Proper Way to Button Cuffs

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Button the cuff of your sleeve to keep it in place during the day.
Button the cuff of your sleeve to keep it in place during the day. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Knowing how to cuff your shirt properly will keep you from becoming the subject of fashion gossip around the water cooler. Shirt cuffs are found at the bottom of a shirt sleeve and typically contain one, two or three buttons. The buttons hold the cuff in place, so your shirt looks tailored and stylish; therefore, keeping you off the fashion failure list. While simply buttoning a few buttons seem easy enough, there are a few tricks and cuff styles that may deter your ability to cuff properly.

Look at the cuff of your sleeve. Typically, there are three buttons – two on the cuff and one in the slit of the shirt. The two buttons on the sleeve allow for wrist size adjustments, and the button on the sleeve keeps the slit together during wear. Do not fret if your cuff only has one or two buttons, different shirt manufacturers produce shirts differently.

Create a button cuff, which is a standard dress shirt cuff. Dress yourself in the shirt and look at the cuff. Use one hand to tighten the shirt to the first button selection. If the shirt feels snug, then slip the button through the button hole. Cuffs that feel too loose on the first button should move the second button for a tighter fit. Slip the button on the slit through the button hole, if available. Repeat with the other cuff.

Roll your cuff upwards to create a double cuff, or French cuff. Double cuffs typically warrant cufflinks because of the more formal look to the style. However, you have two options to secure this type of cuff into place. Cufflinks require two button holes on the cuff. The cufflink is simply slipped into one side -- and pushed through to the other -- to secure the cuff back. More causal shirts do not have two button holes, but you can still double cuff. Slip the button through the buttonhole backwards once the cuff is in the rolled-up position. The double cuff will shorten the length of the sleeves, unless you tailor the shirt for a double cuff style.

Pull cuffs back into a three-quarter cuff, trendy in women’s dress shirts. The three-quarter cuff is half the size of a normal cuff and requires one roll upward. Secure the single button on the cuff into the button hole. Women’s shirts that have the three-quarter cuff are cut slightly longer in the arms to allow for the roll.

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