Everything You Need To Know About Wearing French Cuffs

how to wear french cuffs everything you need know about
French cuffs –much like pocket squares— are one of the most confusing sartorial subjects in existence. Most guys don’t know when they should or shouldn’t wear them — let alone how they should be worn, or the subtle style points that make them actually work with an outfit. For this reason, we’ve done a comprehensive assessment of the French cuff landscape, and asked all the style gurus we know for their thoughts on the subject. Now, we’re here to report back. Here’s everything you need to know about French cuffs.

The first and most helpful thing to keep in mind is that French cuffs are intended for more formal occasions. Knowing this should help guide you not only in regards to how the cuffs should be worn, but also when and where it’s appropriate to sport them. Here are some rules that follow this maxim:

As they are more formal attire, French cuffs should not be worn every day. Unless you’re a mob boss or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, you should probably skip the Frenchies and just go with a normal barrel cuff.

guide to french cuffsGenerally speaking, French cuffs should only be worn with suit jackets. If you’ve got that certain je ne sais qois about you and know how to wear them without overpowering your outfit, then you might be able to pull off French cuffs with a blazer or a sport coat, but in most situations, it’s best to keep them formal and stick to the suit jacket.

Similarly, since you’ll typically be wearing them at a formal event that requires a suit jacket, French cuffs will almost always be accompanied by a tie. Whether it’s a bowtie or a necktie is up to you, but skipping the tie altogether is ill-advised in most situations.

French cuffs should always be secured with cufflinks. No exceptions. We know you’ve probably seen Brad Pitt or Joaqin Phoenix rocking that casually-formal look with wantonly unfastened French cuffs, but this look is unbecoming on just about everyone else. It just looks messy, and gives the impression that you either don’t care how you look, or simply don’t know how to wear a double cuff shirt properly. To this end, cuffs should always be fastened in the “kissing” position so that they form a sort of teardrop shape around your wrist — not rolled into a barrel shape like normal cuffs.

Choose a cufflink that compliments your ensemble, not one that overpowers it. Feel free to express your own personal flair here, but don’t overdo it, and let the context of the situation guide your decision. If the event you’re attending is more professional, skip the loud links and go with something more subdued. If it’s more social, go ahead pick one with a snappy color — just always ask an honest friend if it looks too tacky or loud before you go out. Keep it classy and you’ll never go wrong.

Living

The Most Beautiful (and Unexpected) Houses of Worship Around the World

From the deserts of Arizona to the French countryside, these are some of the most beautiful religious structures around the world.
Food & Drink

Gobble this Up: How to Smoke a Turkey (The Right Way, Every Time)

Find out how to not mess up the centerpiece of a meal where you're surrounded by your whole family (including judgmental Aunt Carol).
Food & Drink

Morning Joe: How to Use a French Press Coffee Maker

Learning how to use a French press coffee maker is a valuable life skill. Get everything you need to know about that life skill right here.
Food & Drink

10 Top Shelf Vodka Brands that are Actually Worth a Damn

Price doesn't always equate to flavor, but these high-end vodka brands are worth breaking out the piggy bank.
Fashion & Style

Don’t Fear the Flannel: The Best Men’s Flannel Shirts for Fall

For all the flannel fanatics out there.
Podcast

Beards, Booze, and Bacon: The Mongolian Cashmere Episode

How did a trip to Mongolia turn into a failed non-profit that eventually became a direct-to-consumer cashmere brand? Listen in.
Fashion & Style

Meet Corridor, the Fashionable Clothing Company Founded by a Former FBI Agent

"I was going to transfer over to CIA from FBI, and I went to graduate school during the process. I started tailoring clothes on the side just to make money."
Fashion & Style

The Best Fall Sales on Menswear and Gear This Weekend

Jackets, outdoor gear, watches, shoes — you name it, we've found a deal on it.
Fashion & Style

Layer Up for Fall ASAP with the Best Men’s Puffy Vests

Get in-vested in this quintessential fall style staple.
Outdoors

15 Best Travel Pants for Hiking, Exploring, and Everything in Between

Our favorite, all-around travel pants are suitable for every environment and activity, from finding comfort on the plane to finding adventure outdoors.
Fashion & Style

Weather the Season in Style with the Best Men’s Boots for Fall

These boots were made for walking ... in the crisp autumn air.
Fashion & Style

Stock Up on the Best Crewneck Sweatshirts for Men this Fall

The best crewneck sweatshirts are warm, stylish, and easy to layer.
Fashion & Style

What to Wear Tailgating: Fall Style Essentials for Football Fans

Snag these tailgating style basics before the next game.