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Cuff Buttons

The altered / new placement of the button on a J. Press OCBD

If you are buying your shirts OTR (off the rack) your cuffs are most likely quite loose fitting around your wrist. Of course, if you have a very large wrist or you are buying very fitted shirts, the cuffs may be a tighter size. But if you are buying traditionally sized shirts, the cuff most likely is quite loose. You may, even if it is a correctly sized shirt, feel like it keeps slipping down too low on your wrist/hand. For the majority of guys, I would suggest or maybe urge them to consider moving their cuff buttons to create a more snuggly fitting cuff.

Moving the button on your cuff is unbelievably easy. It takes me about 10-15 minutes to alter the button placement on a shirt (about 5 - 7 minutes per sleeve). There is no downside to moving the button to a more snugly (appropriately snug - not too tight) fitting position. You of course (as I do) should allow some extra space (usually .25 inches works great) on the cuff/arm where you wear your watch. When you buy practically any shirt, the shirt maker always makes the cuffs very large so as to accommodate essentially all wrist sizes. It's just business. Thusly, the cuffs are very large for many men. I think lots of men don't realize they can move this button. It sounds odd but I think for some reason it just doesn't occur to them.

The original placement of the button on a J. Press OCBD

If you compare the first photo in this piece to the second photo, you can see I simply moved the button in just a bit. It is practically impossible to tell the button was ever in a different place. When you move your buttons you may see a few tiny holes in the original placement, where the fabric adjusted over the course of time to the thread holding the button down. However these will disappear after a few washings.

Of course, everyone has their own taste and some guys like their cuffs more loose fitting. There are some shirts of mine with looser fitting cuffs and some that fit more snuggly. I keep different options for a reason. Some guys keep their sleeves fairly short and then keep the cuff loose, as opposed to allowing some extra fabric reserve in the sleeve with a tighter fitting cuff. Some guys keep them short and loose so they can wear them open (unbuttoned) when under a blazer or sport coat and having them even then in an unbuttoned state come to an appropriate length in comparison to the jacket. This is a very sprezzatura kind of look. It is not for everyone, but done right, like most things, it can be wonderful. I keep all kinds of different cuffs, in this regard. I have some that are looser and shorter and some tighter and longer and of course all of varying lengths within these two approaches as well. Not every sport coat I have is the exact same length in the sleeves. Some shirts work better with some and other shirts work better with others.

Some guys may be put off by moving the button themselves. Perhaps they are concerned about screwing up their shirt. If this is you, you don't have to worry. You can't really do any serious damage, unless you cut your shirt with scissors. Why you would do that I have no idea. If you feel better taking it to a tailor, you can of course do that and they can take care of it easily. Whatever you choose, I am sure that if you have never explored altering your sleeves to fit more appropriately, you will be hooked once you alter your first shirt, you will wonder "why did it take me so long to do this?" Not only will bringing your cuffs in (in most every circumstance) help your perfectly fitting shirts look better, it will also give you a bit of wiggle room if you have a shirt that with sleeves just slightly too long. Bringing your cuffs in is going to be a bit more forgiving in terms of sleeve length and give you just a bit more wiggle room.

If you choose to do it yourself you just need a few things.

1. Thread

2. Seam Ripper

3. Small Pair of Sewing Scissors

4. A Few Needles

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