Never skip a stylish beat the next time you throw on that old suit and tie. Cufflinks are an integral step to putting on your best. Although somewhat small, these cufflinks serve to keep the shirt well in-line with the jacket of a men’s suit or tuxedo. Cufflinks act as a fastener and they replace the role of a button. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and decorative colors to fit the needs of any man’s style. Many men monogram, engrave or personalize the visible side of the cufflink for a more personal and dressy feeling.
Afraid that you’re not sophisticated enough to throw on a pair of cufflinks? Don’t worry about it! In the past, the only men who wore cufflinks were those who regularly attended fancy dinner parties, but that is not the case in society today. They are now a widely accepted fashion amongst social circles. Today it’s accepted to wear cufflinks with both causal and dressy wear and even women wear them too!
We’ve taken into account all of the different styles and types of cufflinks and have created a comprehensive “guide” for you! We will break down the history, how to wear cufflinks, the different types and how to select them.
The History of Cufflinks
Cufflinks gained their popularity back in the seventeenth century. They were created by men who desired to have something more sophisticated on their clothes other than buttons. In the past men created cufflinks by attaching a gold and silver button to a small chain, and then pulled them through the hole of a cuff to keep both the shirt and the jacket attached.
In time, cufflinks were beginning to be used for the most sophisticated men. Men who wore tuxedos or any type of formal wear were often found with the most decorative cufflinks. Some of the more popular types of cufflinks were made of stones, precious metals and various types of fabric. The Industrial Revolution in the late1800’s opened the door for more cufflinks to be manufactured. The simple chains used in the past were replaced with rods and fasteners that were easier to close. Shirt designers were so intrigued with the fast development of the cufflink that they immediately jumped on the wagon. Men’s formal shirts were then made to be cufflink-ready.
Then, in the nineteenth century, more and more businessmen of all types of social classes caught on the cufflink frenzy, and started wearing them with more casual attire as opposed to the traditional gala.
How to Wear Cufflinks
Cufflinks are actually a pretty simple thing to wear. First and foremost, it’s important to find a shirt that will allow you to use cufflinks. Look for a dress shirt that has French or double cuffs. This shirt has extra long cuffs with no buttons and holes of the side.
After finding the correct style of shirt, fold the large cuffs back so that they form and even and straight line at the end of the shirt’s sleeve. Once you’re finished folding the cuffs back, told the open edges of the shirt cuff together. The two sides should lay flat opposing the wrist. Then, it’s important to line up the holes of the cufflinks.
Once you have lined up the holes, pulled the cufflinks through the hole and secure it. Make sure that the decorative side of the cufflinks is face outwards from your body when your arms are down.
Since there are many different styles of cufflinks, the way you will secure it will vary. For example, the most common type of cufflink is the bullet back closure. These are the easiest to put on and secure because they have a torpedo shaped capsule that is suspended between to post.
1. French-Cuff Shirt
If you’re looking to start wearing cufflinks, it’s important to find a shirt that will allow you to do so. Most stores sell french-cuff shirts. These shirts have a wide cuff for s short sleeve that can then be folded back and fastened tight with a cufflink. These shirts have an effortless and timeless style and they offer the right touch to any business or formal event. French cuffs are an easy way to dress up any shirt. Plus, you might get some attention from the ladies, because let’s face it, women love the “James Bond” style.
2. Selecting The Right Cufflinks
For some men, choosing the right color shirt to wear with your pants is a challenge enough let alone choosing the intricate details of the right cufflink. Well, we’re here to show you that when taking the time to choose the right cufflink, your wardrobe will come together nicely. First, choose a cufflink that is simple. Don’t find any that are too overly ornate. Also, avoid being “cute” with them. Novelty cufflinks are so immature. So, if you have a pair of gold, basketball cufflinks in your hand, put them down and slowly walk away from them. Simple rule of thumb is to choose one that is the most elegant and guileless.
3. Pairing Cufflinks
What are you supposed to do with the various French-cuff shirts and dozens of unique cufflinks you have collected? The only question thata remains is, “What cufflink will pair well with what shirt?” It’s easiest to begin by looking at the colors of your cufflinks. Neutral colors such as gray, black, blue and silver go with just about all colors of shirts. Other colors such as red cufflinks pair well with beige or tan shirts or suits. Simply put, hold your cufflinks up to the shirts you own to see what will look the best before heading out.
4. Special Occasion Cufflinks
If your cufflink collection only consists of simple, everyday types, it’s time to start looking for special occasion cufflinks. The plain ones that you have accrued thus far will just look strange when paired with a tuxedo. Many occasions call for men’s jewelry. Diamond or jewel encrusted cufflinks are the perfect touch to weddings or black-tie affairs. So, don’t just choose plain cufflinks, you will need dressier ones for future events. Choosing cufflinks as a gift for someone? Pick a pair of solid gold cufflinks. They pair well with most suits and tuxedos, making you look like the best-dressed man in town.
Types of Cufflinks
1. Bullet Back Closure
These are the most common types of cufflink backings. They are the easiest to put on because the style has a torpedo capsule that is suspended between two separate posts. The bullet can be flipped on its axis to bring it through the buttonhole and then be flipped horizontally to secure the cufflink on the cuff.
2. Whale Back Closure
This other style of cufflink is designed with a flat post called a “whale tail” attached at the end of the link. The whale end flips and lays flat against the post, which then inserts into the button holes. After fitting firmly into the button hole, the whale tail end flips back and secures the cufflink in place.
3. Fixed Backing
This fixed backing is an extension of the cufflink, which means that the post and backing are the same piece and are on the reverse side of the cufflink face. Because the backing does not move and some of them are rounded or pointed you made find it harder to insert into the holes. But, because fixed backing cufflinks have no moving parts, they are more durable in the long run.
4. Chain Link
These are the most traditional type of cufflinks. They are just what they sound like, they have a chain. Chain links have two sides that are joined by a chain. These links are not the easiest to put on so it is necessary to be experienced in the cufflink department. This traditional cufflink is not only timelessly elegant, but by wearing this link allows you too see the design from both sides of the sleeve.
Give yourself two wonderful looks with just one cufflink. Reversible cufflinks are the handiest types of cufflinks you can invest in. There are various types of reversible cufflinks that can be purchased. The most popular reversible cufflinks are ones with different, yet complimentary colors. These links can add a pop of color to any shirt of suits.
6. Ball Return
These are a cufflinks that consist of a gold or silver ball. These cufflinks are simple to put on and can provide you with the looseness of the chain backing. The balls on ball return cufflinks have a more beautiful appeal than normal bullet or plain fixed backing. Although not as common as the whale back closure, these will sure get the trick done!