The Elegant World of Cufflinks

As more fashion houses turn their attention to appeasing the norms and tastes of the 40 and under age group whose fashion sensibilities tend to favor the casual, even in the arena of office wear or more formal events.   Yet, tradition remains steadfast for the sophisticated male suited to the nines still commands an audience and gives an air of authority when he enters a room.

A discerning individual, no matter the gender, makes decisions down to the slightest detail as to their Image.  One who understands the style of an elegant person recognizes not just the whole picture, but the intricate details.  A tailored suit,  well kept pair of leather shoes, a crisp shirt accompanied by a well chosen watch built with mechanical wonder, a tie that finishes the look, and a handbag exuding class.  And yet, even smaller elements come into play; an exceptional bracelet, a colorful pocket square and yes, the beloved shirt cufflinks.

Cufflinks considered as decorative jewels whose job is to secure the cuffs of a shirt.  Small in size yet packs a powerful statement with regards to a gentleman’s ensemble.   As one of the few items that fall into the category of men’s jewelry, the subtle, yet handsome nature of cufflinks work its magic in showing off a man’s panache and refinement.

 With a vast and diverse selection, cufflinks can be paired with casual, informal or business attire and, certainly, be worn with dressy semi-formal or formal outfits.   Historically, cufflinks were expected to coordinate with another piece of worn metal like a watch, bracelet or tie bar, though these rules have been bent, as more men choose to purposely mismatch styles to display their individuality.  

Most cufflinks have three basic elements: 

  1. The face which is designed with a decorative piece usually embedded in an insert member
  2. The post which slides through the button hole connecting the face to the toggle
  3. The toggle is the back or bottom element which fastens the post and secures the cuff link in place

There are a subsection of cufflinks that won’t feature toggles or posts but moreso a chain or string that may be identical in design to the face (i.e. chain links or silk knots). 

As a rule, cufflinks are paired with shirts designed with buttonholes sides but no buttons as seen on French Cuffs shirts (single or double-length).  The cufflinks are either  worn  “kissing”   with both edges pointed outward (used for more formal suits or tuxedos)  or “barrel” style with both edges overlapping.

Cufflinks versatility allows designers to fashion them from an array of materials ranging from fabrics, leather, glass, wood, gold, sterling silver, stainless steel, titanium, platinum, bronze and precious and semi-precious metals.   The face can be monogrammed, set with an owner’s birthstone or even represent a particular hobby, interest or an organization.

 A gentleman’s wardrobe must carry at least, the basics colors of black or blue to match the typical suit colors in his wardrobe.   However, depending on the wearer’s taste and being mindful of the decorum of the event, cufflinks can be color contrasted (i.e., blue suit with rose gold silk cufflinks) or motif contrasted (i.e. Bentley logo or lion heads).

Keep in mind, when purchasing a pair, you will discover several types of cufflinks:

  • Whale Back Cufflink – The post takes on the look of a whale’s tail and is considered the most common and simplest to fasten.
  • Bullet Back Cufflinks – Just as the name suggests, this very popular design’s toggle is a cylinder-like piece attached to the post and also simple to fasten.
  • Stud or Button Style Cufflink – Contains no moving parts and falls in the classic design category.
  • Chain Link Cufflinks – Quite traditional and one of the oldest designs with a more loose fit than its contemporaries.
  • Ball Return Cufflink – Considered a more classic design with no moving parts.
  • Locking Duel Action Cufflinks – Contemporary style that locks similar to a watchband.
  • Knot Cufflinks – Used with more casual attire, the entire cufflink is made with a soft cord (i.e. silk) and the heads are decorative in nature.
  • Fabric Cufflinks – Quite casual style with a fabric “button” on the face.

Every fashion jewelry brand worth their salt have incorporated cufflinks in their collections including Calvin Klein, Cartier, Kenneth Cole and Fabergé to name just a few, in addition to a number of individual jewelers who have taken the design world by storm with high end, unique selections.  Cufflink prices for high end or design selections start at about hundred dollars up to thousands of dollars when the face is fitted with precious stones such as diamonds. 

Properly caring for cherished cuff links not only serves you for a lifetime, but preserves them as legacy items for your descendants.  As with any valued piece in your closet, hiring a qualified, professional jeweler to clean your cufflinks is always the best option.  Between cleanings, a light dusting with a soft jewelry cloth should suffice. 

Just as important is finding an appropriate storage case to keep your valuables clean, scratch free, dust free and in heirloom quality shape.  Even if you are an owner of a few or a collector of many, alternative protective cases include high end calf or exotic leather covered boxes or exotic woods with interior compartments or slotted rows made of microfiber, velvet,  suede, or a very soft calf leather.

When traveling, the choice of storage can range from an overnight slim case to one that holds several different items for a number of wardrobe changes.   When purchasing a travel case, your options will include leather case combinations for ties with cufflinks storage/slot area to smaller leather boxed cufflinks holders.

So whether you’re planning a purchase for a special male in your life or an indulgent treat for yourself, consider a beautiful pair of classic or contemporary cufflinks or perhaps a bespoke storage case made by Beau Satchelle as an extraordinary treasure to add to your wardrobe collection.   – AJ

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Thank you to the abundant educational content from the following sources:

Real Men Real Style 

Trend Him 

The International Man 

Hat Tip to Photographers


Pexels – Tuxedo pearl cufflinks  


Mohamed Nuzrath

Hans Braxmeier – black cuff links


Anastasia Vityukova  Maroon Suit with gold Rose cufflinks


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