The single cuff seems much maligned these days.

Last week I overheard someone demand double (or French) cuffs on their shirt. Apparently anything else would have looked cheap. Yet it is a trend that has only grown in London over the past ten years. Doubtless it was a easy way for shirtmakers to suggest they had superior shirts – an extra little touch like collars with two or even three buttons.

Bizarrely, these shirts are often sold as Italian; or in Italian lines from high-street shops. Yet the Italians have always worn a single cuff, dismissing the double cuff as French and foppish. Some of this attitude may also derive from the fact that Italians would wear their dress shirts with greater flexibility, at different times of the day and week – with a sweater on a week day, under a casual jacket at the weekend. A single cuff is more practical here (easier to wear under a sweater, a little too fussy for the weekend). The City businessman who only wears it with a grey suit during the week does not have this problem.

The Italian traditionally also likes his cuff tight to the wrist, as his sleeve is tighter and his armhole higher. But more of that elsewhere.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

On the reported Italian dislike of frenchcuffs:
From what I have read, Italians occasionally like to wear their watch over the cuff – which seems next to impossible with french cuffs.

Sachin Mayi

Simone – I received my first shirt in the mail from Luca yesterday here in Florida. I love it. My first bespoke shirt. It needs some tweaks, part of the process. One area that I have always wanted to modify was the cuff, but I wasn’t sure how. I love the French double but I find it bulky and cumbersome, especially if I am not wearing a jacket or want to roll up my sleeves. So last night I let my mind go creative while I relaxed into sleep and came up with the single French cuff. When I went to search for it this morning, not only did it exist, but you wrote about it. Joy of Joys! I will give it a try. If you have any insight, I would love to hear.