Mad About Fad

A passion for fashion

Dress Shirts: French Cuffs November 15, 2009

Filed under: Apparel — Mandy Childers @ 10:20 PM
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Twill Dash StripeWhat are cuff links for if not to go with French cuff shirts? As fancy as those cuff links can be, they won’t be of any use if you do not have these shirts.

Choosing shirts can be difficult though, especially when you do not know your exact size. Unlike T-shirts, French cuff shirts and other dress shirts are not classified as small, medium, or large. There may be some manufacturers that mark their dress shirts as standard sizes but for a proper fit, it is important to know how to find your right size.

There are two factors to consider: the collar girth and the sleeve length. The collar girth is measured from the center of the top button and the center of the corresponding buttonhole. The sleeve length on the other hand is measured from the center of the back and shoulders to the wrist. A man who wears a large size T-shirt may not necessarily fit in a dress shirt marked as large. In the United States, off the rack dress shirts consist of two numbers to indicate the size. For example, 16, 32, meaning the neck girth is 16 inches and the sleeve length is 32 inches. However, to lessen the number of shirt fabrication, some shirts are marked as 16, 32/33  which means that the sleeve length is 33 inches but the cuff has been adjusted so that it will fit the shorter length. As for the waist size, most shirts are cut wide to accommodate most belly sizes.  It will be helpful to have a tailor or a sales person at your favorite store take your measurement so that you will get the right size each time you buy shirts.

There are several distinguished shirt makers around the world like Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren but you should not limit your choices. There are also many stores that sell affordable French cuff shirts like Paul Frederick, Macy’s, JC Penney, JoS. A. Bank, and even Kohl’s. So long as it is the right fit, color, and fabric for you, it should make you feel good about yourself.

These three dress shirts I found online are great examples of simple elegance and comfort minus the high price.

Paul Frederick Satin Link Stripe French Cuff Shirt; soft and lustrous 100’s 2-ply broadcloth; classic black & white design; traditional straight collar; sale $39.95; available online

Paul Frederick Satin Link Stripe

Stafford® Signature Executive French Cuff Shirt; iron-free performance; wicks moisture away from the skin; sale $24.99 to $27.99; available at JC Penney


Geoffrey Beene Dress Shirt, Cool & Dry French Cuff; cotton/polyester; ultra -soft and smooth; adjustable button cuff; spread collar; $22.50; available at Macy’s

Geoffrey Beene