Tony Curtis And The French Buttondown

We’ve been on the topic of watches lately, and will now segue to another metallic accessory, and one that’s far rarer in Tradsville: the cufflink. Pictured is Tony Curtis in a custom shirt (note monogram) consisting of buttondown collar and French cuffs. We can only assume the stubble was for an acting role.

It’s an unusual combination, but I’d consider it more of an odd quirk than heresy against some inherent logic of menswear. Kind of like this vintage Ralph Lauren double-breasted blazer I recently got, which comes with a single vent. Technically incorrect from a Savile Row perspective, but I came to find it a charming American quirk, kind of like the way our striped ties run the wrong direction.

And for something to stick in your French cuffs, check out the new cufflink collection by Kyle Cavan, which features iconic collegiate architecture, a more in-group gesture than wearing your school’s logo or seal. — CC



21 Comments on "Tony Curtis And The French Buttondown"

  1. I have a feeling the French would be insulted to hear their name associated with a shirt that has cuffs that take cuff links paired with a buttondown collar. Kind of Franken-monstrosity of a shirt if you ask me. It’s like wearing a double-breasted notch lapel suit. Quelle horreur!

  2. I had a button down/French cuff shirt from Arrow in late 60’s.

  3. I agree with Mitchell. It’s incorrect because french cuffs are formal while the button-down collar is informal. If one wants to make their suit a little less formal wear an OCBD, not this abomination. I am sorry that I found this picture.

  4. There’s a picture of George Harrison wearing a club-button-down collar with French cuffs. Even Ol’ Blue Eyes wore a pink buttondown with cufflinks in… some movie of which its name escapes me. Definitely interesting.

  5. I don’t recall Tony Curtis ever claiming to be Ivy League or represent Ivy style.
    That having been said, I am not a fan of this combination.

  6. Knit tie and French cuffs??

  7. It’s unusual and I wouldn’t do it myself. But we must be careful when applying the formal/informal argument, as that’s so much a part of this style. I suppose the distinction is in how items are worn rather than how they’re made.

  8. I thought about that, which I why I said one could always wear an OCBD with a suit (which is informal and technically incorrect, in a good way) rather than this odd hybrid. It’s not quite an OCBD and it’s not quite a dress shirt. An OCBD can be dressed up and down, this thing tries to do both simultaneously and fails each time.

  9. Kind of sad considering Curtis’ father was a tailor who used to make him custom suits.

    In the 50s, Curtis was famous for his hairstyle rather than the style of his clothing or accessories.

  10. I think Curtis is remembered for the women he married. In that he had a good eye.

  11. Michael Brady | November 22, 2017 at 10:55 am |

    The hard-top convertible of dress shirts.

  12. A Trad Confused | November 22, 2017 at 2:12 pm |

    This look is terrible, and I never liked Tony C.

  13. Len Longville | November 22, 2017 at 3:03 pm |

    Am I imagining things, or was this post followed by one about The Andover Shop?

  14. Vern Trotter | November 22, 2017 at 3:31 pm |

    Yes, maybe we dreamed about the Andover Shop being for sale.

  15. He married Janet Leigh. The guy can wear polka dot pants and get away with it.

  16. Andover Shop posted had to be taken down for a variety of reasons, though there were some positive inquiries as a result.

  17. Vern Trotter | November 23, 2017 at 3:25 pm |

    Understood. Too bad; it was a good one.

  18. william plumer | November 29, 2017 at 2:29 pm |

    Cary Grant wore a button down shirt with French cuffs in the 1946 film “Notorius”

  19. @ William Plumer

    You are, of course, correct.
    The shirt was 100% American.

  20. Do also please consider the natural shouldered double breasted suit from Brooks with the button down collared shirt.
    Such things were indeed done.

  21. Yes but not by anyone with any sense of style. Also, aside from the horrendous combination, no one has mentioned the “cuff links” are not links but swivel backs (just as bad).

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