The Fashion For Men – Considering the sheer amount of clothing, jewellery and accessories that are available on today’s market, the cufflink is often overlooked and seen as a luxury accessory that is worn on special or formal occasions.
However, an eye-catching set of cufflinks can transform an entire outfit and turn what would otherwise be a nondescript selection of attire into a striking ensemble. These days you can further this personal feel by employing an engraved cufflink to lift your sense of style.
Here, we discuss everything you need to know about cufflinks, including the various styles available, the materials used and key things to remember when selecting your next pair.
Types of Cufflinks
While there are countless variations of cufflink, there are generally considered to be eight key styles that are the most frequently used:
1. Chain Link Cufflinks
Steeped in tradition and history, this style of cufflinks has stood the test of time and still remains one of the most popular styles in today’s market. Chain Link cufflinks have two equal sized heads connected by a link of chain. While this is not the most secure type of cufflink, it does offer the chance for a number of decorative options.
2. Whale Back Cufflinks
This common cufflink style is one of the simplest yet stylish options on the market. They are clasped using a ‘whale tail’ connection which is clipped flat once pushed through the cuff. This style of cufflink is popular because of its aesthetic combined with its ease of use and its reliability.
3. Bullet Back Cufflinks
The most common type of cufflink available on the market today, Bullet Backs are known for their ease and security. They are secured by a bullet shaped capsule which is flipped from a vertical to horizontal position when in place.
4. Stud Cufflinks
A smaller and lighter alternative to the aforementioned cufflink styles, Studs are designed with a large front facing head and a small back head, which are connected by a solid metal bar. Because of their solidity, Stud Cufflinks can often be the most expensive variation. However, it also means that they can be the most difficult type of cufflink to secure.
5. Silk Knot Cufflinks
Such are their affordability, Silk Knot Cufflinks are often complimentary additions to shirts purchased from retail stores. These comparatively cheap cufflinks are similar in structure to Chain Links but are made of coloured yarn. These are considered the most informal variety of cufflinks but are not particularly durable, so don’t expect to rely on one pair of Silk Knot Cufflinks for a number of years.
6. Ball Return Cufflinks
Another type of fixed cufflink, Ball Returns can often be the most expensive style of cufflink because of the weight of the heads. They are very simple to secure and offer a tighter fit than Chain Link alternatives for example.
7. Locking Cufflinks
This modern style of cufflink uses a hinge mechanism similar to how many watches are secured. This offers total durability and stability but can increase the price substantially. Surprisingly, they are also fairly easy to secure, despite the complexity of the mechanism.
8. Fabric Cufflinks
While almost any style of cufflink can have a fabric element, they tend to be considered a more informal version of their metallic equivalents.
In today’s extremely saturated market, there are an abundance of materials used in the creation of cufflinks. These materials range from extremely simple to incomparably rare.
Common materials for cufflinks are carbon fibre, gun metal and stainless steel. These are all strong, contemporary materials that are used in abundance in modern designs of reasonable value. Titanium, Sterling Silver, Gold plated and Mother of Pearl Cufflinks all tend to be of fairly reasonable value and are common in a variety of cufflink styles.
Rarer materials used for cufflinks include crystal, onyx, precious stones, platinum and gold. These materials are generally used in more formal styles of cufflink and can be at the dearest end of the cufflink price spectrum.
Silk, enamel and glass are other examples of material that can be used to create cufflinks, although the list is far more extensive than the aforementioned.
When are Cufflinks Suitable?
Firstly, any shirt that uses a French cuff (with no buttons) requires cufflinks. These shirt styles will most likely be worn on formal occasions such as weddings, anniversary’s, funerals etc.
However, providing that you select the right variety of cufflink, they can be worn as an accessory with almost any shirt. While it may not be prudent to display large gold plated cufflinks when popping to the pub on a Sunday, a silk knot or bullet back pair are perfectly acceptable in informal conditions.
We’d like to thank English Cufflinks for their insight.