The Origins of the French Cuff (Double Cuff)
Posted on July 10 2015
The French Cuff, which is a double length cuff that is stitched on separately and then doubled back on itself and fastened with a cufflink, actually originated in Great Britain. In the beginning it wasn't actually called The French Cuff, but rather was known as the foldback or turnback, or double cuff. In these early years, the French Cuff had six holes for cufflinks, as opposed to the commonly known four we have today. The purpose of this was when the shirt got worn on subsequent days the dirty part of the cuff from wear could be turned under a bit and not seen.
This sophisticated style of shirt cuff didn't actually take on the name of The French Cuff until it reached America, although an exact date for this is unknown. It was in the 1930's that cufflinks became incredibly popular as a form of status symbol and fashion accessory, as well as being worn in the practical sense. Cufflinks were a very popular accessory in the 1960s, 70s and 80s and so obviously the French Cuff was still very popular during this time too.
Despite the fact that the French Cuff is known for adding a touch of class to an outfit, it will not do the job of this unless the shirt as a whole is a well made quality shirt. At W.H. Taylor Shirtmakers we use the best of 'Made in Britain' quality fabric, as well as made-to-measure techniques for your bespoke shirt. A well-made shirt with French Cuffs will surely set off any dinner suit or formal business attire, and your cufflinks will set it off with that touch on individuality that you decide to add. French Cuffs are the preferred choice for black-tie events, and are still a common site in the boardroom.
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