Cufflinks have been with us since their dawn in the 1600s, developing in sync with men`s shirts, but started to appear more around the end of the 18th century.
For those men who will shortly say yes, hand-in-hand with their promised bride, don`t underestimate this gallant apparel. As for all the other men out there, this info still applies across the board, so it isn`t strictly linked (pun intended) or niched down to grooms only.
As a groom-to-be we encourage you to read on, embrace and enhance your savoir-faire, following which, you`ll be more familiar with the cufflinks domain, just like a fresh connoisseur.
You will be more equipped, prepared and authoritatively better positioned as a consumer, a man and a groom, to shop around appropriately for your ideal striking cufflinks which will surely compliment your perfect special day.
Why Cufflinks & When to Wear Them?
If you never tried cufflinks, well you are missing out. It is the perfect excuse for a man to actually wear a piece of jewellery which is also ornamental.
Cufflinks per se, are small apparatuses for fastening long sleeves shirt cuffs closed, an alternative to your common buttons, but with cufflinks your outfit looks superior.Usually cufflinks are worn to gala events, meetings, or weddings in our specific case, however, many guys wear them also on a daily basis to the office, as a polished finish to their suit.
There isn`t a rigorously appropriate place as such to wear cufflinks, obviously they aren`t meant for the beach, but no one is stopping you from wearing them to the restaurant with your date, or to the club on a casual night out with friends.
Depending on which type of cufflinks you choose, since as we`ll see there are various types and materials, you can switch and wear different ones for diverse occasions.
How do Cufflinks work?
Essentially, cufflinks are meant to fasten your long sleeve shirt cuffs in place, in a more decorative way, standing out in the process when compared to the more common buttons.
The most basic cufflinks have an ornamented head or front face which will stay atop of your shirt cuff hole, while the vertical post, which is attached to the head, is inserted through the hole, and the toggle at the other end is switched thanks to a hinge, fastening the link.
It is an easy but elegant process, and depending on which cufflink you choose, it will symbolise your character or mood, whether if it`s outgoing, serious, exultant or even flamboyant.
Types of Cufflinks
Believe it or not, there are a myriad of cufflinks all with their own gusto, forms and mechanics. Let`s check out a range of the most popular ones hereunder.
- Whale Back Cufflinks – their name is derived from their “whale tail” that flips completely flat against the vertical post. Very easy to use, most probably one of the most common type in the market.
- Bullet Back Cufflinks – quite similar to whale tail, but the vertical post is a hollow frame, while the mechanism consists of a narrow cylinder of metal nestled within the frame. To lock this cufflink, the cylinder is flipped outwards.
- Stud or Button Style Cufflinks – no hinge mechanism here, instead a straight post holds a large head and smaller one at each end, with the latter tilting to enable it to be inserted in the shirt cuff hole, and then latches. The lack of moving parts make these type of cufflinks very durable.
- Chain Link Cufflinks – usually comprise of two identical heads linked by a short length of fine chain, this results in a more loose fit, while being decorative and showing ornamented heads on both sides of the wrist.
- Ball Return Cufflinks – a small heavy ball is positioned opposite the decorated head, while the post is curved, providing a looser fit but tighter than chain link ones. These cufflinks can be pricy, depending on which material is being used, considering that the size and weight of the balls will be adding significantly to the overall cost of the item.
- Locking Dual-Action Cufflinks – a hinge mechanism is found here as a closure, similar to that of a metal watchband. The hinge is the entire post, swinging open to slide in the shirt`s cuff hole then fastened. These are considered as contemporary cufflinks, one of the most easy-to-use and secure.
- Knot Cufflinks – two heads, decorated knots, connected by a short flexible length, similar to chain link but in this case it`s made out of soft cord usually silk rather than metal. Considered more as casual, especially if mixed colours are involved, while knots hold irregular surfaces.
- Fabric Cufflinks – very flexible, can sport any fastener style, but have a fabric button on top as the ornamental face. Also considered as casual.
Let`s go through the top 4 `manly` materials, but there are many more in the market, from the classic precious stones, gold, white gold, rose gold and silver to alternatives like crystal, enamel, silk (knot cufflinks), mother-of-pearl, onyx and glass.
- Carbon fiber – popular among metal cufflinks especially in contemporary designs, it has a strong sleek silvery surface, which is also easy to colour
- Stainless Steel – suited for both business and casual wear, this is a simple, practical and durable option
- Titanium – low-gloss grey colour, very strong and durable material, ideal for fine engraved cufflinks which would wear down faster in a softer metal
- Gunmetal – masculine and modern, a dark glossy metal, made out of an alloy of copper, zinc and tin
Keep in mind, also as a hot hint, that shirts can be altered by tailors to accommodate your shiny cufflinks so their utility and flexibility is endless.
Whether you will be wearing cufflinks casual on a daily basis, or if you`re jealously keeping them stowed away for that special occasion, like your wedding, well the cufflinks kit will definitely boost your confidence and add that final grand touch to your garb.