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Showing off the entire damned french cuff a la Sammy Davis style

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Good Evening; I have been browsing this site for about a year now while re-inventing my wardrobe and learning the dos and don'ts of how to wear suits. I now wear a suit and tie 6 days a week. This site was instrumental to my knowledge of fabrics, fit, accessories, colors, etc. (100% wool suits, 100% cotton shirts, 100% silk ties) I have deviated from the general consensus in a few areas in respect to suit fit, I am one of those 8-10 inch drop guys(40L-42L jacket, 30-32 waist depending on brand), but due to my muscular upper legs from running the 400m dash for 6 years I wear high-waisted pleated plants so I have room to sit. To the point: Many people in the general population wear their suit sleeves entirely too long. To raise awareness of the problem, I have been altering my newest suits to show 2.25 inches of french cuff off in protest. I think I have been able to pull it off, I am certainly not the first person to do this. I have seen historical figures show off a lot of cuff. To maintain some proportion the suit pants have a full break, the shirt collar is worn high and wide, thick and wide windsor knots with large dimple, and I alternate between 2-button suits and double-breasted suits with a moderate degree of waist suppression/pinch. I'll try to take a picture, my question is, have you seen anyone show off a lot of french cuff, exposing the entire cufflink when standing, arms at the side, and is this a major breach of suit etiquette or not? It has not cost me a job or anything. If anything, I have received many compliments on my cufflinks since they are exposed all the time. This is where I got the idea: http://www.gq.com/style/style-guy/sh...jacket-sleeves "One man’s normal is another man’s abomination. That brilliant flash of shirt linen that was once so much a part of masculine sartorial allure is today almost extinct. Sinatra showed three quarters to a full inch, Dino an inch to an inch and a half, and I seem to recall Sammy showing the whole damn French cuff. I think a half inch of shirt cuff revealed, with the arms at one’s sides, is the minimum. From there it’s what you dare—though the cuff should never pop all the way out. Ultimately, the shirt cuff attracts the eye, making one’s arms appear long and limber. This has proved important for dancers, like Astaire, and conductors, like Bernstein. His crisp white cuffs made a baton almost unnecessary."
post #2 of 28
Do it if you like...I wouldn't
post #3 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AgentChaosFlux View Post
Good Evening;

...I have been altering my newest suits to show 2.25 inches of french cuff off in protest.

Sounds way too short. The purpose of a cufflink is to close the cuff. It gets treated like a piece of jewelry, yes, and can get as funky as you like, but the idea is that it isn't a big flashing sign saying "look at me". Same with the French cuff itself. It's a means of terminating the sleeve- functional, more stylized to some, but still, it's a way to end the sleeve.

The best idea is to be subtle; show a little bit of white (or whatever colors) cuff at the bottom of the sleeve, and then the link, and the French cuff, become another level of detail when seen incidentally as you move your arm around.

Stuff that Sammy Davis and Frank Sinatra did then is like stuff Brad Pitt (with the unfolded French cuffs a few years ago, for example) does now- it works because it's them, they're celebrities, and it's all part the show. That kind of stuff tends not go over well with "normal" guys, even in the best of circumstances.
post #4 of 28
Hello Thom Browne. Seriously though, that sounds awful. I'd be interested in seeing a pic of how this looks though.
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cncrd View Post
Sounds way too short. The purpose of a cufflink is to close the cuff. It gets treated like a piece of jewelry, yes, and can get as funky as you like, but the idea is that it isn't a big flashing sign saying "look at me". Same with the French cuff itself. It's a means of terminating the sleeve- functional, more stylized to some, but still, it's a way to end the sleeve.

The best idea is to be subtle; show a little bit of white (or whatever colors) cuff at the bottom of the sleeve, and then the link, and the French cuff, become another level of detail when seen incidentally as you move your arm around.

Stuff that Sammy Davis and Frank Sinatra did then is like stuff Brad Pitt (with the unfolded French cuffs a few years ago, for example) does now- it works because it's them, they're celebrities, and it's all part the show. That kind of stuff tends not go over well with "normal" guys, even in the best of circumstances.

All good points.

I have 4 suits with the aforementioned shorter suit sleeves.

I'll take a picture and upload it tomorrow. Looks something like this(the sleeves):







post #6 of 28
Arms bent or raised can show significantly more cuff than arms straight at the sides. Most of the pictures show bent arms.
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AgentChaosFlux View Post
my question is, have you seen anyone show off a lot of french cuff, exposing the entire cufflink when standing, arms at the side, and is this a major breach of suit etiquette or not?


Geoffrey Zakarian regularly has his entire cuff showing. He's a judge on Chopped and Restaurant Impossible on the Food Network. Granted he isn't in the fashion industry, but he's an example of someone who does it.
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
According to the trained style forum eye, are these sleeves passable or atrocious?



post #9 of 28
Suit sleeves might be passable, hard to tell because the shirt sleeves are far too long. Edit to add: Or possibly the shirt cuff is too loose/wide, allowing the sleeve to fall too far down when your arm is at your side.
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
I have trouble with that sometimes (conforming dress shirt sleeve lengths)

On some brands like Claiborne 34/35 is too short, while in other brands like Calvin Klein or Domani Blue Label 32-33 is too long (like in those pictures)
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
Also,

it is easy for someone in an alterations shop to shorten the sleeves of a dress shirt?
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
This is the same suit jacket, only this time there is no dress shirt underneath it:

post #13 of 28
Shortening shirt sleeves an inch or so is relatively easy and will probably cost $20 or so. But it's not clear for the shirt in your picture if the problem is the sleeve is too long or the cuff too wide. The length looks about right for a sleeve which has the cuff undone (an uncuffed sleeve should fall lower than a cuffed one). If you can put your whole hand easily through the cuff while it is done up, then it is possible the sleeve length is correct and the cuff is just too wide for your hand. Whether the cuff width can be easily tailored or not is beyond my experience. Edit to add: The jacket sleeve length looks just about correct in the new picture. The problem is your shirt sleeve (or cuff).
post #14 of 28
I've known a couple of Savile Row tailors (cutters actually) who loved to show a good bit of cuff ... perhaps a couple of inches.
post #15 of 28
I dont really have an opinion but what a lot of people just don't get when they see shots of celebs from any era is that often they throw something on or a stylist shops and brings them something. Just some food for thought.
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