Cuffs and collars are probably the most important parts of a shirt and people love to flaunt both of these to make fashion statements. By definition a cuff is an extra layer of fabric attached to the lower end of a sleeve of a shirt.
But sometimes the end of trouser legs is also termed cuffs. The cuff was introduced to make sure that the sleeve does not get frayed even after regular use.
However, even if they got frayed, the cuff could be replaced without making much change to the whole garment. Cuffs perform another function also. Since they are generally divided, they allow the hand to go through the sleeve with ease. And then, once buttoned, they sit snugly on the wrist.
With time cuffs have established itself not only a utility but also as a fashion statement. Different types of cuffs have come up over the years and the greatest variations are noticed in the formal shirts and dress shirts.
One has seen the laces, the buttoned-on cuffs as well as the ornamental cuffs on shirts over time. But what are the types of cuffs that are normally seen today?
The common type of cuffs in use these days is the divided one and they are generally differentiated by their ways of fastening.
1. Button Cuffs
This is the commonest type of cuffs in use. They are not only noticed on the dress shirts but also on the casual shirts. These are also known as barrel cuffs.
Photo Credit: Raresplendors.com
They have buttons stitched on one side of the divide and buttonholes on the other. Though one button is enough, most of the shirts these days have more than one button for giving the option of adjusting the fit to the comfort of the wearer.
2. Link Cuffs
These cuffs too have buttonholes, but they are on both sides of the divide. No buttons are there and they are supposed to be closed by cuff links. This is common in dress shirts and formal shirts as these allow the wearer to use various types of cuff links, and these cuff links play an important part in making a fashion statement.
Photo Credit: Tailordave.com
Normally they are held together in the style called ‘kissing style” where both the insides face one another and the cuff link goes across them. Though quite rare, some people also wear the cuff with the outside of one side of the cuff going underneath the inner side of the other.
Link cuffs come in two types, the single cuff and double or ‘French’ cuff. The single version is said to be the original linked cuff style and it is usually required for white tie events. It is more of a traditional choice for black tie events while some people also wear it with lounge suits.
The double cuff is double the length of single cuff and is worn folded back. This type of cuff is being worn these days for semi-formal events and in office and business settings also.
3. Convertible Cuffs
This is a combination of the two above mentioned types of cuffs. They have provisions for both buttoning up and for closing with cuff links. This type is gradually gaining popularity as it can be used in all occasions.