If you wear a long-sleeved shirt today, it will come either with cuffs which have buttons in order to do them up, or double cuffs without buttons. If the latter, you have to have something to keep them together when you put your shirt on, otherwise they are simply going to flap about in the breeze. What you need is a pair of cufflinks.
Going back in the day, and we do mean a long time ago – before the 15th century – men would do up the cuffs of their shirts with a piece of string. Buttons hadn’t been invented, and neither had cufflinks. The cufflinks came in at the beginning of the 15th century and were only for the wealthy and for noblemen, sporting, as they did, gemstones and other fine jewellery. The Industrial Revolution changed all that as cufflinks became cheap to manufacture, so anyone could wear them.
Cufflinks come in several different styles, but mainly they have a front face which has a design, pattern, or – yes – even a gemstone on it. This is connected to a short post which has a toggle on the other end. The toggle can be turned parallel to the post to slip it through the holes in the cuffs and then it is turned back again at right angles to the post which keeps the cufflink in place. The front face is worn on the outside of the wrist and is the part of the cufflink that everyone can see.
The toggle may be in the shape of a bullet, and if this is the case they are “bullet-back” cufflinks. However, it can also be in the shape of the tail of a whale in which case – you’re ahead of us, aren’t you? Correct. They are whale-back cufflinks.
However, some cufflinks do not have a toggle, but instead have a solid post with a large ball on the face side and a smaller one on the other end. The post can be straight in which case they are stud or button style cufflinks, or the post may be curved in which instance they are called ball return cufflinks.
Some other cufflinks do not have a post at all but have two identical faces which are connected by a short chain – chain link cufflinks. There are also locking dual action cufflinks which are a contemporary design.
In addition, there are silk knot cufflinks which consist entirely of silk which has an identical knot at each side of the cufflink. You have to push one knot through both holes of the cuff, so they are not so easy to put on.
Many Different Metals
Cufflinks can be made from many different metals which can be as simple as stainless steel or as expensive as titanium or platinum. They can be of gold or silver too, although these are usually plated and not a solid metal. Titanium, platinum, and stainless steel all have a silver/greyish colour and are easy to pair with almost any colour of shirt.
You can also get metal alloy cufflinks which are made of a mix of metals and are usually polished to look like silver but may also have a finish similar to gold.
Then there are bronze cufflinks which have a warm colour somewhere between gold and copper, and also copper cufflinks. Both of these will tarnish and develop a patina over time, and this may, or may not, appeal to you.
Cufflinks do not have to be made of metal and can be of leather, wood, or silk, and can feature mother-of-pearl, enamel, glass, and precious or semi-precious stones as well.
Cufflinks can make a great gift for a birthday, Christmas, wedding anniversary, or any other special day, and at Wimbledon Cufflink Company we provide a huge choice. The first thing to consider when buying cufflinks as a gift is what colour is his watch? If he has a gold tone watch, then you should really go for gold tone cufflinks. The same applies to a silver watch - silver tone.
Of course, we have plenty of designs to choose from, and if he is English, the Royal Oak Cufflinks would be a good choice. Our Royal Oak Cufflinks are in gold with a dark green background. If he has a silver watch, perhaps our RAF Jet Engine would be a better choice.