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Accessories

How to Buy & Wear Cufflinks

11 How to Buy & Wear Cufflinks
Certain accessories have fallen by the wayside as fashion gives way to practicality, or new eccentricities. Things like detachable collars, shirt studs, button plackets, and even pocket squares have been all but abandoned for the sake of convenience and a changing of the guard.

However, some of these items are slowly but surely reappearing. While things like detachable collars are probably gone for good, pocket squares, French cuffs, and cufflinks are making a return into men’s fashion forefront.

Unfortunately, after such a long absence from the scene, many men are confused about what to look for in a cufflink and when to wear them. EveryGuyed is here to clear up any cufflink confusion, and help you add a touch of class to your ensemble.

While things like detachable collars are probably gone for good, pocket squares, French cuffs, and cufflinks are making a return into men’s fashion forefront

The French Cuff Shirt

21 How to Buy & Wear Cufflinks
Cufflinks are designed for wearing with French cuff shirts. As opposed to most everyday shirts that are equipped with button cuffs, French cuffs are a lengthened piece of fabric folded back on itself to create a cuff: a more formal option, these shirts have no cuff fasteners, and as such need cufflinks to be held in place.

Though button cuff shirts are more convenient, a French cuff shirt adds a very urbane, high-class element to your look. The cuffs are folded either as kissing cuffs, forming a teardrop shape, or barrel cuffs, with the cuffs overlapping like on your standard button cuff shirts. Kissing cuffs are more common, but barrel cuffing your shirt is no faux pas either; it’s really up to personal preference and what you feel looks best.

Though button cuff shirts are more convenient, a French cuff shirt adds a very urbane, high-class element to your look

Types of Cufflinks

41 How to Buy & Wear Cufflinks
There are two types of cuff fasteners used today: cufflinks, and silk knots. Cufflinks are the most formal, common, and traditional type of cuff fastener; made of steel, gold, or other precious metals, they add a touch of understated class to an outfit. There are essentially four types of cufflinks

Torpedo cufflinks

The most common, available at nearly any and every men’s retailer. They’re made of a decorative face, backed by a plain clip to keep them in place. Just push them through, and snap the clip into place.

Chain link cufflinks

A more formal choice. Made of two decorative faces connected by a chain, they’re not commonly seen in everyday wear anymore. Usually paired with black-tie, they’re limited by availability and often, occasion. If you need a pair, you’re likely going to need to buy them as part of a stud set.

Bar cufflinks

The simplest of all, involving two decorative balls connected by a bar. The halves are usually very plain, but sometimes include striped or pallet-shaped designs. Unlike chain and torpedo cufflinks, there are no moving parts here, making them a very simple push-through cuff fastener.

Silk knots

Also known as monkey’s fists, are a more low-maintenance option. Silk knots are strands of elastic, tied to form two equal knots joined together. No longer made of silk due to reasons of cost and durability, newly purchased French cuff shirts usually come with a pair in the cuffs as placeholders.

A perfectly acceptable choice for day-to-day wear, they should be left at home on dressier occasions. Available in a variety of colors, use them to compliment your necktie, or pocket square for an extra bit of flair.

Silk knots, also known as monkey’s fists, are a more low-maintenance option

Additional Cufflink Advice

  • A French cuffed shirt is traditionally only worn beneath a suit. The cuffs are awkward underneath cardigans, and their formality doesn’t match a sportcoat’s casual nature.
  • Metals on your body should match – and this includes cufflinks. If your belt buckle’s gold, your cufflinks should have gold elements as well.
  • Avoid novelty designs on cufflinks; this is an element of more formal style.

Summary

  • Cufflinks are used to keep French cuffs together on a shirt.
  • A French cuff shirt adds class and formality to an outfit.
  • Match metals on your body, cufflinks included.
  • Use silk knot cufflinks for a less formal look.

Comments?

Still a bit confused about cufflinks? Need some more advice before buying a French cuff shirt? Use the comments box below to get the community’s help!

Author

Xiaoli Li
Xiaoli Li is an often-missed former editor at the EveryGuyed network. He's currently working as a freelance writer, and probably yelling at a soccer game somewhere out there.
Xiaoli Li

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What's on your mind?

  1. You forgot snap cufflinks. These are my favorite because when together, they’re very formal and professional. But if you need to be informal, you can detach them without taking them out of your cuffs.

  2. Nice Article, Good info and tips. We always find that selecting a cufflinks based on the persons interest/hobbies is a good way to go when buying cufflinks as a gift. i.e selecting some sort of car based cufflink for someone who is a real motor head.

  3. Chain-link Cufflinks – otherwise known as “wrap around”, “wrap over” or “bar cuff links” were invented in the 20s by Cartier. They had a resurgence in the 60s and 70s and are now trending again. Some have chain connections, others snap-click or there are some that are solid metal with a fastener on the back. There are 100s to choose from on the net but I buy mine from Distino of Melbourne or Elio Moda in Brisbane. Priced around $AU45-60 a pair, they are a great option and look good for business or formal wear (depending on the design).

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  5. Oh, I wouldn’t worry about the sport coat. There are lots of casual french cuff shirts (patterned, colors, etc.,) so the suit restriction isn’t necessary for cufflinks. It’s a matter of matching the style of cufflinks to what your’e wearing.

  6. Great Article! Thanks for spreading some much needed info on cufflinks to the masses.

    If you are a vintage wearer, check out my shop which has a huge assortment of Vintage Men’s Jewelry:

    https://www.etsy.com/shop/CuffsandClips

    I’m not a spam bot, just stumbled upon this article and figured I’d do some promotion for my little store while maybe guiding some people to accessories that they’re looking for :)

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