How Cufflinks Came Into Being
The first cufflinks appeared nearly 400 years ago, and for whatever reason they did not become commonly used until well towards the end of the 18th century. Cufflinks' development is naturally closely related to the changes and development of the men's shirt.
Men have been wearing shirt-like items of clothing since the invention of woven fabric thousands of years ago. Prior to 17th century, the cuffs of shirts were either fastened with metal or metal and stone buttons or tied with a piece of ribbon. The first cufflinks, as we know them today, were two buttons of precious metal, connected by a small chain.
Cufflinks: To Wear Or Not To Wear
Nowadays, not every shopper knows that cufflinks are designed for use only with shirts with no buttons. You can wear cufflinks only if your shirt has buttonholes on both sides of the shirt sleeve cuff. The cuffs may be single or double-length, the latter is normally referred to as a "French" cuff, and may be worn with the ends pinched together, or "barrel-style," with one end overlapping the other.
Cufflinks' most recognized and prominent role is as a formal and semiformal alternative to buttons. For example, when your invitation states “white tie” or “black tie” attire, you’ll wear a shirt with cufflinks with your suit.
Cufflinks: Popularity & Affordability
Cufflinks became much cheaper and more diverse in terms of their design, as well as the base metals used during the peak of the industrial revolution. New materials paved the road to different textures and styles. Around the 1920s and 1930s cufflinks were manufactured within a wide price range: from fine jewelry versions with precious diamonds to pennies-worth using brass, copper, and glass.
Your Style Statement
Nowadays, cufflinks are considered a fashion accessory for the most part, rather than a wardrobe necessity. That is to say, wearing a shirt with cufflinks doesn’t require wearing a suit. In practice, it can be a suede blazer, and the cufflinks themselves don’t have to be made of metal, they could be made off silk. The combination of cufflinks with casual clothing might be considered walking on thin ice though, and you might want to invest a little bit of time and thought into finding the appropriate attire for your chosen pair of cufflinks.
If the cufflinks are made of metal, you might want to make sure the metal’s tone and color are in harmony/don’t clash with the watch, belt buckle, or tie-clip that you are wearing. Cufflinks designed with some colored or multicolored pattern, for example a stunning-looking enamel design, will look best when matched with the color of the shirt you’re wearing. You can refer to last century's men’s fashion publications for cufflinks-style inspirations.
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