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A Fact From Our Shirt Lab: Where does a French Cuff Come From?

Date Posted: 22 January

Posted By: barnaby | No Comments

The French cuff, also known as the double cuff, has been prevalent since the European Renaissance when the very first record of cufflinks was found from 1788. Then the merchant baron class, created by the Industrial Revolution, began to wear shirts more often and cufflinks became a way to signify social class.

This practice was particularly common in France and was alluded to by Alexandre Dumas in The Count of Monte Cristo:

“the owner of so splendid an equipage must needs be all that was admirable and enviable, more especially when they gazed on the enormous diamond that glittered in his shirt, and the red ribbon that depended from his button-hole.”

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Following the popularity of the book, many French tailors started to fashion double cuffed shirts which lead to the term: French cuffs. The trend has continued to this day.

Linked initially to the wealthy due to being the only ones to afford cufflinks it is now more commonly worn with every day business suits and black tie for formal events. Thomas Pink offers shirts with French cuffs both in slim fit and classic fits that can be viewed here. A selection of smashing cufflinks can be found on our site too.