A lot of men who wear cufflinks have a small selection in the dressing table drawer, and they will pop a pair on rather as an afterthought, when in fact they should be used as a part of your style. A pair of cufflinks can say a lot about you as an individual and will also convey a certain image to the people around you, so you want that image to be a good one.
This means that you want to take into account the day ahead. For example, there are thousands upon thousands of different designs of cufflinks – just Google “buy cufflinks” and there are over 90,000,000 results – and they include some very “jazzy” and fun designs. However, if you were going to a funeral, you would not want to wear a pair of cufflinks in the design of a skull. That would hardly be appropriate.
Equally, if you are going to work in the office you don’t want to wear a pair of cufflinks that are too outstanding. You need something that is somewhat restrained, so that you don’t overdo it. Furthermore, you don’t want a pair of flashy gold designer cufflinks with a diamond in them because the last thing that you want to do is to outshine the boss! That would not go down well at all.
In fact, some of the earliest cufflinks were made using gemstones because in those days they were only worn by the wealthy, and the more expensive the cufflinks, the more elevated status you were thought to have.
Back in the day before there were cufflinks the only thing that stopped the cuffs of a shirt flapping about were small lengths of string which were used to tie them together. If you think about it, that must have taken a bit of time when getting dressed in the morning trying to tie a piece of string with one hand. Cufflinks actually go back to the beginning of the 16th century and were decorative small pieces of glass linked together by a chain. Of course, you can still get chain link cufflinks today.
The More Flashy, The Higher Your Status
By the time King Louis XIV of France came to the throne in 1643, production techniques began to evolve, and bejewelled cufflinks were coming into fashion, and as we said, the more flashy they were the higher your status was deemed to be. Those people were the equivalent of today’s tacky hedge fund managers.
There is a huge choice of designer cufflinks on the market, but they should be chosen carefully. For example, if you are going to a formal dinner which is black tie, you would want cufflinks that are classic but with subtle colours. In fact, an ideal pair would be of black onyx. You certainly don’t want to wear cufflinks that are of the novelty sort unless you want the other guests to think you are something of an idiot.
Another thing to note is that if you are going to wear a tie clip, your cufflinks should be of a similar metal to it. You don’t want a gold tie clip and something such as blue sapphire cufflinks together.
There are quite a number of different designs of cufflinks on the market when it comes to the way that they fit your shirt. One of the most common today is the bullet back which has the front face connected to the post which goes through the cuffs with a toggle in the shape of a bullet at the other end. The toggle swings through 90° so that it is parallel to the post as you slip it through the holes in the cuffs, and then you switch it back again to hold the cufflink in place. Another design is the whaleback, which is similar, but the toggle is in the shape of a whale’s tail.
Of course, you can also buy cufflinks without a toggle such as the silk knot variety. These are made of silk with a knot at each end. They are more difficult to put on, but are very cheap to buy, which is just as well because they won’t last all that long.