bluesbrewsbbq

Starting Member
This question may come across as inane so please forgive a newbie. I am wanting to purchase a couple french cuff shirts. When asked for sleeve length is this the same measurement as I would normally wear? Or do I need to take into consideration it being french cuff? i.e. longer sleeve length? I have been upgrading my wardrobe (thanks in large part to this site) so I am still learning.
 

Bjorn

Moderator
A French cuff has a different feel to it, so if you can try some shirts on in a store, that would be best.

If you've had your correct shirt arm length determined already, that's most definitely it though... Then all you have to do is order ;)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk 2
 

Matt S

Connoisseur
As the others said, the type of cuff doesn't change how long your arms are. You still want to show 1/4" to 1/2" of cuff beyond your jacket sleeves.
 

StephenRG

Honors Member
The stated sleeve length should be the same, but the actual sleeve length should be a 1/4" or so longer, as one shows more cuff in a French-cuff shirt than in a regular button-cuff.
 

Jovan

Honors Member
If it has a breast pocket don't buy it.
Untrue. There's nothing wrong with back centre pleats on a French cuff shirt either, even though I don't personally care for it. Both are entirely a matter of preference. We should not attempt to pass these mere opinions (your signature is all too right) off as sartorial dogma to new members. ;)

The stated sleeve length should be the same, but the actual sleeve length should be a 1/4" or so longer, as one shows more cuff in a French-cuff shirt than in a regular button-cuff.
I don't follow this. You show the same amount of cuff with either type.
 

StephenRG

Honors Member
I don't follow this. You show the same amount of cuff with either type.
I respectfully disagree - IMO you should show more cuff with a French cuff than a button-cuff. I am aware, however, that opinions vary and we will both be deemed foul heretics, etc. by some people in the opposite camp. My rule of thumb is that the sleeve should show just up to, but before the button or the cufflink. As buttons are typically closer to the end of the sleeve than the holes for cufflinks, so you show more cuff with French cuffs.
 

Tim Correll

Elite Member
I respectfully disagree - IMO you should show more cuff with a French cuff than a button-cuff. I am aware, however, that opinions vary and we will both be deemed foul heretics, etc. by some people in the opposite camp. My rule of thumb is that the sleeve should show just up to, but before the button or the cufflink. As buttons are typically closer to the end of the sleeve than the holes for cufflinks, so you show more cuff with French cuffs.
I completely agree with Stephen regarding how much cuff you should show with a barrel (button) cuff versus French cuff.
 

Bjorn

Moderator
However, the shirts arm length needs to be where it needs to be, stopping at the right part of the hand/wrist, so I don't see the possibility to vary that unless adjusting the sleeves on the jacket...
 

mhdena

Senior Member
French cuffs are made about a 1/4" or so longer.

And IMO are the only cuffs that should be exposed when ones arms are at his sides.

The desire to have barrel cuffs showing was born to imitate the look of a french cuff without actually wearing one.
 

Jovan

Honors Member
French cuffs are made about a 1/4" or so longer.

And IMO are the only cuffs that should be exposed when ones arms are at his sides.

The desire to have barrel cuffs showing was born to imitate the look of a french cuff without actually wearing one.
Do you have evidence to support this assertion? It simply looks better to have some shirt cuff showing regardless of the type.
 

Jovan

Honors Member
Maybe your coat sleeves just need to be a quarter inch shorter! Why exactly are you against barrel cuffs showing besides your erroneous historical justification?

I've never heard of French cuffs being cut a bit longer. If any shirt making experts can weigh on this I'd be grateful.
 

mhdena

Senior Member
french cuffs fill out the jacket sleeve much better


Barrel cuffs look like the wearer as outgrown his jacket


and look sloppy


A tailor told me over 35 years ago if you shorten your jacket to expose french cuffs it will look funny if not wearing french cuffs. I've always went with this. It may not be a rule but a preference and look I prefer.

