Scroll Back to Top

A Cleaner World Blog

The Shirt Cuff

It bothers me when I see someone dressed handsomely in a suit and tie only to notice that the cuffs are frayed or the wrong length. Everyone knows the cuff – that extra piece of fabric sewn on the end of the sleeve that encloses the wrist with either a button or cufflinks.  But did you know that men’s shirts didn’t always have cuffs?

In the early 1500’s, tiny ruffles began to emerge at wristbands.  As shirts continued to transform, men put string or ribbon through holes at the wristband to keep their sleeves closed.  Various designers attempted several styles of cuffs, and by the 19th century, the middle and working classes were demanding a shirt design with a cuff.

There are five major types of shirt cuff styles for men.

  • The button cuff, also known as the barrel cuff, is the most common shirt cuff style and is typically found on most business dress shirts as well as button-down casual shirts.  These cuffs, commonly found in ready-to-wear items, have two horizontal buttons placed three-fourths an inch apart, but on custom shirts the buttons could be spaced vertically.
  • The single cuff shirt, usually not available in a ready-to-wear option, is like the button cuff shirt except it fastens with a cufflink instead of a sewn-on button.  
  • French cuff shirts also require cufflinks to fasten, but the cuffs are twice the length of a single cuff so that they can fold back over the first tier creating a double layer.  The French cuff, while it is appropriate for business wear, is more suited for formal occasions like black tie.
  • I had to Google images of the cocktail cuff because I had never heard of such a cuff before. Images of James Bond showed up, and I learned that this cuff is also known as the James Bond cuff.  It is like a French cuff that is folded over itself with the cuff hems either cut on the diagonal or rounded.  It’s a super-cool look.
  • Finally, the convertible cuff is usually found in the form of a double cuff and can be fastened via a cufflink or a button. Convertible cuff shirts are rare and usually only custom-made.

Whatever your cuff choice, you never want to show up in a wrinkled dress shirt, and that is where A Cleaner World comes in.  With 50 years of experience, up-to-date equipment, and certified training, we will ensure your dress shirt looks crisp and clean for your next event or day at the office.  

shirt cuff
ACW App Download Our App

Schedule free on-demand pickup, track orders, view history and more.