Style Defined: Mitered Cuff

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Michael Andrews Bespoke blazer, Neiman Marcus shirt, J.Crew jeans, Drake's pocket square

What is a mitered cuff?

The mitered cuff is one style that isn’t terribly self-explanatory, unless you work in a field like woodworking that involves a lot of mitered joints, as that’s where the name is derived from. In our men’s style context, it is a particular style of finishing on a dress shirt cuff. Let’s get into it a bit more.

When it comes to barrel cuffs, you have a few options to choose from. Beyond the number of the buttons, the most visible customization is going to be the finishing and cut. And while these options won’t drastically change the formality or wearability of your shirt, the mitered cuff is the one choice that does come with a bit of added dressiness.

mitered cuff dress shirt style

| BRIAN WEARS | Michael Andrews Bespoke blazer, Neiman Marcus shirt, J.Crew jeans, Drake’s pocket square, A. Lange & Söhne watch | PHOTOGRAPHY | by Rob McIver Photo

Mitered joints are a method of connecting two perpendicular pieces by cutting a 45-degree angle in each and joining them together. The most commonly found occurrence probably being the corners of a picture frame, or the moulding around your door and window frames.

mitered cuff dress shirt style

On a shirt, the term ‘mitered’ refers to a notch cut from the corner of each side of a shirt cuff above the button closure. Like mitered joints, the notch is cut at a 45-degree angle, usually about a centimeter or two away from the corner of the cuff. These days, many shirt makers cut to the chase by referring to the style as simply an angled cuff, which works just as well.

As mentioned, the mitered cuff is considered the dressiest form of the barrel cuff, due to the structure and clean lines that a mitered finishing lends. That said, it by no means brings a casual shirt into formal territory, and you won’t be breaking any rules rocking a mitered cuff OCBD in a casual outfit, like Brian wears here.

mitered cuff dress shirt style

However, you may be more likely to find a mitered cuff on a slightly dressier styles, like a poplin or broadcloth, than you will on a more rugged piece of clothing like a chambray or denim shirt. When it really comes down to it, it’s a personal choice, and likely one that won’t even be a dealbreaker for most gents. But if you like it, look for it – they aren’t that hard to find!

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Adam Lehman
He Spoke Style

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  • Tom B

    I always enjoy these articles where you guys focus on a detail that most people would miss. “Fancy” mitered cuffs on a “casual” gingham shirt is certainly something you don’t see every day. On a related note, thank you for the visual style tip – I usually wear a plain pocket square with my ginghams, never thought of using paisleys (or whatever that pattern is on Brian’s square..looks great).

    Y’all should do an article on checked shirts one of these days – ginghams, windowpanes, madras, checks etc – it’s my favorite pattern. But then again, I’m an ex-engineer. Walking around looking like a sheet of graph paper makes me happy.

    Hey Brian! Button your cuffs! :P Actually, I’ve started doing the same thing it’s very comfortable and no-one notices anyway.

    • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

      Re the pocket square, it’s got a pattern that’s similar to your classic handkerchiefs/bandanas. Very versatile and creates a lot of interest without calling attention to itself.

      We’ve done some posts on gingham and I believe madras as well:

      http://hespokestyle.com/?s=gingham
      http://hespokestyle.com/madras-plaid-tie/

      Were you looking for some more specific styling type posts? What’d you have in mind?

      • Tom B

        Hi again, Brian:

        Ahn, yes now I see the pattern, it works quite well. Yes, I remember your gingham posts, one of them made me spend some more money on BB. However, I was thinking a simple “lookbook” type article – gingham shirt looks good matched with this, pin-check (more formal) looks good with that, tattersall (in between?) looks good like this, etc.

        I do very much appreciate how you and your team have been diving into the details on shirts. Collars, now cuffs, so a discussion on pattern would be great. Most of us have more shirts than suits/blazers but we still get into a rut of “white shirt, light blue shirt, oh crap what’s still ironed in my closet?” Any and all guidance is appreciated!

        • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

          Good ideas, Tom! Always looking for new series’ to start.