Guide to Men’s Cufflinks

Men’s accessories now come in various styles, which have been increasingly popular recently. The use of cufflinks is among the most well-known instances of this style. Cufflinks have changed to become a fashion statement all on their own, despite being usually connected with formal wear. Cufflinks allow men to show their individual style and add a touch of refinement to their wardrobe by providing a wide range of designs and materials. Cufflinks are adaptable accessories worn for every event, ranging from formal and subtle to loud and vibrant. In addition to being fashionable, they are helpful because they offer a safe alternative to buttons for cuff fastening.

History of Cufflinks

Shirt cuffs were fastened with strings, ties, and ribbons in the 13th century. Men’s shirts and fashions changed, and so did their cuffs. Around the 17th century, the earliest versions of what we now know as cufflinks appeared.

Two decorative buttons connected by a chain were used by tailors to secure these cuffs after the sewn buttonhole was invented. The upper classes adopted the French tailors’ term “sleeve buttons,” or boutons de manchettes. The cufflink was created when jewelers started making these sleeve buttons out of silver and gold and embellishing them with semi-precious stones or imprinted patterns.

The first cufflinks were made in the 17th century, and King Charles II, well-known for his fashion sense, popularized them by wearing them frequently in public and changing people’s perceptions of these fashion statements. At this time, men would receive cufflinks as gifts, building collections.

The industrial revolution and German immigrant George Krementz, however, were what truly revolutionized the cufflink industry. To start producing cufflinks in large quantities, Krementz used a technique inspired by the production of bullets in 1876.

Like much Victorian jewelry, designs become more extravagant and pretentious. In its height, costly and intricately designed gold and silver cufflinks were frequently set with magnificent gemstones. Cufflinks were more widely used in the early 1900s than ever, and beautiful, vibrant, enameled cufflinks are still in style today.

Men preferred to add a variety of cufflinks and accessories to their suits following the First and Second World Wars and the ensuing shortages. By the turn of the 20th century, men’s shirt makers began mass-producing shirts with cuff buttons already sewn on, which decreased the necessity for cufflinks.

The French double cuff, often known as the French cuff, was introduced to England when trends began to shift and be inspired by the French, which led to a resurgence in cufflink use. The Boyer fastening method was created in 1924, giving rise to the contemporary cufflink as we know it today.

One of the most common ways to fasten cufflinks in use today, the new and modern cufflink, was developed to make them simpler to wear and secure onto cuffs.

Why Wear Cufflinks?

Cufflinks are used to secure shirt cuffs. This is the intended usage, but they have evolved into something of a statement piece that can be jewel-encrusted for added glitter. It’s usually a good idea to maintain shirt cuffs nice and tidy, and this is especially true when the formal occasion incorporates food; a shirt sleeve soaked in tomato soup isn’t exactly as sophisticated as you would have expected.

There are many unique cufflinks on the market, making them one of the greatest accessories for expressing your uniqueness. Another reason to wear cufflinks is to express whatever message you want about yourself without being overbearing or telling people what they should or should not do. A man dressed in a good suit with a tie and cufflinks just conveys the impression that he is important.

Handsome man buttoning cufflinks on white shirt

Types of Cufflinks

1. Bullet Back Cufflinks

Because it is the most uncomplicated and adaptable style of cufflink, the bullet back cufflink is arguably the most common. A metal capsule in the shape of a bullet or torpedo hangs from hinges on the back of the cufflink between two posts fastened to the front. On its hinge, the bullet can be rotated 360 degrees.

It is turned parallel to the posts to form a single shape that can be moved through the cuff’s holes. After being inserted, the bullet can be turned horizontally so that it is at a right angle to the posts, which will secure the cufflink to the shirt.

Unquestionably, this is the most straightforward sort of cufflink a man may wear, but it does have the drawback of all post types in that the cuff is kept on the wrist very firmly; a chain link fastening allows for a looser, more accessible fit.

Bullet back cufflinks

2. Whaleback Cufflinks

Cufflinks typically consist of two halves joined by a bar or chain. The whaleback variation of cufflinks features a straight post bound to a flat, solid “whale tail” that folds out to fit through the cuff’s openings and then back into place to keep the cuff closed.

Whaleback fasteners on cufflinks are favored by many guys because they are both aesthetically pleasing and functionally practical. Flipping the whale tail flat makes it simple to place the cufflink through the holes, and when it’s flipped back up, it does a great job of keeping the cuffs together and correctly setting the ornamental side of the cufflink.

Whaleback cufflinks

3. Fixed Back Cufflinks

Cufflinks with a fixed back have no moving parts. They slide through your sleeve cuffs without needing to be adjusted. They usually have a distinct front and back because one side is usually larger than the other. Around the turn of the century, the fixed back cufflink became popular. Generally, the foot is smaller than the face in order to fit through the buttonhole more easily.


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4. Chain Link Cufflinks

The chain link is the most traditional type of cufflink and the original style of cufflink. They are distinguished by two sides connected by a few chain links. Because there is no stiff post to shove through the shirt’s cuff holes, chain links are increasingly popular among expert-level cufflink collectors. A ball return cufflink, with the back end of the cufflink being a metal ball rather than a plate or disc, can help to alleviate this problem by making it easier to maneuver the cufflink through the holes.

This type of cufflink has two significant advantages. For one thing, with a chain link fastening, there is something to look at on both sides of the cuff – the two sides of a chain link cufflink can be decorative, often as plates or disks. As a result, they will look just as good from both sides of your dress shirt’s cuff.

5. Ball Return Cufflinks

The ball return cufflink is a more complex type with chain link and fixed closure varieties. Faces will vary depending on design, but the rear end will always be distinguished by its spherical form. The ball return cufflink has rounded fixtures on both ends. It functions similarly to a fixed back cufflink in not requiring any modifications. The fundamental distinction of a ball return cufflink is that it has ball fixings on both sides, and it typically has one side that is bigger than the other. The smaller side will be the cufflink’s back.

Some ball return cufflinks employ a chain link, with the outer, more apparent side of the cufflink joined to the inner, less visible back end – the “return” – by a chain. With the ball return style, the rear end is a metal ball. Ball return cufflinks are the simplest chain link cufflink to put on because the ball offers your fingers something to push against when you slide it through the cuff’s holes.


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Overall, cufflinks have progressed from a valuable item to a fashion statement that allows men to show their personal style while adding refinement to their clothing. Its history extends back to the 17th century, and they have gone through various design and production alterations. Cufflinks are not only attractive, but they are also functional since they provide a secure alternative to buttons for cuff fastening. Cufflinks are available in a variety of styles on the market nowadays. Cufflinks, regardless of design, are a great way to add a bit of refinement and flair to any ensemble, making them a popular option for both formal and casual situations.