How to Wear Cufflinks
A big part of putting together your outfit for a special event is accessorizing well. From picking out the perfect tie to donning some brightly colored socks, it’s essential to put thought into your look’s final touches. One way to do just that is with a great pair of cufflinks. While their official use is fastening shirt cuffs closed, cufflinks are so much more than that. In fact, they can really bring your ensemble to another level without being over the top.
Fortunately, Generation Tux has some classic styles to choose from, along with some advice on how to select the right pair for you and wear them the right way.
What Are Cufflinks?
Cufflinks are suit accessories that you wear on the cuffs of dress shirts or tuxedo shirts to fasten them together. They come in various designs and materials, and their purpose is both functional and aesthetic. Cufflinks can add a spark of sophistication to your formal wear, making them a popular choice for black tie events, weddings, and business attire. Rather than regular button cuffs, cufflinks require French cuffs, which are longer and have buttonholes on both sides of the opening. The cufflinks hold the cuffs together, creating a neat and polished look.
How Do Cufflinks Work?
Cufflinks consist of two parts: a decorative face and a post with either a swiveling or fixed back. The decorative face can be made of materials like metal, enamel, glass, or precious stones, and may even feature intricate designs or monograms.
To put them on, the post is inserted through the buttonholes on the cuffs and fastened on the other side. Cufflinks with a swivel back rotate 90 degrees to slide through the cuffs and then lock in place. Fixed back cufflinks do not move and are simply pushed through the buttonholes to secure the cuffs. The choice of cufflink design depends on your personal preference and the type of shirt you’re wearing.
When to wear cufflinks
Cufflinks are a must for formal occasions with black tie or white tie dress codes. If you are wearing a tuxedo, then generally, it is a good idea to wear cufflinks. If you want to stand out from the pack in the workplace, you can definitely add them to your everyday look.
Choosing the right cufflinks
Cufflinks come in many shapes, metals, and styles, including gold, silver, brass, and polished enamel. Before you choose your cufflinks, though, you have to figure out what tuxedo or suit you’re going to wear. You’ll want the cufflinks you select to complement your look, as well as coordinate with any other accessories you’re wearing. Remember, you want to match your metals, so if your belt buckle is silver, your cufflinks should be too.
You can personalize your look for your special occasion through your cufflinks in a variety of ways. Wear heirloom cufflinks to pay homage to a beloved family member for a special event; engrave your cufflinks with your initials, monogram, or an important date (like your wedding day); or choose cufflinks that display your favorite color, hobby, or even occupation.
If you’re getting married, you can also coordinate your cufflinks with your partner’s ensemble. Mix and match colors and metals to create cohesion with small but important details.
Different types of cufflinks
The five most common cufflink styles are:
Bullet Back, which includes a metal bar at the bridge that rotates 90 degrees, allowing the cufflinks to easily move through cuffs.
Whale Back also features a 90-degree rotating bar, but it spins vertically when sliding the cufflinks on, and then rotates horizontally to fasten.
Fixed Back has no movable parts and doesn’t need adjustments.
Ball Return boasts rounded fixtures on both ends and doesn’t need to be adjusted.
Chain Style has a flexible bridge that connects the front and back ends, as well as a small metal chain joining both ends.
How to Put on Cufflinks
A cufflink fastens a dress shirt or tuxedo shirt by sliding through holes on either side of the cuff opening, then swinging into a locked or fixed position to hold the sides together. Generation Tux’s dress shirts feature convertible cuffs, which means they can be secured by buttons or cufflinks. Here’s how to put on your cufflinks:
- Bring the openings of the sleeve cuff together, turn the bottom of the cufflink so that it’s vertical and insert it into the buttonhole with the decorative part facing outward.
- Once a cufflink is in place, the piece facing inward will close the cuff after it’s released into a horizontal position.
- You can tell you’ve successfully put on cufflinks when the flat fastener faces inward, and the decorative side faces outward.
Can you wear cufflinks with any shirt?
Cufflinks can only be worn with shirts that have French cuffs, which are the longer cuffs that fold back on themselves and are held together with cufflinks. Shirts with regular button cuffs cannot be worn with cufflinks.
Do you wear cufflinks with buttons?
No, cufflinks are not worn with buttons. Cufflinks are used to fasten French cuffs, which do not have buttons, and should not be worn with shirts that have regular button cuffs.
Do cufflinks go inside or outside?
Cufflinks go on the outside of the shirt cuff. They are designed to be visible and can add a touch of style and sophistication to a formal outfit.
How do you attach cufflinks?
To attach cufflinks, first, fold back the cuffs of the shirt and align the two holes in the cuffs. Then, insert the cufflink through both holes, fasten it closed, and repeat with the other cufflink.
What is the point of cufflinks?
The purpose of cufflinks is to fasten the cuffs of a dress shirt in a stylish and secure way, and, more than that, they add an elegant touch to your outfit as a whole.