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Grooms Cufflinks

cufflinksIn days gone by, men would hold their shirt sleeves together with strips of lace, pins or straps.  Buttons were in existence but were only used for decoration. 

Tailors began to use buttons as fasteners during the Renaissance period in the 13th century with the development of stitched buttonholes but this 'fashion' never really took off until the 1600's when two ornamental buttons were attached together in the middle by a link chain. 

Jewellers starting to make silver and gold 'sleeve buttons' with etched or stamped designs and for those of the upper class and royalty precious gems and stones were soon added to the buttons.

Wearing of the 'Buttons'

The wearing of the 'buttons' became very popular at special events in Europe and even more so in Great Britain where it became the mark of a gentleman among the wealthy.

A lower cost alternative from the 17th century was made more cost available by using ground up glass (paste) which gave the impression of diamonds.  Soon the material used for covering cufflinks and buttons became popular and the English fashion spread over to France where the nobility took to the wearing of these sleeve buttons with gusto where the first known record of the word 'cufflink' appeared in 1788.

During the Napoleonic period, Faberge began to export their enamelled cufflinks around the world and by the late Victorian period every gentleman's wardrobe held the essential cufflinks needed to hold their shirts sleeves together.

Jewellery designers invented the T-post and flip hinges in the Twenties and the snap-together designed cufflinks were followed close behind during the Thirties.
Right up until the 1960's cufflinks were produced and worn daily with many designs and patterns and millions of standard designs were manufactured and sold, but with the use of buttons being added to shirt sleeves the demand for cufflinks soon faded and the fashion of the day to day wearing of them was lost.

Fashionable French Cuff Shirts

During the past few years and with the return of fashionable French cuff shirts the popularity for cufflinks is once again becoming a growing trend, more so among the young.

Business men young and old have taken to having cufflinks as part of their accessories in their wardrobes again and cufflinks can be seen on a daily basis with the much ornate ones being reserved for special occasions.

How to Choose the Correct Cufflink

Buying a pair of cufflinks is not quite as easy as it sounds.  There are three different types that can each give alternative looks.

  • Swivel Post is the most common type of cufflink.  It has one decorative/pattern face with a swivel bar mechanism at the back that secures the cufflink in place once pushed through the button holes. 
  • Chain Link is where both faces are decorated and linked back to back with a tiny chain.  This chain sits between the cuffs and gives a more elegant and sophisticated look.
  • Two decorative faces can also be linked by a single post and holds the sleeve tighter than the chain link.

Wearing Cufflinks

Etiquette on wearing cufflinks can be dictated by the event and appropriate attire. 

Practice wearing your cufflinks at least once to get used to them and feel comfortable.  It is not just a case of putting them on if they are encrusted with ornamental or heavy jewels. Each time you place your hands/arms on a table you may well feel the cufflinks and if you are not used to them, this could make your evening less pleasant.

With the swivel bar closed, insert the cufflink through the two buttons holes and open the swivel bar to secure the cufflink.

Materials Used in Cufflinks

Cufflinks are made in a vast array of materials such as metal, jewellery and lace and designer cufflinks can be custom made to match your tie pin and/or shirt buttons which are becoming more popular with those getting married.

There is no end to the selection you can choose from with colours, textures, shapes and sizes.  Even having your favourite photograph placed on to them is now offered.  From your favourite football logo, badge or colours to hobbies, sports and favourite pastimes, these can all be represented onto your cufflinks.

Novelty and initial cufflinks, jewels and precious metals can all be worn as cufflinks and be made as individual as you are yourself!

Girls, we have all had that problem of 'what to buy the man in your life' and with the return of the cufflink this is one more item that can be added to that list for special presents!