Shirt Cuffs: Choosing Between Barrel or French – Infographic


When it comes to shirts, a simple way to increase your range is to purchase shirts with different styles – from different collars to different fitting to selecting a different pattern. For your long sleeve shirts, you also have the option of selecting different shirt cuffs. As far as shirt cuffs are concerned, there are 2 basic prevalent styles – the barrel shirt cuff and the french shirt cuff.

Barrel Shirt Cuffs

The most common off-the-rack shirt comes with a two-button barrel cuff. However, you will also be able to find one-button barrel shirt cuffs as well as 3-button barrel cuffs, although the latter are not recommended unless you’re really tall. For the slightly shorter man, single-button barrel shirt cuffs work the best, as they give the illusion that the wearer has longer arms. For additional style, barrel cuffs also come in the straight cut, as rounded barrel cuffs or with an angled cut to make your shirt stand out subtly. The barrel shirt cuffs are frequently worn to work, for informal occasions and sometimes even for formal occasions – though they are not considered very formal.

French Shirt Cuffs

If you wish to be more formal, then french shirt cuffs are the way to go. These are normally worn with a jacket, although these days, many wear them without. The french cuff has to be worn with cufflinks, which allows for more style options with the same shirt through different cufflinks. French cuffs can be styled in a variety of ways – from contrasting shirt cuffs to different cuts, which include the straight cut, the rounded cut and the angled cut (as worn by Daniel Craig below to the left) to name a few.

Angled Cut French Shirt Cuffs Turn-back 'James Bond' Shirt Cuffs

Other Shirt Cuffs

If you wish to be really fancy, you can try the Turn-back shirt cuffs, made famous by Sean Connery as James Bond (as seen above to the right). Hence, they are also fondly known as the ‘James Bond’ shirt cuffs. There are also fancy variations of the french shirt cuffs such as the Napolitain cuffs which add a patterned contrast to the Turn-back and are worn with cufflinks.


To keep track of the basic shirt cuffs styles available, here is a simple infographic we hope you enjoy!

Basic Shirt Cuffs Infographic

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About Author

Dhawal Shah

Through Art of Style Club, Dhawal Shah is educating himself on lifestyle matters affecting everyday men and bringing a fresh perspective to answer their questions. He is also the co-founder of 2Stallions Digital Marketing Agency, and an expert on web development, SEO, SEM, Marketing Automation & Social Media.

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