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How Much Shirt Cuff Should I Show?

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Section: Men's Style - Blog

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When it comes to showing off your cuff, there is no hard and fast rule, and sometimes it is not your jacket you need to worry about but your shirt sleeve length. Here's our expert advice about how to look dapper in all your suits.

Recently a client commented: “My jacket is too long as I wear mostly french cuff shirts, and the cuff is mostly hidden, so what is the ideal amount of shirt cuff to show off?”

The answer is there is no definitive rule. In fact, your shirt sleeve length, rather than your jacket, may be the problem. Without exception, we find shirt sleeves are the most obvious and commonly overlooked elements of good fit. People often ask for shorter jacket sleeve lengths to show some shirt cuff, but in reality, their shirt sleeves are too short.

Abusiness shirt sleeve should just reach the mid point between the base of your thumb (top knuckle) and the point where the wrist ends and your hand starts. The jacket sleeve should end approximately 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch before the shirt cuff.

When you are sitting with your arms in front of you on a desk, you tend to show a little more cuff - approximately another half inch, to be precise. Why? The simple answer is your suit jacket sleeve should move up and not take your shirt with it.

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A point to note, however, is people are seldom motionless and shirts vary more than jackets, so it's unlikely the amount of visible cuff will remain precisely constant for a single shirt-coat combination, let alone across a wardrobe.

The other thing we notice quite often is for many people, either their shirt sleeves are too short or jacket sleeves are too long, so enough of the shirt sleeve is not shown as both shirt and jacket sleeves are the same length or the shirt sleeves are shorter than the jacket's.

Off-rack clothing is usually the culprit, and it has to some degree ruined men's understanding of fashion, because many have gotten used to no shirt cuff showing and jacket sleeves reaching lengths that are simply too long.

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For these individuals, when they experience tailored clothes for the first time, they are often a bit insecure about the shorter (but correct length) jacket sleeve or the longer shirt sleeve resulting in more of their shirt cuff showing.

Often they will lift their arms in front of them (a bit like Frankenstein's monster) and then comment that the sleeves are too short when more of the shirt cuff is exposed and the jacket sleeve rides up their arm a little.

At first, this was a bit frustrating to us because people didn't want the correct length, they wanted the unsightly longer jacket sleeves! Over time, however, we came to realise it's a normal, understandable reaction, and we guess shorter jacket sleeves are something that take getting used to and are a psychological hurdle that take time and education to overcome.

Hopefully, this entry helps you understand the ideal amount of shirt cuff to show and that showing a bit of shirt cuff is not a sin. We atMontagio hope you will embrace the concept of the shorter jacket sleeve length or longer shirt sleeve length when making your next purchase of a business shirt or men's tailored suit.

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