More on the subject
https://www.gentlemansgazette.com/sleeve-length-suits-shirts-jackets/

[h=1]Sleeve Length Guide for Suits, Jackets and Shirts[/h] by Sven Raphael Schneider on June 20, 2012 in Clothing, Our Best Articles, Shirts, Sportscoats, Suits, Wardrobe, White Tie
The Sleeve Length Guide

Whenever I post a picture on Facebook or stumble upon interesting outfits in fashion forums, chances are someone is criticizing the sleeve length of the jacket and the amount of visible cuff in question.
Cuff in Horse Shoe Shape With Buttonhole Close to Edge

Sleeve length seems to be a gray area in which anyone can claim to be an expert, no matter how much or how little they actually know about dressing well. Often, rules are cited and absolute measurements are provided, though most forget that the look of the sleeve-cuff conjunction is not only about the length. It is also about the right fit and the harmony of the interaction with between the two garments. Therefore, I thought it was about time to write a comprehensive article about the “correct jacket sleeve length“, which will explain in depth the different options and styles to make sure you look your best.
[h=2]The Correct Shirt Sleeve Length & Cuff[/h] Sleeve Too Wide

Buttonhole Too Far Away From The Edge Making It Tight

First, let’s discuss the shirt sleeve length. Ideally, a French cuff shirt should reach to the root of the thumb at all times. It should sit tightly so that the cuff forms a horseshoe shape around the wrist. This way, the cuff will not travel beyond the wrist, even if you have a bit of extra length in your sleeves. The buttonhole should be located in the middle of the cuff and positioned rather closely to the edge. Otherwise, the extra material past your cufflink will protrude awkwardly and the cuff may be fit too tightly. In Britain, sometimes the buttonhole is located at the front of the cuff in order to display more of your cufflinks. In continental Europe, and especially in Germany, this feature was usually only seen on evening shirts rather than on day shirts. Personally, I do not like the look of the cufflinks at the front of the cuff, but each to their own.
Sleeve Cuffs Too Wide Revealing the Lining

Button cuffs should have the same length and fit rather tightly around your wrist.
Of course, if you are a watch wearer, make sure to leave enough space beneath your cuff for the biggest wrist watch you would wear with that particular shirt. Sizing one cuff slightly larger is a feature that can only be accomplished with custom shirts. Even then, there are sometimes huge differences in the size of watches, which means that some watches can only be paired with some of your shirts.
Proper Sleeve Look Illustrated

[h=2]The Proper Jacket /[/h] [h=2]Suit Sleeve Length[/h] While things are quite straight forward with shirt sleeves, length seems to be a little bit more complicated with coat sleeves.
[h=3]To Show Cuff or Not to Show Cuff?[/h] Today, it seems like quite a few menswear guides claim that the proper jacket sleeve length should be chosen so that between 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) – according to Alan Flusser – and 1 cm (2/5 inch) – according to Roetzel- of cuff is visible. Older guides, such as the one written by American Bert Bacharach from 1953, claim it should be just 1/4
Buttonhole Close To Edge On Double Cuff

inch (0.64cm). Baron von Eelking suggests to show 2cm (4/5 inch) of cuff if they are soft, and 1cm (2/5 inch) for stiff cuffs you’d wear with white tie. Sydney Barney explains in Clothes and The Man that sleeve length is a matter of taste and that tailors should know about the current trend. Others suggest to show “some” cuff but don’t go into detail. Interestingly, it seems that some British bespoke tailors cut the sleeve so long that no cuff can be seen at all. As Nicholas Storey remarks in the History of Men’s Fashion, C. Northcote Parkinson wrote in the publication Parkinson’s Law that Americans show cuff and the British do not. In fact, many photographs and fashion illustrations from the US and continental Europe display men showing some cuff but it varies from picture to picture.
As you can see, throughout menswear history, many men wore their coat sleeves short enough to show some cuff, but there were also other dapper gentlemen who chose to do the opposite.
Perfect Sleeve & Double Cuff Combination On The Left, Poor On The Right.

