Before learning how to put on cufflinks on your shirt, you first need to know what is cufflinks all about so you can know the right way in wearing them. A cuff link is a small jewelry that uses to replace the buttons on a French cuff shirt. It is almost the same size with a button but because it is making from the fine material and is well crafted, it plays an important decorative role for men’s shirt. It can create magic by turning men monotonous dresses and suits to become elegant and good looking one. Which make a man look gorgeous and charming as a whole.
There are numerous guys who are not really willing to put cufflinks on their shirt. This is due to many of them think that putting on the cufflinks can be an uneasy job as many of them having no idea on how to wear a cufflink. While some other guys reluctant to wear them is for the reason that they feel being dressed in a french cuff shirt for a formal event is not what they want. Well, this shoudn’t be the case as cufflinks can be excellent men’s accessories to wear on even with a pair of jeans. Below I would illustrate to you briefly on the step-by-step of how to use cufflinks.
What Shirts Require Cufflinks?
Whether or not you require cufflinks comes down to the shirt you are wearing. (Getting that right is another topic altogether.) While they’re a nice optional extra at times, at others they are viewed as a non-negotiable part of a dress code.
“Cufflinks should always be worn with formal dress shirts,” explains Dean Gomilsek–Cole, head of design at Jermyn Street shirtmaker Turnbull & Asser, asserting their important and black tie events in particularly. “As best practice, they should match the shirt’s front studs, so I recommend a white, smoked grey or black mother of pearl design.”
The traditional dress shirts Gomilsek–Cole refers to usually feature French cuffs, which are intentionally longer and designed to be folded back on themselves, hence the need to fasten them.
As a fairly rudimentary way of assessing whether you should be wearing a set or not, take a look at your shirt cuffs. If they don’t have buttons or have double cuffs, it’s probably a good idea to pop some cufflinks on.
How To Style Cufflinks
The sheer variety of styles, shapes, materials and colours on the market today presents an excellent way to inject a dose of personality into an otherwise drab outfit. However, there are some hard and fast rules to follow.
For the most formal of occasions, such as those that require a dinner suit, it’s best to keep any and all finishing touches classic and in subtle colours.
Cufflinks are no different, so in these instances, anything comical or novelty should be avoided like the plague. Unless, of course, you want the rest of the guests to think you’ve been hired for entertainment.
Alice Made This
Cufflinks don’t just serve a functional purpose; they can also be used to introduce some energy into an outfit. Use events such as a wedding to get a bit more experimental with colours and shapes.
If it’s in keeping with your style, novelty cufflinks aren’t out of the question, provided that they’re still tasteful. Labels such as Paul Smith, Tateossian and Alice Made This have some excellent examples of that manage to be both stand-out and stylish at the same time.
Alice Made This
When it comes to business attire, it’s wise to steer clear of anything too crazy. Simple, understated designs are the way to go, but you can still experiment with colours, patterns and materials.
Whatever you do, don’t go for anything overly ostentatious – leave those to the oligarchs. And lastly, always match the metal of your cufflinks to other accessories such as your tie clip.
Alice Made This
Types of Cufflinks
The most common type of cufflinks used today is the ‘double panel’ cufflink. This consists of two small discs connected by either a bar or short chain. There will be a pair of these in each cufflink set, so that’s two pieces of two connected discs, one for each cuff. Usually all four discs have matching motifs engraved on the faces, however sometimes the discs facing inwards are left blank. Equally as popular are ‘swivel bar’ cufflinks, which will have just one disc on each cufflink and a moveable bar which is lined up vertically with the post of the cufflink and then swivelled into a horizontal position to keep the cuff secured. These are sometimes more common than the ‘double panel’ style as they are slightly easier to use.
An alternative type of cufflink that is rarely seen these days is the silk knot. As you can probably guess, it is made up of two connected silk knots. They remain the most unpopular type because of the cufflinks’ association with formal attire; a much better impression is made with a pair of shiny gold or silver engraved cufflinks than with a plain simple silk not. There are technically several other types too that are distinguished by their fastening style – ball backs, coil backs, wrap arounds and toggle links to name just a few – but essentially they all do the same job as the double-panels and swivel bars.
