Everything you ever wanted to know about Cufflinks

If you have never bought a pair of cufflinks before, or perhaps you have, but are looking for some more to boost your collection, then it is worth learning a bit more about them.

Basically, cufflinks are simply a little piece of ironmongery that hold together the cuffs of a long-sleeved shirt that has no buttons. They do the same job, but in a different way.

Many cufflinks have a front face, a post, and a toggle. The front face is the outer part that is worn on the outside of the sleeve, and which is there for all to see and admire – or not, as the case may be. This is attached to the post which goes through the hole in the outer part of the cuff and the inner part and attached to the toggle which turns through 90° to lock the cufflink into position.

However, not all cufflinks have a post and not all of them have a toggle either. Instead of a post there may be a chain, and instead of the toggle there may be a second face on the inside of the cuff just like the one on the outside. Or there may be no face and no post and no toggle, as in the case of the silk knot cufflink. This is simply made of silk in a choice of different colours which is tied into a knot at one end with an inch or less of silk and then there is an identical knot at the other end. Both the silk knot cufflinks and those with an identical size face at each end are more difficult to put on because the knot or face has to be pushed through both holes in order to secure the cuffs.

However, it has to be said that the majority of cufflinks have a post and toggle, although the toggle design can vary. For instance, there is the bullet back cufflink which has a toggle shaped like a bullet – believe it or not – which is attached to the post which has two “arms” with the toggle fixed between them.

Then there is the whaleback design which has a solid post with the toggle in the shape of a whale’s tail (it’s good this stuff, isn’t it?) which is attached to the bottom of the post.

The cufflinks which have a face at each end are called stud or button style cufflinks and the inside face may, or may not, have a design matching the outside face. Whether it does or not, there are no moving parts.

Chain cufflinks have two parts attached by a chain, which makes them easier to put on because the inner face or bar can be twisted to slip through the hole in the inner cuff. Ball return cufflinks have a largish ball on the inside which is either the end part of a curved post or attached to a chain. When it is a curved post, the inner ball is tilted and pushed through the cuff holes, and it is smaller than the face.

Then there are locking dual-action cufflinks in which both the toggle and the face move in the same way as the back of the whaleback cufflinks.

Cufflinks can come in a wide choice of different materials such as stainless steel, which is a very basic metal, but they may also be of titanium, platinum, bronze, copper, sterling silver, and gold. Yes, you can even buy gold cufflinks in the UK assuming that you can afford them. Gold cufflinks may have an engraved design on them, or any other sort of pattern, or, of course, they may be encrusted with diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, or rubies. Naturally, those are at the top end of the scale, and in some cases, you may not get much change out of £12,000 - £15,000. Ouch!

You don’t have to have metal cufflinks, either. You can get cufflinks with a face made of wood, you can get leather cufflinks, you can have cufflinks of enamel and glass, and of course you can wear the silk knot cufflinks as well.

The simple fact is that cufflinks are very much here to stay, and the choice is virtually endless, so you can look the part for absolutely every occasion.