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Are Cufflinks Weird or Ostentatious or are Cuff Links a Must Have Fashion Item?

Updated on November 29, 2013
Old Fashioned Cufflinks - two buttons connected by a chain
Old Fashioned Cufflinks - two buttons connected by a chain

Do we really need cufflinks? Well you may be surprised to learn that the humble cufflink is making a comeback!

Perhaps a reaction to the times we live in? You may not be able to afford a house and you may be afraid of losing the shirt off your back but while you still have a shirt, then why not make it look great with some snazzy wrist adornments?

Cufflinks make great presents and there are an almost infinite range of designs available. The good news is that prices start, for a pair of cuff links, from a few Dollars, Pounds or Euros.

Cufflink History

Cufflinks first appeared in the 17th century when men got fed up with tying the cuffs of their shirts with laces. The first cufflinks were typically a pair of gold or silver buttons joined with a small chain that held the two cuffs together.

Daniel Craig as James Bond with Cufflinks
Daniel Craig as James Bond with Cufflinks

Anyone who has tried will know that this style of cufflink is difficult to fasten. Modern cufflinks often have a simple pivoted rod attached to a single button instead of a chain to make fastening simpler.

Another simple modern cufflink design is the silk knot, also known as monkey's paws. This consists of two elastic spheres joined with elastic and relatively easy to insert into the shirt cuffs.

As cufflinks became more affordable by the middle classes they were often sold with matching collar studs. At the beginning of the 20th century cufflinks were often a luxurious gift.

Russian Empress Maria Feodorovna ordered cufflinks shaped like cicadas from Faberge. Many jewelry Houses such as Cartier, Tiffany, Montblanc and Korloff produced exclusive cufflink designs.

As more men moved into the professions, numbers wearing shirts and ties increased. Shirts became mass produced with ordinary cuff buttons fitted rather than 2 button holes for cufflinks.

This led to the decline of the cufflink, relegating their use to evening wear together with dress shirts, tuxedos and dinner jackets.

However, cufflinks have remained a niche product aimed at those wanting to look really smart. James Bond typifies the cufflink wearer – sophisticated and swarve. The cufflink also proved a useful place for Bond to conceal espionage gadgets such as the odd secret camera or miniature knockout gas canister.

Cufflinks worn by James Bond
Cufflinks worn by James Bond

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Novelty Cufflinks With Scrabble Tiles
Novelty Cufflinks With Scrabble Tiles
Storm Trooper Cufflinks
Storm Trooper Cufflinks
PacMan Cufflinks
PacMan Cufflinks

Modern Cufflinks

In 1987 a pair of cufflinks that belonged to King Edward VII were sold at auction for a staggering $440,000. They'd been given to him by his wife Wallis Simpson and were set in platinum and covered in diamonds.

Today there is a resurgence of interest in the humble cufflink. One reason may be that they are ideal items to sell on the Internet, being small and light and easy to ship. In these increasingly difficult times people enjoy beating the gloom by dressing up for special occasions.

Contemporary cufflinks range from simple enameled discs to fancy mosaics or engraved or engravable cufflinks. They can also be great conversation starters, as cufflinks are available advertising our careers, alma maters or hobbies such as computers or golf.

You can find them made from anything including precious metals such as silver or gold and gemstones to novelties like scrabble tiles, playing cards, computer keyboard keys or poker chips. Not forgetting Pinups or Sci Fi themes such as Storm Troopers, Daleks or the Tardis. Themed cufflinks are also a great gift for a special occasion such as a wedding.

The great thing about cufflinks is you can target the design exactly to meet the passions of the wearer.  If your guy loves Starwars then buy him Darth Vader cufflinks.  If your girl loves chocolate then there are cufflinks celebrating her weakness for the dark stuff!

Great Gifts and Presents

So in these recessionary, doom and gloom times, why not check the Internet for cufflink websites to see the incredible range of cufflinks available across a broad price range?

Next treat yourself or your partner to a present of some flashy, fancy cufflinks and, with dress shirt, dinner jacket or tuxedo, hit the town. Just forget your financial woes for one night and say to yourself, "look out James Bond - here I come!"

Cuff Links Quiz

Are Cufflinks an Essential Fashion Item or Just a Waste of Money?

See results


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    • wabash annie profile image

      wabash annie 

      7 years ago from Colorado Front Range

      Just read this Hub ... it was posted on the bottom of one that I published yesterday. Great job and you mentioned things that I had not. Obviously, I love wearing any kind/style of cufflinks but finding women's shirts with French cuffs is an ordeal.

    • marimccants profile image


      10 years ago

      Great article. Thanks for this hub.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Great article! Cufflinks are a necessity for any well-dressed gentleman.

      By the way, your article has a misspelled word. Instead oF "loosing" the shirt off your back, it should read "losing" the shirt off your back.

    • Rik Ravado profile imageAUTHOR

      Rik Ravado 

      11 years ago from England

      Thanks for stopping by Ivar!

    • profile image

      Ivar Moesman 

      11 years ago

      Great pics, especially the woman wearing cuff links. I just had a female client who wanted cufflinks for her shirt (I have my own tailor shop) and I was really positively surprised! To my experience few men, let alone women want cufflinks for business shirts/blouses. I really think it adds something special at least for the guys who normally don't have any jewelry. Great Hub! Ivar Moesman

    • Rik Ravado profile imageAUTHOR

      Rik Ravado 

      12 years ago from England

      St.James - I've got one or two including some old-fashioned gold ones handed down - but I very rarely wear them - too lazy I guess.

      Newsworthy - Welcome to HubPages - cufflinks do make men look smarter - interesting you have worn them. They do look good on women too but I guess when women dress up in the evening they are more likely to wear a dress.

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      I remember wearing cufflinks a time or two when I was younger. And I adore the look on men. If I let them, cufflinks turn my head.

      This is a very cool hub.

    • St.James profile image


      12 years ago from Lurking Around Florida

      I have to admit I own a few pair, but I think it is out of necessity. I'm a fan of french cuff shirts. When a suit and tie are a must, the french cuff shirt adds to the polish-off look.

    • Rik Ravado profile imageAUTHOR

      Rik Ravado 

      12 years ago from England

      I have cufflinks but not handcuffs you naughty squirrel!

    • Vivenda profile image


      12 years ago from UK (South Coast)

      Cufflinks or handcuffs? Now there's a question...

    • Rik Ravado profile imageAUTHOR

      Rik Ravado 

      12 years ago from England

      Yes I have one or two pairs but only wear them once in a blue moon!

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 

      12 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      i have a pair, a very old pair i must add and inexpensive, too. been keeping them for unexpected events that mighth actually require their use :D

    • Rik Ravado profile imageAUTHOR

      Rik Ravado 

      12 years ago from England

      Yes they are one of those things that are hardly essential!

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 

      12 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Nice Hub, Rik. I get along fine without cufflinks, cuffs on my pants and tassels on my shoes.


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