Cufflinks are one of the most popular suit accessories worn by men. Although small in size, they play an important role in creating a clean, formal look. However, many men overlook this accessory, assuming cufflinks are nothing more than decorative items that offer no real function. So, what exactly are cufflinks and do you really need them when wearing a formal suit?
Cufflinks: the Basics
Cufflinks live up to their namesake by securing, or linking, the cuffs of a dress shirt. They’ve been around for over a century and remain a popular suit accessory to this day.
The mechanics behind cufflinks are quite simple: the cufflink is placed through the shirt’s cuff at the wrist, at which point it’s secured via some type of lock. Simply place your dress shirt on, and then stick the bottom of the cufflink through the shirt’s cuff and secure it. Your shirt’s wrist will now stay together.
What are They Made of?
Cufflinks are made using a wide variety of materials, including stone, stainless steel, gold, silver, gemstones, glass, stone, leather and more. Some men even make their own cufflinks out of various materials. Because their design is so simple, creating cufflinks is actually easier than it may sound.
Do I Really Need Cufflinks?
Well, it depends on the type of dress shirt you intend to wear. As you may already know, some men’s dress shirts have buttons to secure the wrist cuffs. If your shirt has buttons in the wrists, then you don’t need to wear cufflinks. Fastening the button of your wrist cuffs servers the same purpose as cufflinks, eliminating the need for this accessory. On the other hand, however, if your shirt does not have buttons in the wrists, you’ll need cufflinks to secure it. But with so many different styles, how do you know which one to choose?
Choosing the Right Cufflinks
Although there are thousands of different types of cufflinks available for sale, most can be broken down into a few basic categories:
- Whale back — feature a flat head with whale tails that flip against the post.
- Bullet back — features a hollow post and cylindrical back.
- Stud — small, lightweight and basic in design.
- Chain link — the most common type of cufflink, the chain link features two large ends separated by a thin chain or narrow material.
- Locking — the locking cufflink is unique in the sense that can be folded, locking it into the cuff of your shirt.