Cufflinks: A History of Elegance

CufflinksWhen it comes to men’s fashion, we must concede that they do not have as many choices as women do. The patterns, colors, and styles of clothing are more limited, and even more so when we cross the realm into professional attire. One of the most popular ways to express individuality, interests, or affluence is through the use of cufflinks.

Dating back to the seventeenth century, cufflinks first appeared in Europe (particularly, Great Britain) gracing the wrists of upper-class gentlemen. Prior to its existence, buttons were used only for decoration; to keep their clothes together, men used pins, laces, and straps. The buttonhole was introduced in the thirteenth century, and the popularity of using buttons as fasteners rose rapidly.

The cufflink became a status marker among the wealthy in the post-Renaissance period shortly after it was introduced. Affluent men usually wore them on their dress shirts as a discreet symbol of wealth. Due to this, they were made with precious metals such as gold, silver, and platinum and studded with diamonds and gemstones.

Nowadays, cufflinks are made with all kinds of material imaginable and come at many different price points – from silk, glass, wood and precious metals, some customizable with engraving. They are great to dress up, as with a French cuff shirt, or down, with a more relaxed fit shirt for a business casual look.