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How to Wear Cufflinks

by Don Kilbourne January 14, 2020 4 min read

How to Wear Cufflinks

Cufflinks are kinda cool. You don’t think so? What other time are men permitted to wear jewellery that is both ornamental and practical? Yeah, I know men can wear earrings too, but these put the finishing touch on your Sunday’s best. Try them out one of these days and watch the compliments come in from people who appreciate the small details.

Cufflinks actually came before the button, the safety pin, Velcro, and the zipper. Cufflinks are an awesome way to add a personal touch to your dress shirt or suit. You can display your unique sense of style or complete a look.

Before we dive in, you have to understand the various cufflink materials, styles, and types to ensure that you’re not buying scrap metal but rather investing in an ornamental legacy to give to future generations.

Video: CWHouseMenswear Music: SamaluevMusic

Classifications of Cufflinks

There are multiple variations of the cufflink, the most popular being the hinged cufflink. There are plenty of other architectural alternatives to think of. Here are the ones you are most likely to find in your search.

Stud Cufflinks are not hinged. Rather, they have a straight post, larger head, and a smaller interior head. The smaller head is angled to fit into the buttonhole and then made straight to secure it in place.

Once in place, they will not move out of place, which makes them more durable.

Whale Back Cufflinks have a straight post, a flat head, and a tail shaped like a “whale” that will flip completely flat against the post. Simplicity is what distinguishes this type. Their closing mechanism, coupled with the larger post makes them easy to use. It’s the most typical cufflink around.

Chain Link Cufflinks typically have two identical heads connected by a short chain. The chain makes this style looser than others but has visible decoration on both sides of the closed buttonholes.

Ball Return Cufflinks have a small, heavy ball opposite the garnished head with a curved post. They feel looser than hinged cufflinks but a little tighter than the chain. Usually, these are created with precious metals due to the size and weight of the balls. These are a little pricier than typical cufflinks.

They come in fixed styles and are more appealing than normal bullet fixed, plain backing. They are simple to put on and provide extra looseness for the cuffs.

Bullet Back, and Toggle Closure Cufflinks are pretty close in style to whale tail shaped, but the post is hollow, and the closing mechanism is a narrow metal cylinder which rests within the frame. To secure the links in place, the cylinder is flipped outwardly 90 degrees which leave the frame to replace the post.

bullet cufflinks

They are the most commonly worn cufflink due to their simplicity and security. The torpedo capsule hangs between two separate posts.

Locking Dual-Action Cufflinks work like hinge cufflinks. The post becomes the hinge which means that the cufflink swings open, and the smaller end is slipped through the opening.

Then, the cufflink is swung shut again, ultimately clipping the sides of the cuff underneath the head. This is a modern style. Luckily, they are the easiest and most secure styles available. There are plenty of them to choose from Cuffed.com.au.

Knot Cufflinks have a similar style to the chain link. They have two heads between a short distance. However, they are made with a soft silky cord instead of the typical metal; the heads are garnished knots.

knot cufflinks

Knot cufflinks have an unorthodox surface which makes this a more casual look, especially with a variety of colours involved on the same knot.

How They Work

Cufflinks secure shirts by sliding through the holes on both sides of the cuff opening of the shirt and then swinging into a locked position to hold both sides of the cuff together.

The typical cufflink has a large “insert member” or head, with a garnishing front face, a long post that extends from the back of the head, and a hinged toggle that sways out from the post to secure the link.

Set the toggle in a closed position such that there is a straight post lowering from the bottom surface of the head. The posts slide through the holes on both sides of the cuffs, and the toggle is finally swayed outward so that the post doesn’t slide back out.

That will hold the cufflink in place, and the front face of the insert member will be placed stylishly above the buttonholes.

Cufflink Materials:

Carbon Fiber is a sturdy modern material with a lustrous finish. It is effortlessly coloured as they are being made, and it is very popular for 100% Metal cufflinks, especially in contemporary design.

carbon fiber cufflinks

Crystal is a popular choice for bedazzled and sparkly cufflinks. Available in all sizes, colours and shapes.

Crystal Patchwork Cufflinks

Glass is affordable and multifaceted, with many colouring options. Stained glass is usually considered casual, but has significant variations on whichever cufflink you decide to choose.

Gunmetal is a metallic amalgam, including zinc, tin, and copper. It is both masculine and modern.

gunmetal lines cufflinks

Mother of Pearl is a glossy and pale material that comes from seashells. It is similar to the materials that make shirt buttons. Cufflinks with this material make semiformal outfits look formal and make formal outfits just overwhelmingly dapper.

mother of pearl rectangle cufflinks

Onyx is a form of pellucid quartz that comes in many shades including, purple, blue, black, and white. It is frequently used to complement formal wear.

black onyx rectangle cufflinks

Rose Gold is a metallic mixture of copper and gold that makes a tinted red coloured metal.

rose gold knot cufflinks

Precious Stones anything from diamonds, sapphire, rubies, emeralds, and opal are a high-end option but can be purchased for a reasonable price!

The Right Time for Cufflinks

Remember, the most discernable role for cufflinks is the formal alternative to buttons. If you find yourself properly wearing a suit, it will have links at the cuffs. All types of shirts come with French cuffs and tailors are skilled at turning a shirt into a buttonhole arrangement that will fit cufflinks.

Meaning, if it’s your burning desire, wear cufflinks with anything from your most professional interview shirt to a raggedy denim jacket. Yes, you could theoretically wear cufflinks with a denim jacket. I’ll allow you to set the trend.

Cufflinks will show how well-put-together, organized, professional, and vogue you are. Regardless of the setting, someone will comment on your snazzy finishing touch that is your cufflinks.

Don Kilbourne
Don Kilbourne



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