Completing an outfit: Cufflinks


At first glance, cufflinks might not seem like something that demands such close attention. They’re small, often hidden beneath a tailored suit and rarely a topic at dinner parties. Your scepticism is noted and admittedly not misplaced. However, cufflinks are an integral part of any sharp or formal attire, giving you the opportunity to showcase your good taste through subtle, luxury jewellery.

The variety and versatility that cufflinks offer make them an ideal addition to any outfit. Whether you’re looking to add some class to a work party or hoping to make waves at a prestigious black-tie event, there are many different styles of cufflinks to suit both your practical needs and aesthetic style.

How to wear cufflinks

You might have heard the saying “Don’t shoot your cuffs” with regards to being humble and not flaunting yourself, but with tailored, shirts, suits and cufflinks that’s almost the point. Whether you’re wearing a traditional button-cuff shirt or French-cuff dress shirt, any outfitter worth their weight in salt will specifically tailor jackets to ensure at least a quarter inch of shirt cuff can protrude from underneath the jacket sleeve.

If you pay attention to this detail when buying shirts and suit jackets, you’ll have a much easier time bringing the overall outfit together. French-cuff shirts are ultimately intended for cufflinks and so create a much more unified look, however button-cuff shirts can be converted to be fastened with cufflinks, so long as you take into account the extra cuff needed to show them off.

Cufflinks are perfectly designed to be prominent but discrete, seen briefly throughout conversation or from across the room, and as long as your jackets and shirts are carefully fitted to show your taste in jewellery, you can’t go wrong at a party.

Styles of cufflinks

We all have our preferences – whether it be in material, shape or brand – but many are discouraged by the high price and status associated with cufflinks. Luckily the modern fashion scene is one that breaks boundaries and attempts to reach as many buyers as possible, enabling sharp dressers from all walks of life to show off their style.

And style is something that transcends price, if you know what you’re looking for. Are you more focused on your cufflinks’ price? Their durability? Or do you have your eye on a brand you trust?

Bullet back cufflinks are a staple of any smart outfit, their name deriving from their unique cuff mechanism: a bullet-shaped, pivoting capsule which secures between two static posts. This more secure and durable mechanism allows for larger, heavier or more intricate styles. This feature is used to the wearer’s advantage, with precious gemstones and high karat metals commonly decorating this type of cufflinks, making them a luxurious piece of jewellery which is easy to handle and sure to make you stand out for any occasion.

Whale back cufflinks are simple, practical and popular, their abundance in the market affording them one of the greatest varieties of designs and brands. Whale back cufflinks are named after their back fastening resembling a whale’s tale, and though it varies depending on the material, non-hinged variants are at risk of damage after excessive use and mishandling. What they may lack in durability, they make up for in ease of use and the range of clean-cut designs available.

Now, this one is for the truly classy man, seeking to combine the high standards of contemporary jewellery with a dash of that vintage luxury everyone is drawn to: chain link cufflinks. Chain link cufflinks are one of the oldest styles available, existing before the industrial revolution and as a favourite among English royalty of the era. Most chain link cufflinks are made with two identical decorative plates, connected by a short link of chain – making them very durable and allowing for a looser fit – though these are harder to fasten.