Cufflinks History

Cufflinks: The First Fashion Accessory For Men

Cufflinks, also called cuff buttons, have been a part of men's fashion for hundreds of years. Cufflinks have been commissioned by royal families for weddings or to mark other special events for centuries, and some historians point out cufflinks' presence in ancient paintings. Even though the first cufflinks appeared the 1600s, they did not become a common accessory until the end of the 18th century. Their expansion is closely related to the development of men's shirts.  Although fashion and methods of manufacturing changed, the underlying form continues to exist.


Gold Cufflinks & Confidence

Cufflinks made with gemstones and gold were initially only worn by men with a lot of self-confidence. Later, cufflinks became more affordable while also becoming more fancy, causing men of every class to want to wear them as a status and symbol. Even today, men who wear cufflinks are automatically viewed as being the classier men who pay more attention to detail.


In the early 1900s, more types of cufflinks were being produced and made available in every form, color and material, integrating both gemstones and less precious stones a well as glass, in affordable copies. Intricately colored enameled cufflinks of every conceivable geometric pattern were vastly popular. All of these were of equal value, since Coco Chanel had made fashion jewelry acceptable to wear. In a parallel development, around the 20th century, a sportier style of shirt emerged with unstarched cuffs that could be secured with simple buttons. More and more production manufacturers started making dress shirts with buttons and buttonholes, essentially eliminating the need for cufflinks. However, many high-end manufacturers kept making French cuff shirts that helped cufflinks once again become a fashion accessory for men wishing to create a long lasting impression. The 1980's saw a return to traditional cufflinks, as part of a general revival in traditional male dress. This trend has more or less continued to this day. 


Cufflinks: More Than Just A Fashion Statement

Men who want to make the best impression pay careful attention to their wardrobe. We’ve all been taught that our dress style creates an impression. Today’s man can look like he has a private tailor even if he doesn’t, by shopping for quality accessories online. Since traditional men’s clothing can be dull, attaching a subtle accessory, such as a gold set of cufflinks which catches the light just under the sleeve, can make a positive statement about the man wearing them.  


Antique and Vintage Cufflinks

There are still a lot of men who wear cufflinks - current fashion trends indicate they have come back in fashion in a big way, especially 1960's and 1970's. People who buy antique cufflinks and designer vintage cufflinks most are collectors who acquire them for good reasons. Antique and vintage cufflinks are particularly collectible since modern creations cannot reach the beautiful craftsmanship of the past, so if you find some that you like don't hesitate to buy them! 

To start collecting antique and vintage cufflinks, it's important to know what characteristic to look out for. Firstly, the item's condition is paramount and all collectors should keep their cufflinks in mint condition. However, the condition cannot be assessed with the naked eye alone. Inspection under a loupe/magnifying glass is imperative. Only if a design is very old or very rare, can "mint condition" be a factor that could be waived in value evaluation. Collectibles such as cufflinks should be stored safely in a dust bag away from light and humidity to avoid deterioration and damage. 


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