As such, any “rule” about the matter should not be regarded as an absolute, but much rather as a guideline for men who are in the process of learning about classic men’s clothing.
[h=3]No Visible Cuff[/h] If you decide, not to show any cuff, make sure that the sleeves are neither too wide nor too long. This means they should reach just past the shirt cuff, slightly over the edge of the wrist – but never ending so far as the the middle of your hand.
[h=3]Showing Shirt Cuff On a Lounge Suit[/h] Correct Sleeve Length and French Cuff

If you decide to show some cuff, things are a little more tricky. Bear in mind that wearing your jacket sleeves too short will always look the worst, as it will seem as if you either outgrew your jacket or borrowed it from s
omeone else.
Jacket Sleeve Too Wide

In my opinion, it looks good to match the amount of visible cuff to the amount of visible shirt collar at the back of your neck. Though again, everything in between 0 and 1/2 ” is fine.
The most important factors are, by far, the proper fit of the sleeve and the harmony with the cuff!
The coat sleeve should be filled out by the
shirt cuff so that no lining is visible. From my experience, I can tell that most men wear cuffs that are too wide,
Shirt Sleeve Too Long

which which makes the shirt’s structure under the sleeve obvious, and often sleeves that are too wide as well.
Button Cuffs With Sportscoat And Slim Sleeves

Hence, I suggest to get the fit of the shirt cuff right, and to choose or tailor the jacket sleeve width accordingly.
As you know, button cuffs are smaller than French cuffs because they wrap around your wrist. Consequently, the ideal jacket sleeve width alters with the chosen cuff! Traditionally, button cuffs became the standard for sportscoats and casual garments and French cuffs were worn with more proper town suits. Therefore, it was rather easy to match them to each other.
Watch Too Big For Cuff Resulting in Poor Look

Today, men can wear anything they want and consequently either the sleeves seem way too wide, or the wide double cuff catches on the inside of the narrow sleeve. When you choose your shirt and suit or jacket combination in the future, you may want to consider this aspect as well.
Prince Charles is a perfect example for matching the cuff to the sleeve size in his cuffed jacket.
In the following, I want to outline possible pitfalls pictorially.
The shirt sleeve can be too long and the cuff too wide, so it slides down your hand.
Barack Obama with Proper Shirt Cuff Covering Watch But Wide Sleeves

This cuff is too tight, causing it to wrinkle.
A button cuff does not work with a wide sleeve of a jacket (although it might with a double cuff)
Sometimes, coat sleeves are even too wide for a double cuff.
This happens when you do not account for the wrist watch under your cuff: the watch is prominently revealed. In my opinion, this is a very poor look.
[h=2]What Sleeve Length is Right For Me?[/h] As you can see, it gets more complicated if you want to show some cuff. However, the choice is entirely up to you if you do or don’t. If you show cuff, make sure that it is not too short and focus on the fit as outlined above.
The information is this article is based on magazine articles and books about classic men’s clothing from the 1910′s – 1960′s and not just my opinion. For example the drawings were published in a menswear magazine in 1950.


Cited from: Sleeve Length Guide for Suits, Jackets and Shirts — Gentleman's Gazette https://www.gentlemansgazette.com/sleeve-length-suits-shirts-jackets/#ixzz2edGplC4K
 

Matt S

Connoisseur
I didn't see the part in that article that says barrel cuffs should be shorter than double cuffs. They should both be the same length. The problems in the pictures with the single cuff are that the jacket sleeves are either too wide or too short. No matter the type of cuffs, the cuff should fit snugly around your wrist and the sleeve should be long enough that the cuffs stay in place when you bend your arm. For this to be true, only one shirt sleeve length is ideal. Shirt cuffs also protect the sleeves of your jackets from unnecessary wear, and they need to be a little longer to do that. Whether or not you show shirt cuff should be dependent on the length of your jacket sleeves. Shirt sleeves should always be the same.
 
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