Remember when Fridays everywhere were casual? Menswear retailers portrayed the look with crisp, khaki chinos and impeccable open necked shirts. There was an occasional sweater, often tied around the shoulders. Reality was far different — bank clerks dressed like garage mechanics, senior executives wore golf shirts and there wasn’t a pressed pant in sight.
Over time, the extremes got straightened out and many corporations found themselves with more relaxed dress codes — jacket and tie no longer required — every day of the week. But neckties have always been a way for men to personalize their look — so I’m not surprised to report many have turned to French cuffs and cufflinks instead. Men young and old have embraced this combination with new enthusiasm. Here is a subtle way for a man to express his personality.
The older generation generally follows the formal traditions that dictate both jacket and tie de rigueur with French cuffs and cufflinks. But younger men — most have never worn this combo — show off the look, tie-less, and without a jacket.
Whichever style is yours, keep these tips in mind:
- Ensure your shirt is very high quality cotton. Look for labeling that reads: Sea Island Cotton, Supima, Egyptian Cotton or Two-Ply 100’s.
- Insert the collar stays — they prevent a “flyaway” collar look.
- On stripe or check fabrics (called yarn-dyes) the pattern must “match” — or meet with precision, as shown in this example:
- Your shirt should fit perfectly — always try it on before leaving the store. Select a collar to flatter your face. Bypass long collar points if your face is long and narrow, or spread collars if your face is full.
- Avoid monograms on the shirt itself. Personalize with cufflinks. Learn more and “dress up the moment” — www.cuffwear.com
- Select cufflinks with care — just like a tie, they should reflect your personality and enhance your professionalism. Bankers, for example, should avoid this look:
Consider something subtle such as:
a) I am stylish and like to have fun
b) I like style with a bit of flair
c) I am stylish and conservative
What’s your preference? Please let us know your thoughts.