We don’t spend nearly as much time on shirt cuffs as we ought to. But as they say, the devil’s in the details. A cuff acts as a system of closure on a shirt from the sleeves to the wrist and distinguishes a formal dress shirt from a casual one. “They are important to taper down the excess from the forearm to the wrist and also bring a certain design element to the shirt,” said renowned tailor Kevin Seah.

When choosing a cuff, it all boils down to your personal sense of style, and the occasion for which you’re wearing the shirt. For Seah, his preference is a classic single button 3″ barrel cuff (more on barrel cuffs below). Others might prefer a mitered cuff for a more elegant look, but no one can deny the polished formality of a French cuff.

Keep on reading for your guide to shirt cuffs.

(Illustrations by Nadine Christmas)