Tag Archives: French Cuff

Friday Style Debate: French Cuffs vs Trim Sleeves – do you have to sacrifice?

Time to Debate!

FSD - Cuffs with slim sleeves II

Friday Style Debate: French Cuff vs Trim Sleeves – do you have to sacrifice?

No detail in the tailoring world has been under as much pressure as the french cuff; reason being the ever increasing push towards slimmer silhouettes.  The reality is that the slimmer the fit of the jacket the slimmer the sleeve needs to be to maintain proportion.

Why is this a problem for the french cuff?  As you can see in the bottom right the french cuff tends to stand off the wrist by about 1-2 inches which makes it a very bulky cuff – the result is the actual jacket sleeve needs to be wider or else it will not pass smoothly over the cuff itself. This is evident on the sleeve that is seen on the left; it flares at the bottom of the sleeve which to my eye looks both sloppy and out of proportion with the rest of the suit.  Which brings up the question – do you have sacrifice one for the other?

If you wear the french cuff traditionally – as is seen in the low right corner – than the answer is yes.  My call in that situation – slim sleeve all the way.  There is one solution though; as you can see in the upper right hand corner we have a slim sleeve with a french cuff shirt.  Why does it work in this case?  This fellow is wearing the french cuff in the same way as a barrel cuff – that is they overlap and then the link passes through like a normal button would.  The result is a tighter cuff but the link itself shifts to the back as opposed to the side.  As such it is less visible – it’s a bit of sacrifice but you get the best of both worlds.

So – what’s it going to be?  Will you pick on over the other or will you go down the middle with the barrel technique?  Let the debate begin…