts. An easy and effective way to wear Freedom cuffs without bling. I once bought a Canali shirt and they came with them. Plus an ancient 7 fold vintage silk print clip on tie.
 
Are cuff links necessary or I can just do silk knots. I am thinking about kopping a TM shirt with French cuffs to wear for a wedding in the summer.

TM Lewin + silk knots is a mainstay of the wardrobe for me. Wearing that today, in fact, at least until I change back into my tunic and armored breastplate.
 
Jimmy is right about the level of formality of the single French cuff. But there was a time in North America that it was used not in formal but in business settings. My father wore single cuffs like that in the 60's and he was not a dandy. I seem to recall that Kennedy did the same unless that is an implanted false memory

Yep. The Links cuff, iirc.
 
I love my Spitfire cufflinks

tumblr_n1kv3xA1201spqdezo1_1280.jpg
Love the shirt colors. I nearly ordered a Mercer OCBD in pink oxford university stripe until I realized Mercers fit like a tent and there are no options to change the fit.

and of course, vaporizing the maker yields absolutely no tangible results, because once he's gone - who will make the shirt? I mean, this supervillain business doesn't have much to recommend it in the modern world. :(
 
so the single link cuff needs to be stiffer?


The fabric? I think it is your decision as to what you prefer for stiffness. If I order unfused, soft button cuffs with one button, I would do the same for the link cuff French or otherwise
 
TM Lewin + silk knots is a mainstay of the wardrobe for me. Wearing that today, in fact, at least until I change back into my tunic and armored breastplate.

TM Lewin shirts are great for the value when they are on sale. IMO the quality is better than BB and other shirts in the similar price range.
 

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