Not every man wears cufflinks because some men simply prefer the ease of doing up a button. However, those who do wear cufflinks will often have a collection of different pairs to which they add from time to time as they spot something new which takes their fancy. Cufflinks are, after all, small pieces of artwork that you can wear on the wrist and they make a certain statement about the wearer, not the least of which is that this is a man who likes the finer things in life.
A man who wears cufflinks is also a man who likes to dress well and will wear a suit and tie to go to work, very often wearing a tiepin as well, and in some cases, even a matching tiepin of the same pattern as the cufflinks.
A cufflink has three basic parts – the front face which shows the design or possibly a gemstone, the post which is the part that goes through the cuff holes and is attached to the toggle, and the toggle itself which pivots 90° and locks the cufflink in place.
There are many different designs of cuff links. The bullet back cufflink has a toggle which is shaped like a bullet. In order to use it you flip the toggle parallel to the post, slip it through the cuff hole and simply flip the toggle back into the 90°position in order to lock it into place.
Whale back cufflinks operate in a similar way and are so called because the toggle is shaped like the tail of a whale. To use them, you flip the whale tail parallel to the post to slip the toggle and post through the cuff holes and then flip it back again.
Then there are chain cufflinks which have two identical sides that are small enough to slip through the cuff holes and they are connected by a short chain.
There are also button style cufflinks which look similar to buttons or studs and are a one-piece design. An advantage is that both faces can have the same, or a similar or complementary pattern or design on them. These are not as easy to use as the other styles, as you have to turn them 90° and slip one part through the cuff holes, then turn it back again.
Another type of cufflink (you never knew there were so many, did you?) is the ball return cufflink. This has a largish ball on the rear which is attached to the face by a curved post, or sometimes a chain, which you slip through the cuff holes. There are also silk knot cufflinks which are entirely made of silk and have an identical large knot on each side of the cufflink, the silk being available in a choice of different colours. They tend to be not very long-lasting, as the silk can fray over time.
Cufflinks, in common with other pieces of men’s jewellery and accessories, can be made from a wide range of materials. 9 carat gold is a common choice, as is sterling silver. The disadvantage of silver is that it tends to tarnish, and so will need to be polished occasionally, which doesn’t happen with gold.
You can also get cufflinks made of copper which is a darkish red/bronze colour. It does develop a patina over time, turning darker, which some may find attractive while others will want to polish the copper to keep it bright and shiny. Bronze cufflinks are also available, and it has less of a red tinge than copper, but like copper it tarnishes and develops a patina.
If you want something that won’t tarnish, you could go for titanium, stainless steel, or even platinum. All of these have a neutral grayish or silver tone that is easy to pair.
You can also have custom made cufflinks in a range of materials. Personalised cufflinks can have any sort of design incorporated that you wish, which opens up a wide range of possibilities. So you could have personalised birthday cufflinks for grandad’s 65th for instance, or diamond encrusted cufflinks for his diamond wedding. If you run a business, you could also have personalised cufflinks made for your male team with the company logo on or use them as giveaways at exhibitions or for new customers.