What Are Cufflinks?

Cufflink made in Idar-Oberstein in the 1960s

They’re a hallmark of sophistication and they add a level of detail that suits and ties alone simply can’t provide. But what is the purpose of cufflinks?

Cufflinks are items of jewelry that are used to secure the cuffs of dress shirts.. Going beyond their aesthetic brilliance, cufflinks do serve an old-world function. 

Cufflinks have a very prosperous history. They were created in the 1600s out of necessity and have only flourished and spread since then. Today, cufflinks are generally prized for their aesthetic sensibility, but they still hold their functional appeal.

Cufflinks are designed only for use with shirts that have cuffs with buttonholes on both sides but no buttons. These may be either single or double-length (“French”) cuffs, and may be worn either “kissing”, with both edges pointing outward, or “barrel-style”, with one edge pointing outward and the other one inward so that its hem is overlapped. In the US, the “barrel-style” was popularized by a famous 19th-century entertainer and clown,  Dan Rice; however, “kissing” cuffs are usually preferred.

Their marrying functional and ornamental qualities make cufflinks one of the most worthwhile fashion investments you’ll ever make.



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