how to barrel your cuffs

In most temperate to colder climates, the sweater is often an excellent compliment for business casual as well as professional attire.  A v-neck with a tie, or a buttoned cardigan, is the perfect extra layer within the suit jacket or even by itself in the office.  Yet, for the gentleman who finds his closet filled with more than the average number of french – or double – cuff dress shirts, this may present a problem.  He knows that cuff links, like braces, are only appropriate when wearing something over his shirt, but upon adding a sweater there comes the puzzling quest to cover the cuff without awkwardly stretching the exterior fabric.

Barreled Cuffs Step 1Barreled Cuffs Step 2Barreled Cuffs Step 3

Part I: The Fold

Barreled Cuff FinishedThis is where the technique of “barreling” comes into play.  Rather than pinching the two sides of the cuff together and joining them straight through with the metal cuff link, the two ends of the cuff can be rounded and layered into one another to look as though they were a nicer-than-average single cuff. Yet again, we find a problem: upon barreling the cuff properly, fastening the arrangement together with a standard cuff link, and covering it all with the sleeve of his sweater, the gentleman feels the immediate discomfort of the jewelry burrowing itself into his wrist.  It’s all too often that the practice is shunned due to such a road block, but this is where innovation happens.

Part II: The Stud

Thought you would never wear those chest studs that you keep in the tuxedo pocket, hibernating in the closet in wait of the next black tie affair?  This is their moment.  The tuxedo stud (not the ones that came with your rental that you forgot to return, mind you) is the perfect  item for the barreled cuff as its smooth cap is never felt against your arm. Simply punch through the cuff holes so that you begin with the one side, layer both parts of the other, and finish with the outside of the first so that the cuff interlocks and is connected by the stud.

Your sweater will love you.  Your wrist will appreciate you.  And of course, aren’t you the classy fella with double cuffs?

Barreled Cuffs and Sweater

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