In the world of men’s fashion, cufflinks are often overlooked, but they can be a powerful accessory that elevates your overall appearance; adding style and sophistication to any ensemble. In this blog, we’ll delve into the rich history of cufflinks, explore different styles, and discuss the appropriate settings to showcase these often-forgotten accessories.
The History of Cufflinks:
Cufflinks trace their origins to the 17th century. Originally worn by European aristocrats to fasten the frilled shirt cuffs popular with well-to-do regency. By the 19th century, cufflinks gained popularity and were used as a way to showcase one’s wealth and taste. They evolved from practical simple ribbon ties to elegant jewelry adorned with precious metals and gemstones becoming a symbol of status and sophistication.
Today, cufflinks have transcended their historical roots and are worn not just for functional purposes but also as a statement piece that reflects one’s personal style. The materials used range from precious metals with gemstones to multi-colored silk knots and just about anything in between.
What Shirt To Wear With Cufflinks?
If a shirt requires cufflinks, it’s likely a French cuff shirt. Still, not every shirt that needs links is a French cuff one.
“French cuff” is a North American term for what the British call a “double cuff.” The cuff is cut twice as long as a regular one, folded back over itself – “doubled,” even – and fastened with a cufflink. Like custom barrel cuffs, they’re available in a range of shapes with sides cut away, corners angled off, and more.
Much like there had to be a World War I for there to have been a World War II, the existence of a double cuff means that a “single cuff” exists. Sometimes referred to as a “link cuff,” a single cuff shirt takes cufflinks but lacks the fold back over itself like a French cuff shirt. Typically reserved for full formal shirts (white tie), we have some clients who like them for their day-to-day choice. Anytime you incorporate a piece of jewelry like cufflinks, you get another opportunity to work in a piece of your personality.
Most cufflinks fall under the category of jewelry, which is why shirts that require them are considered dressier. French cuff shirts work beautifully with suits and are required for black-tie affairs. When paired with dress denim and a well-tailored sport coat, a French cuff shirt makes a dressy, “I took the extra step” statement.
Types of Cufflinks:
Benson & Clegg cufflinks with a standard back.
A standard cufflink is what you find most often. It dresses only the outside of the cuff while the inside is a fastening piece that goes through the holes in your cuff and then holds the links in place.
A double-sided cufflink dresses both sides of the cuff.
Double-sided cufflinks are just that: cufflinks that have two decorative sides instead of just one. Enthusiasts prize these because they follow tradition by dressing both sides of the cuff and tend to be a bit harder to
Cufflinks connected with a chain.
Chain link cufflinks are connected by – you guessed it – a chain.
A variant of the double-sided cufflink, they also dress both sides of the cuff.
Silk knot cufflinks for more festive wear.
Most cufflinks are made from metal, but silk knots obviously aren’t. These are a more casual cufflink option, with woven strands of silk forming two small balls connected by more of that same silk. They’re available in various color options and are an easy way to inject a bit of personality into your ensemble.