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Should shirt cuffs be snug or loose?

TimothyF

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This approach may lead to shirt sleeves that are too short to prevent the cuff from riding up your arm when you raise your arm, which is especially noticeable when you wear a jacket. My shirt sleeve length is such that if I unbutton the cuffs, the open cuff ends about mid-way down my palm.

Your hand is so much larger than your wrist that you don't need a 'tight' cuff, just tight enough.

How much the sleeves come up when the arms are raised (or extended) is largely a function of the armhole, I find. Low armholes, and the sleeves ride up significantly; higher armholes, very little shift

The shirtmaker(s) here may confirm or deny
 

L.deJong

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In my experience, it's better to have a cuff that's a little looser than one that is too tight.
So that's why I always make sure it's a little on the wide side. If your sleeves are a tad too long you can always shorten them, if the cuffs are too loose you can change the button stance but you cannot easily make the cuffs larger.
But most importantly it's also a cultural thing, I discussed this with my Italian shirtmaker and he found the sleeve length correct, while I found it 2cm too short. He didn't like too long sleeves that rest at the base of the hand because it makes the fabric billow a little, he liked a straight fitting sleeve. Anyway, we settled on 2cm longer but I do understand where he is coming from.
 

Despos

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How much the sleeves come up when the arms are raised (or extended) is largely a function of the armhole, I find. Low armholes, and the sleeves ride up significantly; higher armholes, very little shift

The shirtmaker(s) here may confirm or deny
This
Have a shirtmaker friend who cut what he called a “long”undersleeve.
Shirt sleeves don’t hike up; very comfortable.
 

Enfusia

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I don't care for tight cuffs, somewhere around a happy medium for me.

I don't want them falling over my hand when I stand, but need room for my watch.

If it does both, I'm good.
 

DapperPhilly

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Yes, of course I’m using double sided links. T-bar links are ugly. As I do not have a valet to dress me in the morning, I put the links on my shirt before I put it on. One of the many compromises we must make in this modern age.

Whether my watch is for show or not is no concern of my shirtmaker.

My shirt sleeves are made to the correct length and do not depend on being tight around the wrist. That seems like nonsense to me. One last point: if I commission a shirt, it will be made the way I want it made. If it is not made the way I want it made, we will iterate until it is. Or no more shirts will be made by that cutter. So all this angst about what is right doesn’t really matter. There is only one arbiter of what is right and that is the client.
No valet to dress you in the morning? The horror! 😁
 

MrCleanMC

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My suits and shirts are bespoke and I have my left shirt cuffs made slightly looser to accomodate my watches, some of which are large. I can't stand to have a cuff that will not cover my watch such that my watch must sit below/outside of my shirt cuff. My right cuffs are cut tight enough that they would not accomodate a diver watch, but perhaps a thin dress watch, no bigger.
 

Quiet Observer

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This topic isn’t something I’ve ever really thought about……
I order all my shirts from WH Taylor Shirtmakers (formerly Cole’s Shirtmakers) as I have long arms so ready to wear shirts simply don’t have long enough sleeves for me.
I’ve always been satisfied with their various cuff styles. There is enough room to accommodate a wrist watch.
As to one’s ability to slide one’s hand through the buttoned cuff, this may depend to a degree on the size of one’s hands.
 
Last edited:

Peter1

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The simplest solution is two buttons (cufflinks are another matter). What I do is, since I wear a watch on my right wrist, is button the left wrist to the second button, then the right wrist to the first button. Looks fine to 99.999% of the population, and way more comfortable. To be fair, I think closefitting cuffs look better, although in general they also need to be compatible with the width of the arm. I have one slimmer fitting suit and I can't really wear french cuffs with it. because they look like they're stuffed into the sleeve opening.

(Can you tell this is a question I often find myself pondering while I'm sitting in a meeting...staring at my cuffs...?)_
 

Mirage-

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Personally I prefer a slightly relaxed cuff. Tight enough that it won't slide down significantly when my arms are down (not that I ever walk or stand that way really), but loose enough that it will rise up a little if I have to raise my arms overhead for some reason (which actually gives me a little more mobility).
 

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