Friday, March 26, 2010

Punctilios: French Cuff Layout

Menswear sometimes seems designed to minimize the opportunity to accessorize.  The necktie is a pleasant exception, but because it is a visually dominant part of the business ensemble, we must take extraordinary care to ensure that it coordinates with the shirt and suit.  This constrains us somewhat.

This is one of many reasons that I advocate French cuffs.  They still need to pick up on a color in the rest of the outfit, but so long as the color works, we can experiment with the shape and proportion and pattern.

However, not all French cuffs are created equal.  This is the cuff on my Brooks Brothers shirt (I won a gift card at a D.C. Bar Association raffle!):

The hole for the cufflink is situated about 3/8" forward of the cuffs on my other shirts, which are dead-center on the cuff.  It seems like a harmless-enough flourish, but in practice, it pinches the front edge of the cuff more tightly.  In turn, this pinch causes more of a flare at the front edge of the cuff, visible below, and it is more likely to cause the rear edge to lift up, as visible above and below.

Finally, I prefer the back edge of the cuff to be rounded rather than square, as shown in the first picture--it's a cleaner look and cuts down on the edge-lift simply by making less material available to lift.

Obviously, I still wear the shirt--their Extra-Slim Fit is brilliant--but the devil's in the details.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Questions, comments, and style ideas welcome, provided they are expressed respectfully.