Ogham is an ancient Irish alphabet like no other. Represented by a series of marks along a central line, the different directions and lengths of each mark denotes a ‘letter’. Ogham writing was carved into long stones or planks of wood all around Ireland by the Celts and read from the bottom of the stone to the top. Because of its abstract look, Ogham writing is a great way to include a subtle message on your cufflinks; for example, it’s a unique twist on having monogrammed cufflinks by using Ogham initials instead of the traditional alphabet. These Ogham cufflinks are engraved with the word ‘grá’ (love).
A Torc is a piece of ancient jewellery worn in many iron age societies, most often by the Celts. They are large rings usually made from gold and are open at the front. They were worn around the neck, and for the Celts, only the most prestigious people wore a torc. For this reason some of the best examples of ancient Celtic jewellery are torcs. They were considered to be a badge of leadership and to offer protection by the Gods, and were often passed down through generations. It may seem somewhat strange to wear something like that around your neck these days, so a cufflink version is much more appropriate.
Celtic Knot Cufflinks
These are not in fact silk knot cufflinks, but they do have a Celtic knot design. This type of design was used in many different variations in Celtic art and decoration. They are thought to represent the cycle of life and are a symbol of eternity or unity. They are seen in all types of Celtic art, especially on Christian monuments like high crosses and bible manuscripts. Two particularly elaborate examples include the Book of Kells and the Ardagh Chalice. As the design is so central to Irish and Celtic traditions, these cufflinks are a perfect way to show off your Irish heritage.
Family Crest Cufflinks
Family crest cufflinks are the perfect way to make a gift really personal. These are dome shaped silver cufflinks with a swivel bar, and any family crest can be engraved.
The set of cufflinks pictured above feature a rampant lion which is the O’Connor coat of arms. The cufflinks below feature a boar which is the O’ Sullivan family coat of arms.
As all of our jewellery is hand made we can produce custom made pieces on request. So if family crest cufflinks aren’t personal enough, we can work with you to come up with an even more unique design. Custom pieces take a few weeks to complete and come packaged in a polished wooden presentation box. We can deliver to anywhere in the world. If you’d like some inspiration, some of the custom made pieces have been featured on this blog.
How to make a cufflink shirt
- Get a shirt with sleeves that are long enough to wear with the cuffs folded up once. Remove the buttons on the shirt’s cuff
- Fold the cuff once, exposing the cuff’s underside. It will be the outside once finished.
- Lay the sleeves on a flat surface and line up the cuff’s open edges.
- Locate the shirt’s original button holes. Mark a small line beneath the buttonhole with the edges still aligned. Don’t forget to mark the opposite sides of each sleeve.
- Using a backstitch, sew around the edges of the lines. It should be almost a rectangular shape so that you can create 3 more button holes.
- Leave 1/6th inch in between two rows of stitching. Then, cut through the middle of each buttonhole to create an opening.
- Sew using a whipstitch or over-under around the edges to reinforce the fabric, preventing it from fraying. The cufflinks, once inserted, should fit through all 4 holes and should hold the double cuff when worn.
How to wear cufflinks
You can wear cufflinks with either a single cuff or with a double cuff. The single cuff looks much like a regular pair of cuff on a dress shirt but with holes on both sides. Meanwhile, a double cuff or French cuffs have two holes on both sides of the opening.
- Pinch the cuff of your shirt’s sleeves together so that the insides are “kissing” or pressed together.
- Insert the cufflink all the way through both holes on the cuff of the shirt. The cufflink’s face or the decorative or coloured part should face the outside when you arm is on the side.
- Depending on the style of the cufflink, secure it on the backside of the cuff, and there you have it!
There are no hard and fast rules to wearing cufflinks. So grab a pair and put on your cufflink shirts and get noticed by those around you!