Traditional cuffs are attached to the end of a shirt sleeve and are fastened with cuff links. Double or French cuffs are considered the most formal, elegant style, and are still common on smart shirts today. Stand-alone cuffs first appeared in the 15th century, when elaborate pleated designs were popular amongst nobles. They were replaced by French cuffs in the 1800s, which are worn folded back on themselves in order to protect the fabric from wear & tear.