When Princess Eugenie had initiated shirts for women with the Garibaldi shirt in 1860, would she have guessed that cuffs would take such variety?
With Placket Cuffs, Button Cuffs and French Cuffs, women’s cuffs may look like they differ from men’s shirts by just a tiny bit. Don’t be deceived. When it comes down to the details, women have a wider choice, can be more adventurous and have fun while remaining formal, casual, chic, dressy or anything they want to be.
Brass Tacks of Cuffs
Unlike men’s cuffs, lengths of women’s cuffs can range from the double length long ones to short cuffs. There is the usual standard size similar to men’s cuffs for the formal ones, but you can get away with different lengths. Basic rule is that longer cuffs look dressier while the short length ones are for casual occasions. This applies to full sleeved, three-fourth sleeved or short-sleeved shirts.
Color of Cuff
If you want to be sure you are formally dressed, stick to the basics like same color cuff or at the most a white cuff and white collar for French Cuffs. But on semi-formal to more casual occasions, you can experiment with color and pattern on your cuffs. Just make sure the color and pattern of the cuff is reflected in the collar or with a scarf. Secondly, with a white cuff and collar, you are matching the shirt with the trouser or skirt, but with cuffs carrying a different color and pattern, you need to match or complement the cuff with the shirt as well as the trouser or skirt.
Types of Cuffs
Closed Placket Cuffs
With Closed Placket Cuffs, women’s shirts differ from men’s cuffs. The cuff is sewn closed although it would have sewn buttons. They give a neat, narrow appearance, but are used when a more casual attire is required. But they can be worn for a regular work day. Try them on before buying since you cannot adjust the cuff width later. You should be able to pull up the sleeve without tugging on it and it should leave at least an inch space at the narrow end of the cuff once you wear it. This ensures that you remain comfortable when it rides up when you bend your elbow.
Button Cuffs can be single or multiple button cuffs. Although they are termed button cuffs, with women’s shirts, they can carry buttons or snaps to bind them. Single Button Cuffs, as the name indicates, have a single button. They can have horizontal buttons to adjust the width of the cuff. Double or Multiple Button Cuffs are also called Barrel Cuffs. The buttons are lined vertically with the cuff line and give a more formal appearance. Button Cuffs are not deemed highly formal, but are right for every day work wear. You can also experiment with elongated button cuffs where the buttons aren’t placed exactly in the center.
Elongated Button Cuff
Square cuffs look elegant and are right for full length sleeves. When it comes to round-edged cuffs, you’d find them more on the three-fourth sleeved shirts. You can wear them buttoned or fold the cuff above the elbow.
Or you could use a Cutaway Cuff where the cut away portion exposes the inner design. It usually comes with two buttons.
You’ll find French Cuffs on both dress shirts and formal shirts. If used on formal shirts, they are the truly formal shirts for women. With the cuff folded back, they are to be bound with cuff links or silk knots. With reputed companies, the silk knots are provided with the shirt. If you want to be more adventurous, you could buy a range with single or multi-colored silk knots to add your personal touch.
There is another option, that of Link Cuffs. These differ from French Cuffs to the extent that the cuff, although folded back, is stitched at the hem, so that you don’t fold it back each time you wear it. They are just right when worn with suits.
There is a point in which women’s cuffs differ from men’s French Cuffs – the corner of the cuff. You could have Pointed Cuffs, giving a feminine finish with the pointed corners. These cuffs usually have a contrast fabric on the inside or the outside of the cuff.
So, whether you want to look dressy, formal or semi-formal, you can use your cuffs to do it with chic and elegance while carrying your personal style.