Turnback cuffs and Dinner Jackets

Sean Connery in the film Doctor no wearing a evening smoking jacket with silk facings and turnback cuffs.
Before we even catch a glimpse of James Bond's face in Dr. No (1962), the camera gets distracted by his jacket sleeve, which has a beautiful shallow turn-back cuff. This design was explicitly written into Bond's character description by Ian Flemming. Fleming saw the origin of elegance in subtle sartorial details such as this.
However, the turn-back cuff is not just a decorative detail. Also known as the gauntlet cuff, the turn-back borrows its name from medieval armour - the gauntlet of a glove - that protects the lower arm from battle wounds. Like the gauntlet, the turn-back cuff provides an "armour" for the end of the sleeve from the inevitable wear and tear of day-to-day life. Once worn out, the maker can easily remove the cuff to reveal a perfect unworn sleeve edge! 
Historically, these types of cuffs date as far back 16th and 17th centuries [think old school like Anthony Van Dyck's portraits] on tailcoats and frock coats. Later, they came into fruition as a fashionable vogue in the Edwardian era on a range of jacket and coat styles, e.g. sportswear, eveningwear.
Nowadays, you can find the turn-back cuff on a variety of garments. No rules apply. 
We think the turn-back cuff gives our bespoke creations a unique flair that catches the eye.
Here is a piece we've been working on in the studio recently.
Man wearing a black dinner jacket with navy moire silk facing.
Moire Silk turn back Cuffs
Turnback cuffs have always been a pleasure to make. They add Elegance and flair to a jacket without being too ‘showy’. We I have made them in every cloth conceivable however I have to say my favourite is when creating evening wear. I have been working on a single breasted, one button peak lapel evening suit for a customer. The cloth is a black wool/mohair barathea mix which is traditional for an evening suit however he decided on a blue moire silk for the facings, pocket flaps and turnback cuffs to reflect his character.
Making up the turn back:
This is the turn back because the moire has a pattern I must ensure the pattern matches on both cuffs. The cuff is faced with a matching lining to the suit lining.
A Navy Moire silk cuff in the process of being made into a turn back cuff
The cuff basted on to the sleeve of the jacket. As you can see the curve just kisses the corner of the first buttonhole marked here.
 A Navy Moire Silk turnback cuff basted on to the sleeve of a dinner jacket.
The completed cuff and pocket  flaps in moire silk.
Suit jacket completed showing detail of silk pocket flaps and silk turn back cuffs  
 A special thank you to our intern India Ayles for her help with this post!

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