Off the cuff

I couldn’t resist using the saying ‘ off the cuff ‘ as the title of this post about Turnbull & Asser. Using the title off the cut is slightly unfair as the saying derives from the time when shirts had large detachable sleeves and should you be asked to speak without having first prepared a speech your quickly, gathered notes could be written on one’s cuff as an aide-mémoire, discarding the shirt cuff at a later date and replacing it with a new one.

[W]e don’t know how often, or if this practice ever occurred, what we do know is that shirt maker and Royal Warrant holder Turnbull & Asser were established in 1885 selling their distinctive shirts from their flagship store on Jermyn Street.

Their approach to shirt making is anything but off the cuff – they even have a unique cocktail cuff made famous by Sean Connery with its two-button folded turn-back.


Sean Connery in the 1962 film Dr No notice those cuffs: Turnbull & Asser turn back button closure

After taking 18 body measurements a paper pattern is created from which a digital format is made to use in creating your unique shirt. Here is, for me, that remarkable part of the shirt making process. A sample shirt is produced and you are asked to wear and launder it as normal three times. This allows for shrinkage in the fabric before the final adjustments are made.


Michael Caine in Get Carter

Their shirts have made an appearance in many iconic films including The Italian Job, Get Carter and The Great Gatsby Michael Caine, for instance, has insisted that his shirts were made by Turnbull & Asser since The Italian Job in 1969.

Main picture: Turnbull & Asser Jermyn Street March 2010 UK Made

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