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French cuffs for a slightly fashion forward business casual in 2023?

bjornb17

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Years ago when I was in my early 20's I had a handful of really nice French cuff dress shirts (plus a bunch of normal shirts). I was a bit self conscious wearing them to work as a junior engineer at a prestigious engineering firm and I feel like I always got a bit judged for wearing something fancier than the bosses so I rarely worn them. Also back then French cuffs didn't seem to be very well known or accepted and was probably seen out of place for somebody earning only $45k a year. These days I feel like I see more well dressed people wearing them more comfortably even in a business casual setting and I'm seeing a bit of a resurgence and interest in nicer clothes in my profession after years of people dressing extremely casually.

I went to London for vacation this past summer and saw a lot of well dressed people wearing French cuffs as part of a business casual attire - well fitting pants, nice dress shoes, and French cuffs usually with silk knots in a sharp looking outfit that wasn't overly formal.

These days I'm the CEO of my own small engineering firm catering to higher-end clients. I've sort of adapted the style I saw in London this past summer and feel comfortable and confident dressing like that now in my late 30s and my current role. Being in south Texas I rarely wear a tie or suit except to functions or important meetings. My firm's focus is on design and aesthetics so wearing something slightly fashion forward but not overly formal seems to be a good look in a somewhat creative industry. In the same vain I've retired my collection of Allen Edmonds shoes and now have a small fleet of Carmina shoes which look way nicer and more modern!

Just out of curiosity, what is everyone's take on the French cuff topic in 2023?
 

gimpwiz

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Are you thinking of wearing them without a suit? I wouldn't do that.

With a suit, it depends. Recent discussions on this topic showed that I think most people here don't, some do.
 

comrade

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My impression is (was) that a far higher percentage of dress shirts worn
in the UK have French cuffs than in the US. So, when they go "business
casual" the dress shirts that Brits use need cufflinks.
 

Thin White Duke

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You do you. A refreshing post that is flying in the face of the general submission towards ever more casual clothes so thanks for that.

We all know there are long-established ‘rules’ of dressing which we are all free to accept or reject.

In addition to the conventional and well established rules I have imposed some others on myself to make my clothing choices easier and line up with cohesive outfits. One of which is button cuffs for odd jackets and French cuffs with suits. I pretty much stick to this but of course you are free to impose opposite ‘rules’ upon yourself - or not.

Remember one of the rare occasions when James Bond wore cuff links was with his more casual barleycorn tweed jacket in Goldfinger which is roundly praised as among his best outfits.
 

Harwid

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Do what you like.

I think French cuffs are only appropriate with a tuxedo, and I have followed that rule my entire life.

I don’t see them as fashion forward in any situation.

Understand that I like a clean look. No vests, no pocket squares, jacket vents mostly sewn up and so forth. On the other hand I believe I am well dressed in all situations.

Jeff
 

Rowyourboat

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I rarely see them without suits in NYC/SF/MIA, but I think it's fine to do so. I think they look stylish.
 

JFWR

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By business casual, do you mean basically a dress shirt of some sort (probably closer to a button down) with odd slacks, no jacket? If so, there's no reason you'd want French cuffs in that situation. It's going to be a tremendous mix match. It isn't "fashion forward", it's just a silly mix match.

It's sort of like wearing a pocket square with a v-neck t-shirt and sneakers. The host on the sumo wrestling commentating show on the NHK international was wearing that and I thought it was so utterly laughable of a combination.
 

Andy57

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All my dress shirts have French cuffs. It's just how shirts are, not a "fashion choice". If you don't want to wear shirts that have french cuffs, don't. I don't care. If you do want to, then do. I still don't care.
 

clothingfun

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I have nearly all my long sleeve shirts made with French cuffs. Awhile back a couple members here recommended trying single cuffs.

My most recent order with my shirt maker I had a half dozen made up with single cuffs for the first time and I very much like those too. Glad I decided to take the advice. Thanks fellas!

I have my bespoke shirts made like this because I just love wearing cuff links and it makes me feel good. Yes, it’s really that simple! I wear these shirts with a suit (which is a very rare occurrence) and with a sport coat (which is occasional.)

Most commonly though I just wear these shirts without any type of jacket and with either wool dress britches or jeans. Always with cowboy boots of course!

@bjornb17 - I guess all I’m saying is I recommend just wearing what makes you happy. Honestly, who is even going to notice, much less care? Especially nowadays.

Granted, I’m retired now and even during my working days I wore scrubs everyday so l’ve never had to concern myself with any of this.

However, it seems a lot of folks here (myself included at times) take this clothing thing way too serious and turn what is supposed to be fun and enjoyable into a stressful, mental drag.
 
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ValidusLA

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I have probably 90% of all my shirts made with French cuffs. The exception is linen shirts which I generally make all barrel cuff.

I do not think you should wear French cuffs without a jacket of some type. Doesn't have to be a suit.
 

clothingfun

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I do not think you should wear French cuffs without a jacket of some type. Doesn't have to be a suit.

Hello again sir. Point taken and understandable. Perhaps somewhat unconventional without a jacket but I do it anyway because I love wearing my cuff links and think I look great!

That said, trying out the single cuffs has been pretty cool. I had the single cuffs on these shirts cut with a curved/tapered type design that is quite nice looking. As usual, the gentleman at Anto did a superb job.

Without a jacket, for lack of a better term, they seem (in my opinion anyway) to appear “more regular” and overall look a bit better than the double cuffs. If that makes sense.

I’m glad a couple members here recommended I try them out. I’ll certainly do it again on future orders.

Everyone have a great day.
 
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bjornb17

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Thanks for all the input everyone - and sorry for the delayed response, I didn't intend to abandon the conversation. Since I do have a pretty nice collection of suits now anyway, including a couple lighter weight suits I can wear in the summer, I might as well throw throw the jacket on as well when going somewhere and get use out of my purchases. Heck, I'm the boss now, why not right? LOL. And if I happen to lose the jacket throughout the course of the day well at least I had it on earlier.
 

letsgofire

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I think there is a structural mismatch between shirts that need cufflinks and any outfit that isn’t ’formal.’

I think it’s great that you like the cuff links, but I would recommend wearing them with the full outfit that maximizes the effect.

Otherwise you run the risk of being mismatched. Like cowboy boots and swimming trunks.

Or just be yourself 😎
 

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