Cufflinks have their origins in the 16th century in France (which is why you can wear them with a French cuff), and were a sign of royalty and high class. Since then, cufflinks have become more available to every man and each guy should have at least one pair of cufflinks to wear once in a while. Even though they are small accessories, cufflinks can add a lot of personality and style to a shirt. Just think about the difference changing the pair of cufflinks of a white shirt can have. You can go from business meeting to amusement park visitor in five seconds. This is why cufflinks are a very important part of fashion.
We discussed in one of our previous guides how to buy cufflinks, where we broke down the aspects one must search form when he is purchasing a new pair and today we are going to go more in-depth and see how to wear cufflinks. Of course, we always encourage you to create your own style and the rules we explain are just guidelines you can use to make the best of your style and to make sure you will always be on the right track.
There is very wide variety of cufflinks out on the market today. If you look at sites such as Cufflinks.com, you can see that they offer a very wide range of products. Browsing through the Cufflinks.com website, you can see that a man can buy all types of cufflinks: from extremely expensive to extremely affordable ones, from cufflinks with fine designs to cufflinks with film and cartoon designs. You can even get cufflinks that incorporate in their design sand from various beaches.
While having such a wide variety of cufflinks to choose from is great, it is even greater if you know what to do with them.
You should know that there are two styles of cuffing shirts: The kiss and the barrel-style.
The first one, the kiss cuff is the more common way of cuffing shirts. The cuffs are pinched together making it seem that the ends are kissing.
The barrel cuff, however, is a style where the top end is being overlapped with the other one. This is a more discreet way of wearing cuffs.
Another thing you should be aware of is that there the shirt cuffs split into two categories: single-length cuffs and French cuffs.
The single-length cuff is the most common type of cuffs. This style is usually considered more casual.
The French cuffs are characterized by longer sleeves which must be folded so that the cufflinks can sustain four layers of fabric.
The barrel cuff looks better with single-length cuffs and the kiss-style cuff goes better with French cuffs.
Suits and cufflinks
Cufflinks are generally considered to be rather formal accessories and should be worn in formal or semi-formal settings such as weddings, balls, receptions and so on. There is a big debate in the men’s fashion world discussing whether one can wear cufflinks if he isn’t wearing a tie or a bow tie or even if a man should wear cufflinks without wearing a jacket.
We can say that the endless discussions basically end with your choice. If you like cufflinks and want to wear even if you are not having a jacket on, then you should go for it, and if you are a guy who wants to stick to strict rules, you should affirm those rules and always wear cufflinks only if you are wearing a jacket and a tie or bow tie.
Whenever you wear a tuxedo, you should match it to proper tuxedo cufflinks, don’t think that your Star Wars cufflinks will go with a tuxedo just because they are cufflinks. Those are to be worn at art galleries, sci-fi conventions, movie premieres, and other similar settings.
Whatever rules you wish to follow, we need to say that as a general rule, cufflinks don’t go with casual outfits, such as jeans and sneakers. This might sound obvious to some, but it might open other’s eyes.
For semi-formal occasions, there are always the silk knots which can replace links very well.
Cufflinks and other accessories
Earlier we discussed whether you should or should not wear cufflinks unless you are wearing a tie or a bow tie. If you choose to wear cufflinks at the same time you are wearing other accessories, you should know that you should make them go together. They don’t have to match in the restrictive sense of the word, but they do need to go well together. Tyrannosaurus cufflinks go with knitted ties, but they don’t go with silk ties. The same goes the other way too: emerald cufflinks don’t go with a Donald Duck tie. Ever.
Also, you should remember that your accessories need to be proportionate with the size of your body. Bigger guys should wear bigger accessories, while thin guys should wear scaled down accessories.
Speaking of other accessories, we also need to talk about wearing silver and gold. Both silver and gold are neutrals, which means that you can wear both at the same time. If you have silver cufflinks but other golden accessories, you should not worry.
Cufflinks and colors
While cufflinks are a strong indicator there is no precise rule on how you should match the colors of your links to the colors of your outfit. Of course, there are neutral colors such as black, white, grey, beige etc., which can be worn with anything and besides that we can only advise you to try to make your links be in harmony with the rest of your outfit. If you want to go flashy, match contrasting colors, such as blue and red, if you want to go subtle, you can match a pale orange shirt with a pair of strong orange cufflinks.
If you want to make sure your cufflinks go with the rest of your outfit, you can follow this rule:
The color of your links should match at least one of the following:
– Any of the colors of your shirt
– Any of the colors of your tie or bow tie
– Any of the colors of your pants
– Any of the colors of your jacket
– The color of your belt or belt buckle (or any of the colors of your belt should it have more than one color)
– Any of the colors of your pocket square
– Any of the colors of your shoes
– Any of the colors of anything else you might wear
As an additional tip, we want to recommend you to stay away from any kind of fake cufflinks. It is 10 times more preferable to wear cufflinks that are not so expensive but authentic in themselves than to wear rip-offs. You are a thousand times better off with simple yet real cufflinks than with fake rubies at your wrist.
In the end, we can say that choosing the right cufflinks for you, which are the ones that reflect your personality best can make you feel like a king and that the historic circle of the cufflinks will close.
Fraquoh and Franchomme
P.S. How do you wear cufflinks? Do you follow the “always with jacket and tie” rule or not? Do you have a certain type of cuffs you like to wear with your cufflinks? Share your comments! If you have any questions regarding cufflinks, feel free to post them in the comments as well and we will be happy to answer them!