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A shirt with French or double cuffs is traditionally one of the dressiest shirts a man can wear. While your shirt and cufflink choices allow you to express your personal style, consider a few important guidelines if you decide to wear this style with a suit rather than a tuxedo.

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It looks sloppy to don a shirt with French cuffs and not wear cufflinks, which is like wearing lace-up shoes without laces. Turning the cuffs back over the suit sleeve or just letting them hang loose is unprofessional -- and inappropriate for such a dressy look. If you don’t want to wear cufflinks, choose a regular shirt style with the more common barrel cuffs and buttons.

Neckwear Mandatory

Some ensembles require certain sartorial complements. Just as a tuxedo jacket requires tuxedo pants, French cuffs and a suit require neckwear. Like going without cufflinks, wearing the collar open on a French cuff shirt is too casual for a suited look. Either a bow tie or necktie is appropriate. Given the dressiness of French cuffs and a suit, a good rule of thumb is to keep the tie a solid color if your suit or shirt has a pattern.

Suit Styles

Be careful how you wear French cuffs with casual suits. Some summer-weight suits, such as khaki, linen and seersucker, are so casual that a French cuff shirt may look odd. If the suit is simple, opt for more subtle cufflinks. For edgier suits, more whimsical cufflink styles make a better fit. Stick with a neutral-colored shirt if you're wearing the suit to work, but feel free to go with a more adventurous color or print for an out-of-office social function that still requires a suit.

Styling Tips

French cuff shirts look best and provide the most options in a neutral color, with white as the most formal option. A colored shirt with contrasting white collar and white or self-fabric cuffs is also a popular choice. However, beware of loud patterns and colors such as neons, which can cheapen a suit’s look and overpower your cufflinks. Cufflinks with business suits should be simple, ideally in silver, gold or platinum; any engraving should be subtle and tasteful. Build a cufflink wardrobe that includes diverse styles so you have many options for making your look fit your mood and the occasion.

About the Author

LaMont Jones, Jr.

LaMont Jones was an award-winning fashion and beauty editor for a decade at the "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette." A five-time nominator and judge of the CFDA Awards, he covers New York Fashion Week regularly. Jones is a 2011 inductee into the Pittsburgh Fashion Hall of Fame and coaches fashion models.