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Off the Cuff

As much as we like to believe that our stylistic expressions are born of transcendent originality, it’s impossible to deny that there’s very little new under the sun.

Whether cuffing your jeans is an aesthetic preference, a way to keep your pants dry in the rain, or simply a not-so-subtle wink (read: overt brandishing) to fellow selvedge enthusiasts, the cuff has taken a variety of forms. From 1” to 5” cuffs, multiple tidy rolls or a messy few, the cuff is as much a trend as it is simply a personal expression of one’s style. And as the raison d’être varies from guy to guy (from cooling off your ankles to showing off your high tops), there really is no “right way”.

Case in point – while the denim renaissance of late has made the practice of cuffing one’s jeans a near ubiquitous “trend”, a look back at photos from the 1950s validates that men have been doing so long before we were born.

And cuffing doesn’t stop with pants. Men have similarly been rolling up their shirt sleeves for decades (notably, after-hour detectives huddled around a suspect pinboard comes to mind, or a rolled up pack of cigarettes a-la James Dean). It’s basically the sartorial equivalent to stating “I’m about to get some shit done”. Take a cue from generations before and cuff liberally, whether to add interest to your look, create a more flattering shape to an otherwise lengthy garment, or simply to “get shit done”, as it were.

All in all, what we’re trying to say is this: as long as there’s no indecent exposure involved, there really is no right or wrong way to cuff. Even if it means no cuffs at all.