What is the right size for a dress shirt cuff?
So the question came in and it was something about:
“Okay. So I own a number of dress shirts and I find that the cuff size varies greatly. What is the right size?”
The quick simple answer to that is that it depends on you. It depends on your proportions, on how big your wrist is. And just to – you know, this isn't something that a lot of guys think about.
We simply purchase a dress shirt, we put it on, and if it doesn't look bad, we wear it. But you can make something look so much better if you pay attention to the fit.
So with a dress shirt, one of the items you want to pay attention to the fit on is a dress shirt cuff. The general rule is that you need to be able to – you shouldn't be able just to slide it off.
If you're taking your dress shirt off, and if you do not undo the button, and it comes right off, the cuff is too large. Now you may like it that way. You may wear a big watch.
My advice is that you need to button that to take it off. I like about 1 to 1.25 inches of extra room here around. I like it close. Some men like about 1.75 inches up to 2 inches.
If you go above 2 inches, I think that even if you've got, you know, 8.5-inch, 9-inch wrists that's too much. So don't go above 2 inches even if you have huge wrists.
Now it really comes down to proportions because I've got small wrists. My wrists were like 6.5 inches. Therefore, the shirt cuff is just under 8 inches, when I measure it from the button to the center of the button hole.
And so that gives me just under 1.5 inches. I like that. It's a perfect amount of room. I think it looks proportional, it looks great.
Now you maybe asking,
“Okay, so I'm not a custom clothier like Antonio, so how can I get my shirts to look better right here on the cuff without having to go out and buy all customed?”
Well there were some pretty easy fixes. One of them, simply move the button. It's very simple. Just cut it right off, you have it. Well, you need some needle and thread and you know, just wrestle the button so that it's a bit closer.
Bring it in. it's not going to actually — as long as you don't move it more than an inch, about three-quarters of an inch, it look perfectly fine.
What if you need to move it quite a bit more?
Let's say you've got smaller wrists like me, 6- to 6.5-inch wrist, and you know, the distance from the button to the center is more like 9.5 inches, or 10 inches, or 11 inches, then in that case, you're going to want to look to possibly take the cuff off the shirt and have it rebuilt.
Seamstresses, tailors, anyone local who is pretty good with a needle and thread can do this. it's a little bit of work but they can get it done for you, if you're adamant about it.
Another option is simply to change out the cuffs. It's a white shirt, you know, go to your local Thrift store and find a shirt who's got smaller cuffs and simply replace them.
This is also a great tactic if you damaged the cuff or if you, I don't know, maybe got a cigarette burn or you know, sometimes people tear this and that's a very simple fix right there, simply replacing the cuff out on a shirt.
Another great thing is one when you get the cuff off, if the shirt's a bit long or the sleeves are a big long, go ahead and get those shortened as well. That's for another article.
Last thing, French cuffs, you want to get yourself a little bit more room.
When a French cuff is set at 1.25 or 1.5. I like to give myself a solid 1.75 up to 2 inches. So in that case, if you've got bigger wrists, I've got some clients that come in, they've got 9-inch wrists.
In that case, those guys are going to want to have about 2.5 inches of excess fabric here. And that's because that cuff is just fuller, it's larger, it's meant to fill up a jacket cuff.
The proper size. And just to give you a general — when you go out and looking at shirts, you know, usually there are going to be about, from the center of the button hole to the button going around, you're going to see ranges anywhere from 8 inches to 11 inches in the circumference.
So that's a pretty wide range. Just pay attention to it. It's going to be easier if you start with something that works for you.
In addition, always pay attention the length of the cuff. This is just over 2 inches. Again, it's proportional to me. But if you are a larger guy, you can go to closer to 3 inches.
If you're a smaller guy and you're putting on a 3-inch cuff, unless let's say at 2-button cuff going lengthwise, it just not going to look right. Even then, you probably shouldn't be wearing something that big.
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