What Are Cufflinks?
Cufflinks are just as their name suggests: a link for shirt cuffs – more specifically, French Cuffs (aka Double Cuffs or Musketeer’s Cuffs). These are cuffs characterized by a double fold and 2 button holes with no buttons. The button holes are meant to be closed with a dressy pair of cufflinks.
Why wear cufflinks?
Convey a positive image
The right pair of cufflinks make you appear sophisticated and educated. Usually, cufflinks are associated with successful men who can afford the extravagance and wear it as a status symbol. If you are in a sales position, appearing successful is paradoxically crucial to success. Looking well-to-do makes you appear more legitimate instead of looking like a two-bit phony, helping clients trust you more and bring you more success!
Wear them along to your dates too, there is nothing sexier than a man neck-deep in success!
Do you worry that cufflinks are overly ostentatious?
Think about why you are on this page in the first place: you are afraid that wearing cufflinks makes you seem overly pompous. Every man has had the same thought, so wearing a cufflinks implies that you are assured you have the abilities and personality to back up an ostentatious outfit (which it really isn’t).
3. Attention To Detail
Cufflinks are an additional plus-point to otherwise boring men’s outfits. In a field so conservative, making such subtle adjustments make an outfit truly your own. Women love well-dressed men as it shows that they can take care of themselves.
You’ll notice that the characteristics listed above are pretty much the same characteristics that other parts of a men’s ensemble will confer. These are characteristics that make a piece of men’s fashionwear timeless and classic, simply because they are timelessly manly traits.
Because French Cuffs require them
Why should you wear French Cuffs then?
A shirt with French Cuffs is more elegant – it’s not a worker’s shirt. Workers do not wear French Cuffs as they are prone to getting caught in machinery or are just inconvenient for manual labour. Bankers in London and Hong Kong’s financial district prefer to wear double cuff shirts. In general, the wealthier man or those with senior positions in companies wear cufflinks to send signals of power to their subordinates. Double cuff shirts with fancy, yet subtle cufflinks claim authority and are perceived as sexy by many women.
It makes economical sense.
Unlike sewn-on cuff buttons, cufflinks can be used interchangeably, bringing new flavour to the same shirt. That means you can repurpose the same shirt for a variety of occasions by just altering the type of cufflinks you wear e.g Gold cufflinks for meeting an important client and then changing to some watch movement cufflinks later in the evening.
They add versatility to any outfit, and seeing that a good shirt costs at least 150% the price of a pair of cufflinks, it makes perfect economical sense to get more cufflinks rather than more shirts.
How Do I Wear Cufflinks?
Fastening the cuffs with cufflinks is simple enough:
- Line up the holes on both sides of the cuff
- Insert the cufflink until it runs all the way through the holes
- Swivel the closure mechanism to secure the cufflink and cuffs together.
The infographic below sums it up neatly:
Here’s where it gets a little more complex. There are multiple ways to fasten French Cuffs with a pair of cufflinks.
Traditional French Cuffs
The sides of the cuff are most commonly matched up “kissing,” with the interior faces touching one another. This turns the hemmed edges of the cuff opening outward from the wrist, one atop the other.
It is not “wrong,” however, to fasten the cuff sides overlapping rather than kissing. In that arrangement, the underside of one edge of the cuff lays atop the outer face of the other edge, so that only one hemmed edge points outward.
The overlapping or “barrel” style looks more slim and business-like than the more ornamental “kissing” look. Neither are wrong, but the kissing approach has traditionally been considered better suited to the ornamental nature of cufflinks.
When Should I Wear Cufflinks?
Traditionally, cufflinks are worn in formal to semi-formal occasions, and these are usually subtle and classic in design.
However, the advent of modern technology has spawned a myriad of designs ranging from formal to plain novelty types, extending the relevance of cufflinks far outside of business and black-tie events. A key trait of manliness is not following rules, but creating your own!
Check out this blog post on How To Dress According To Formality to see how cufflinks fit into different outfits!
Classic cufflinks are the traditional ones. Subtle and timeless, they are suitable for almost any occasion, although they will look more at home with a formal suit.
Common colours are gold, silver, and mother of pearl. These are usually paired with a white french cuff.
These are usually suitable for business occasions, and are an interesting deviation from the standard cufflinks, while retaining the traditional feel.
Popular models are watch movement cufflinks, which have gears that rotate when wound. They draw attention without being too conspicuous, a great complement to your wardrobe.
There are even cufflinks that are designed to look plain and traditional, but pull apart to become a USB memory stick! This is the epitome of a functional piece of jewelry! Browse our shop to see it!
Novelty Cufflinks are often worn for dress-down occasions and are usually fun and colourful. They can draw inspiration from pop culture, such as Captain America Cufflinks or Darth Vader Cufflinks.
These go well with a french cuff and sports jacket, or a barrel cuff shirt without a sports jacket, and are great for showcasing the fun-loving side of your personality.
Cufflinks help you stand out, and personalized ones help you stand out more! Decorating your sleeves with your own initials adds a touch of character to your attire. Like Classic Cufflinks, these are usually suitable for formal and semiformal occasions, but is really subject to the colour and font of the cufflink in question.