Men are biologically competitive creatures: there is always one who has to try to outshine his colleagues – how much he can bench press, what high-end car he is driving – it’s all a natural part of vying for the ‘alpha male’ spot. This desire to outclass is apparent in the style department at the office.
Men may not speak about their fashion openly, but they do surreptitiously eye one another’s outfits, judging the bad and adopting the impressive. Apart from hairstyle/grooming, there are the bespoke suits, lavish footwear and luxury shirts making the office uniform anything but standard. But where they really differentiate themselves is with those accessories: debonair watches, the suave cufflinks and the silk ties.
Dressing to convey power signals can give you a serious advantage in your career. Attention to detail with accessories is seen as an important part of the strategy of creating a good impression. Cufflinks add finesse to a formal suit and a shirt with a French cuff.
However, these signals should be subtle rather than pronounced.
Because of their extravagant price, gold and gold-plated cufflinks demonstrate success and maturity. Gold cufflinks are commonplace in board-rooms, whether in plain, patterned, engraved gem-encrusted variations.
A pair of silver cufflinks is a good look for the cool and calm professional. This is the most common theme for cufflinks because they can be worn to almost any occasion. They aren’t too extravagant for more casual occasions nor too bold for formal events. Silver cufflinks should be a staple of every man’s wardrobe.
Bold-coloured cufflinks give the impression of a trendsetter and dynamic personality. While some business executives frown upon boldy-coloured novelty cufflinks in the professional environment, others have a much more laissez-faire attitude towards them. You should start out playing it safe in a new office environment while you check out colleagues’ attire and work out the unspoken rules of your office for smart dressing.
If you strongly believe that a certain pair of cufflinks tells a positive story about your character however, go ahead and don them, whether the old stiffs approve or not! After all, men’s fashion is underlain by confidence in oneself and doing what one believes is right.
It is possible to sport colourful cufflinks in the business environment with silk knot cufflinks, though these are usually worn by junior staff and interns dressing to impress.