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Poll: Turnback Cuffs on a Plain Navy Flannel?

Eustace Tilley

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I'm getting a plain air force flannel suit made from J&J Minnis cloth. Standard pock config + a ticket pocket. Given the relative bland-ness of the cloth, I was thinking of having turnback cuffs thrown on there. I've always been curious to try them out, and feel that this cloth would perhaps be the most suitable for such an experiment.

Would particularly like to hear from members who have had turnback cuffs in the past - thanks.
 

aportnoy

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Don't do it ET, I think you will ultimately regret it.
 

Eustace Tilley

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Originally Posted by aportnoy
Don't do it ET, I think you will ultimately regret it.

Thanks Andrew. In your experience, do the cuffs stand out? Looking at internet pics, I'm tempted to think they're a subtle detail.
 

mack11211

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I would save that detail for formalwear and sport coats. In this post are three examples from the sixties. Judge their subtlety for yourself.
 

aportnoy

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Originally Posted by Eustace Tilley
Thanks Andrew. In your experience, do the cuffs stand out? Looking at internet pics, I'm tempted to think they're a subtle detail.

It's less about this specific detail standing out and more that I am finding that I am happiest when I keep things simple. I have the Minnis air force blue iflannel as well and find it to be a spectacular cloth in it's own right.
 

Eustace Tilley

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Originally Posted by aportnoy
It's less about this specific detail standing out and more that I am finding that I am happiest when I keep things simple. I have the Minnis air force blue iflannel as well and find it to be a spectacular cloth in it's own right.

Good point.

mack: thanks for the link.
 

A Y

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You could also ask your tailor to leave enough of whatever it is he needs so he can make the turnbacks into conventional cuffs if you're unhappy with turnbacks.

--Andre
 

Baron

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I voted yes, but I did so before I read the thread and thought you were talking about cuffs for the trousers. Change my vote to a resounding no.
 

Parker

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No cuffs on the jacket, please. I think you'd get tired of them after a few wears. You could always try a turnback cuff shirt for a similar but more subtle (and less costly) effect.
 

Geezer

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Did it once years ago (on a grey birdseye). Had them taken off - just too self-consciously "look at my funky bespoke suit".
 

kcc

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I've requested them on shirts and on a camel overcoat, but never considered it on a suit. Well, no I take that back, I saw it on a DB formal suit worn by Prince Charles and thought it was elegantly done.

It would certainly look nice on a smoking jacket, but on a city suit would be a bit of a stretch for me.

At any rate satisfy your inner dandy ...
 

voxsartoria

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Perhaps this will help you make your decision. You might wish to grab a glass of water before reading if you parch easily.

Here we go:

Originally Posted by Film Noir Buff
The turn back sleeve cuff is an interesting detail. Personally, I think it can make a suit look more handsome, and lend the wearer a hint of belonging to a more rarified circle. How the average person will react is another matter altogether.

In England, this sort of detail while not common would not be remarked at. That's because the English care more about the color and pattern of the suit cloth than the details. You can wear a lot more styling details than in America.

Americans like to scrub the individuality out of others, it may be that we have an assembly line mentality or it may be that individualists are not good for the bottom line. It is the reason why you would see a very serious man in England wearing bright red socks with a dark city suit and an American might think that very odd seeing the same on an American in a board room meeting. Quirkiness is often not associated with power.

Although it changes as you ascend the power ladder, Americans react (and sometimes negatively) to custom details. I am not sure why that is. Maybe they would appreciate it on an Englishman but resent it on an American. Americans can broadly be separated into two camps in the workplace, those who think you are inferior to them and believe any demonstration of outward specialness on another is a form of snobbery to be resented, and those who are fascinated with being special themselves and want to learn how to emulate it. I have experienced both first hand for a while because my clothing has always been as one female lawyer recently put it "special".

I have never gotten a suit with turn back sleeve cuffs because I have always dressed differently enough that I felt yet another detail would cause too much distraction. However, I am now having one made.

My tailor sews through the jacket sleeve, a separate cuff and therefore it is removable. The reason I believe it is alright to this is that America is in a transition with regard to custom detail and eccentricity in clothes. There is also a new interest in all things custom as befits a people with too much money chasing too few goods.

Five years ago my SB peak lapel suits excited a lot of curiosity and even prompted the question "Can you really put those sorts of lapels on a SB suit?" Now, peak lapels are considered standard and most Americans will tell you they’ve always been around, testimony both to our Nation's marketing talents and the fact that even the most extreme detail becomes acceptable if the designers say they are.

With details like hacking pockets becoming standard, can the sleeve cuff be far behind? In any case, my theory is that Americans are becoming more tolerant to individualism in the suit again.

I will be putting my theory to the test to see how people react. I’ll bet background will play a role. For instance, I have a navy suit with hot pink beaded pinstripes. One CEO couldn’t get over how beautiful the suit was, a few women stopped me on the street to say they loved the suit but a tekkie from a relatively austere background remarked at how cute it was that I was wearing a pink suit, and I am pretty sure that wasn't a compliment.


Socially it will be interesting to see how people and in particular women react to sleeve cuffs. And in business circles, I will wonder what people will make of them. Of course, one might never fully know what someone's reaction to them will be; sometimes the worst reactions are the ones you never hear about.

The suit I am getting made with the sleeve cuffs is a worsted flannel. Which brings up an interesting point. These cuffs look better on nubbier fabrics. Probably because the chunkier and nubbier the fabric, thes more relief between sleeve and cuff. Perhaps this is why the cuff has survived most commonly on overcoats. Assuming we are using a self material, the flatter the cuff against the jacket sleeve, the more likely it is to look like an imperfection in the sleeve itself, at a distance.


Shortly thereafter:




- B
 

Eustace Tilley

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Originally Posted by voxsartoria
Perhaps this will help you make your decision. You might wish to grab a glass of water before reading if you parch easily.
- B


Ok, that settles it - I've always wanted to belong to a more rarified circle
 

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