Your ultimate guide to cufflinks
A basic of men’s formal and semi-formal dressing, cufflinks are an important detail to add to your suit.
What are cufflinks?
Cufflinks are used for fastening a shirt cuff. Usually made from metal with a variety of designs from simple to ornate to novelty, cufflinks are often seen as a jewelry item. Formal shirts with buttonholes but no buttons on the cuff require cufflinks. Cufflinks are most commonly used on French style dress shirts, which sport cuffs which are folded back onto themselves. While cufflinks fell out of favor in the twentieth century, they are now back in vogue and form a mainstay of formal attire.
Jewelry style cufflinks
Cufflinks can come in solid precious metals such as gold or silver, or plated options for the budget conscious man who also wants to show a discerning sense of style. More ostentatious cufflinks have precious stones or personalised features such as monograms. Start off your cufflink collection with a basic silver or silver plated pair of cufflinks that will go with everything. Cufflinks usually need to be matched to some aspect of your outfit, which is easy to do if you opt with a common jewelry color. If you are the type of guy that enjoys wearing flashy jewelry, you may then want to expand your collection to more outlandish cufflinks.
There is also all manner of shapes available. Basic designs are round or square shaped; again, this is where your collection should begin. Once you have got the basics covered, then consider going for more adventurous designs.
Silk knot style cufflinks become popular in the nineties, and are still an acceptable substitute for cufflinks today. The advantage of silk cufflinks is that they are more colorful, and can be matched to your tie color, or even to the color of your date’s dress. Silk cufflinks are best for semi-formal occasions, leaving your best jewelry-style cufflinks for formal events. You can also have more fun with silk cufflinks; for example, you may opt for a green and red design for a Christmas party.
Avoid the novelty cufflinks
Cufflinks can be found representing all manner of hobbies and interests. Hopefully you are not dense enough to buy yourself a pair of videogame themed cufflinks, but it is common to receive such items as gifts. You like golf? Sometime in your life, someone will buy you golf themed cufflinks. It is good manners to wear a gift in front of the giver, but that is perhaps the only circumstance under which is it acceptable to don novelty cufflinks. Otherwise, keep it classic with a timeless design.
When to wear cufflinks
Cufflinks are traditionally reserved for formal or semi-formal dressing. Adhering strictly to fashion rules, you would only wear cufflinks if you are also sporting a tie of some description. Even if you deign to break this rule, do avoid wearing cufflinks with an informal outfit. If you are not wearing some type of suit, you should not be wearing cufflinks.
About Natasha Abrahams Natasha Abrahams is a writer and journalism student from Melbourne, Australia. When she is not busy with being a principal writer on Weekendnotes or skipping lectures, she can be found emptying her wallet at the nearest shopping centre. You can read more from Natasha at: http://mensstyleandfashion.com/