Confused about whether a bullet back, whale back or a fixed backing is best? Not sure whether metal or polished stone cufflinks are more formal? And are French cuffs really necessary to wear cufflinks? Our cufflinks guide answers these questions & a few more too.
We’ve broken our guide into three sections so you can read what you need and get on with your day, and included some nifty info graphics too.
Section 2: Cufflink Types
A *very* BRIEF HISTORY of cufflinks
Cufflinks, considered one of the most traditional pieces of male jewelry, were created to replace fabric ties or ribbons used to hold cuffs together. Cufflinks remained an upperclass status item, usually presented as a gift to mark a special occasion, until the industrial revolution allowed mass production of metal cufflinks, making them affordable to a much larger population. It wasn’t until the 1950’s, however, that cufflinks started to become a popular fashion accessory as designers and artisans began experimenting with an increasing number of materials and finishes.
Today, you can find novelty cufflinks with your favorite pro team or Marvel comics character, and in every color, material and price range. You can wear cufflinks at your wedding, to the office and to celebrate the end of the week. Women increasingly are wearing cufflinks too.
Fastening a cufflink to a shirt cuff looks challenging, but is not when you start with the end in mind...you want the face of the cufflink to be facing up when you have your arm extended as though you are about to reach across a table. Check out our YouTube video on How to Fasten a Cufflink.
We are often asked if there is a backing that is "best"? Generally the fewer moving parts there are in the design, the more durable and long-lasting your cufflinks will be. Fixed backings are the most durable -- "knotted designs", "ball return", "stub & button" styles all fall into the "fixed" category.
Casual “Everyday” Cufflinks.
Though traditionalists would say there is no such thing as “everyday” cufflinks, we disagree. More so today than ever before, it is both stylish and fun to see a pair of cufflinks glinting at the base of your single cuff shirt sleeve while doing your everyday stuff. Here’s the deal though - keep everyday cufflinks colorful and/or whimsical. Cufflinks with flannel? Why yes, tailors can make any long sleeved shirt cufflink friendly. Cufflinks with jeans? Absolutely, but please avoid jeans with lots of distressing; because: a) it’s not 1980 and b) with fashion especially, less is often more. And because it’s a casual look, there is an endless assortment of cufflink colors, designs … and prices. Be guided by fashion’s golden rule - it’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it. Here are a few of our current favorites...
HogWarts Shield Cufflinks
Black Panther Cufflinks
Superman Shield Cufflinks
These are all officially licensed, high quality cufflinks with iconic characters from Disney, Marvel, Star Wars and DC Comics. Or if sports are your obsession, there are NCAA and pro teams to proudly wear, like these officially licensed bullet back closure cufflinks.
Here's the only rule you need to follow when wearing cufflinks at work:
Your cufflinks ought to work with the overall look and feel you’ve created, not compensate for it or compete with it.
Your cufflinks can liven up a straightforward office look with your own personal style, but don’t over do it. If you are wearing French cuffs, you don’t want to dress down your look too much. Often, something refined and neutral like metal cufflinks with initials or a monogram, work well. Sometimes a small pop of color makes all the difference, like silk knot cuff links. But particularly in a business setting, you may not want to be remembered as “the guy with the crazy cufflinks”.
Think Madmen, the right pair of men’s cufflinks can set you apart from the pack. Think confidence, and use your cufflinks as part of your signature style. Taylor Street has some beautiful stone cufflinks and precious metal cufflinks that will take your business attire to the next level.
Stainless Steel Gold Tartan Plaid Cufflinks
Stainless Steel Rectangle Engravable Framed Cufflinks
Formal Wear Cufflinks
When it comes to formal occasions you need formal cufflinks, you just do. Is it black tie or white tie? White tie events are the most formal and have a relatively specific dress code. White tie events call for Mother-of-pearl cufflinks and studs; they are a must wear accessory. Sterling silver, platinum and white gold are preferred metals. Not sure? Check the dress code for the event.
Mother of Pearl Cufflinks
Mother of Pearl Studs
Black tie events, while requiring a black tuxedo or dinner jacket, are less formal and provide some room for personal fashion statements. There really are no “must haves” regarding cufflinks, but as a formal affair, classic materials that create a sophisticated look are expected. After all, if the host had wanted casual and eclectic, he or she would not have said “black tie”!
Here are a examples of classic cufflinks that have beautiful details and won’t pull attention from your outfit.
Classic Black Onyx Cufflinks
Stainless Steel Striped Onyx Cufflinks
Many grooms want to give their groomsmen cufflinks they can wear and enjoy on the wedding day. Similarly, family members want to give newlyweds keepsakes to commemorate the day. You will have to decide, however, if the cufflinks are designed to be single use or a gift that can be worn on other occasions. “I Do Crew” or “Best Man” engraving on cufflinks limits their use to one pretty specific event, much like certain bridesmaid dress styles and colors limit future sightings.
I Do Cufflinks
Pewter Best Man Cufflinks
As an alternative, engrave a more subtle personalization, like a date or location, initials or a monogram. Personalization ideas like these add significance without making them one-off’s. Whether you're purchasing for a groom, best man, best friend, husband or dad, engraved cufflinks make a memorable gift with a lasting impression.
Stainless Steel Round Engravable Framed Cufflinks
Or, if you go the other direction, you can have some serious fun without spending too much. Increasingly, grooms have been getting creative with theme socks, ties and cufflinks as a fun and whimsical way to show camaraderie, treating cufflinks more as a keepsake to remember the day.
When Pigs Fly Cufflinks
Either way, Taylor Street Favors has cufflink ideas for you. We offer modern and traditional cuff links as well as unique designs that your ‘I Do Crew’ will love.
Cufflinks as Gifts - Gemstone, Novelty, Seasonal and Semi-precious Stone Cufflinks
Always an awesome gift choice, cuff links [and tie bars!] imbue confidence and add a subtle and sophisticated finish to a man's or woman's outfit.
Women's Cufflink Ideas
Gemstone Cufflink Ideas
Seasonal & Novelty Cufflinks
A great pair of cufflinks can become a family heirloom. A fun pair of cufflinks can become a bond to a moment. And while cufflinks make beautiful gifts to mark special occasions, you can buy cufflinks for yourself, too. Try out different options and eventually you’ll discover what works for you as you define your personal style. A friend, who is a brilliant artist, will jump directly into any project with a “I can figure that out, I can do that!’ attitude. That same attitude applies to creating your personal style. Confidence comes from trying, discovering and learning what style works for you.
Style is putting your personality in what you wear and how you live.
To paraphrase Coco Chanel, “Dress shabbily and they remember the clothes, dress impeccably and they remember you”.