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Given a choice, it's a must have for me. The sleeve looks much neater with the gauntlet buttoned, especially with French cuffs and links. Plus, given the opportunity, I'll unbutton the cuffs when my jacket is off, and flip them back. The gauntlet button assures they stay neatly and attractively in place.

As I no longer have a shirt maker, I grit my teeth when wearing Brooks' shirts due to their absence.
 

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I prefer a button. If I’m wearing a sweater over the shirt I suppose it doesn’t matter but there are times I am not wearing a jacket and want to roll the sleeves up. As stated above, fastening the gauntlet button when doing so makes for a neater appearance to a habit otherwise frowned upon by some.
 

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I've had serious conversations with Nicholas Wheeler, owner of Charles Tyrwhitt shirts in the UK. Their shirts do not have a button. I think it's required and also historic so as to not show skin plus rolling up and ironing.

Here's what I have in the Dress Shirts Chapter of The Encyclopedia of Men's Clothes:

All dress shirts are long sleeved!! Never wear a short sleeve shirt with a tie. Short sleeve shirts are perceived as lower class apparel. Short sleeve shirts are sport shirts. Fine as part of a uniform or if you aspire to be a fast-food manager, not if you want to project a professional image.

The sleeve openings of all quality shirts have a button halfway up its length. Some shirt makers may skimp and not include this button. The buttonhole is cut through a gauntlet or sleeve placket, which is a miniature version of the front placket. For the sleeve openings to be long enough to serve their function (to be able to roll up sleeves and property iron the cuffs) a gauntlet button is necessary to keep the sleeve opening closed during normal wear.

The word gauntlet is acceptable for meaning both 1) "glove" or "challenge" and 2) "a form of punishment in which lines of men beat a person forced to run between them". It comes from the Old French word gantelet, a diminutive of gant, meaning "glove."​

The purpose of the long opening is so that gentlemen can roll up their sleeves if necessary and to make ironing the cuff easier. The button, which holds the opening closed should be fastened unless you have the sleeve rolled up.

It seems lots of guys go around with the button unfastened, but my theory is when a shirt is laundered it is returned with the button undone, and many men do not take the effort to button it when they put on a clean shirt.​
 

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Mercer, a well-respected supplier of men's shirts, omits a gauntlet button on their shirts. I also note it is absent from the shirts I had custom made for me by W.W. Chan.

Since I never fasten the gauntlet buttons on shirts that have them, put me down in the "no button" column.

By the way, the punishment is properly spelled "gantlet." "Gantlet" and "gauntlet" are etymologically entirely distinct words, gantlet being of Scandinavian origin, gauntlet Old French.
 

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Turnbull & Asser doesn’t do gantlet buttons unless they’re requested on bespoke shirts.

Their recent anniversary book includes a picture of Sammy Davis, Jr. with Elizabeth Taylor. He’s not wearing a coat, so his sleeve is completely visible. His animated gesture makes the gantlet unusually spread out and somewhat sloppy looking. With a coat, of course, no one would know or care.
 

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Turnbull & Asser doesn't do gantlet buttons unless they're requested on bespoke shirts.

Their recent anniversary book includes a picture of Sammy Davis, Jr. with Elizabeth Taylor. He's not wearing a coat, so his sleeve is completely visible. His animated gesture makes the gantlet unusually spread out and somewhat sloppy looking. With a coat, of course, no one would know or care.
 

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Turnbull & Asser doesn't do gantlet buttons unless they're requested on bespoke shirts.

Their recent anniversary book includes a picture of Sammy Davis, Jr. with Elizabeth Taylor. He's not wearing a coat, so his sleeve is completely visible. His animated gesture makes the gantlet unusually spread out and somewhat sloppy looking. With a coat, of course, no one would know or care.
This is the exact reason I like them. The second reason, as noted by others above, is, if you do roll up your sleeves, having the gauntlet button buttoned helps keep it in place and look neater (for an inherently very casual look).
 

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Prior the the early '80's, universal American RTW practice was to not provide gauntlet buttons. And I'm sure that was true among custom makers as well, and in other countries.

In Alan Flusser's 1981 book Making the Man I first encountered mention of gauntlet buttons as something provided by, to paraphrase Mr. Flusser, some fine European bespoke shirtmakers. Shortly after this, gauntlet buttons became common on American RTW shirts.

Cause or effect? I can't say. But I can say that I had been wearing dress shirts (Though none provided by fine European bespoke makers! ;)) for 30+ years and had never seen them. And afterward, they were ubiquitous.
 
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