Our discussion on different ways of wearing french cuffs last week led readers to ask a question that has led me to follow up with a second article on cuffs. This one revolves around barrel cuffs and the number of buttons on them. Although there exist 3-button barrel cuffs, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone wearing that unless he is extremely tall and the shirt is custom made. As such, we will look at just the two-button and single button barrel cuffs. So which one should you wear? The short answer is – there is no ‘right’ answer to the question, it is a matter of personal preference. What follows is a break-down of each style to help you decide though!
Single Button Barrel Cuff
A single button barrel cuff is more commonly found in the States, being more of an American style. In my very first article on shirt cuffs (check out our infographic), we mentioned that a single button can give the illusion of longer arms, and hence something a shorter man should consider. The single button barrel cuff is considered less formal, with a dress shirt with a single button considered slightly casual.
The flip side to this barrel cuff style is that sometimes, the single button acts like a pivot and causes the opening to gap, so a firm cuff is important.
Double Button Barrel Cuff
Double buttons refer to vertically aligned buttons rather than horizontal. Horizontally aligned buttons serve the purpose of tightening the cuff, which is something most men should not need if they purchase the right fit for themselves.
The double button cuff is more prevalent in Europe, extensively used amongst the English and is the common off-the-rack dress shirt style. It is more formal and something you can consider wearing with a suit. with One of the major advantages of double buttons is that if one button falls off, it will remain buttoned with the second one to keep the cuff in place.
So now you know the distinction between a single button and a double button barrel cuff. Do share your preference and thoughts in the comments below!
Image courtesy BelgianDandy