How to Choose a Dress Shirt Cuff Style

All of the little details count, so consider the various cuff options when designing a dress shirt. Below is a breakdown of the decisions you can make.

dress shirt cuff styles

Barrel Cuff vs French Cuff

The first step is to decide if you’d like to go for a Barrel Cuff or French Cuff. You’ll need cuff links or cuff knots to close your French Cuffs, whereas Barrel Cuffs have simple button closures. French cuffs are definitely more formal and are the natural choice if you’re buying a tuxedo shirt or wedding shirt.

Some guys love French Cuffs, others love Barrel Cuffs. Typically French Cuffs will be “more work” and be more of a statement, whereas Barrel Cuffs are more common and subtle.

One Button vs Two Button

If you want a Barrel Cuff, the next choice is whether you’d like a one-button or two-button cuff. One-button cuffs are a little more subtle and shorter in length than their two-button counterparts. Those who want a slightly more formal look should consider the longer, two-button cuffs—also think about these if you have particularly long arms.

Long One Button vs Standard One Button

If you’re going with a one button barrel cuff, consider our new, slightly longer version, which clocks in at 2.875”. Inspired by the cuffs common among the great Neapolitan shirtmakers, our long one button cuff is super balanced and is especially recommended for guys with arms over 34” (though it looks great on all, and comes in both fused and soft versions). Put it on any shirt you’d wear with a standard one button cuff.

Rounded vs Mitered vs Straight Cuffs

Some cuffs are rounded, others are mitered, and some have a straight cuff end. Rounded cuffs are most common and subtle, whereas mitered are generally considered more elegant and formal. The straight edge cuff is a less common barrel cuff design, but can be great on a casual shirt.

Fused Construction vs Soft Construction

Similar to collars and plackets, one can get their cuffs in a crisp, fused construction or a soft, unfused construction. We typically suggest keeping construction consistent with collar and placket—if you have a fused collar, get a fused cuff. Fused is a better choice for a shirt meant to be worn in business contexts, while soft construction is ideal for casual wear or a more ‘sprezzy’ dressy look.

Click here for more information on all of our available cuff styles.