A History of Silver Cufflinks
Gold and silver cufflinks were first regularly used in the UK way back in the 16th century when social classes became more defined and the upper classes flaunted their wealth and hierarchical superiority through the use of jewellery. Tailored clothing was one way in which the higher classes distinguished themselves, with better quality materials and accessories made from precious metals and gemstones. Collars and cuffs presented an opportunity to wear even more jewellery, and the cufflink became the accessory of choice.
However, when fashion styles became even more formal in the 19th century and top hats and tailcoats were the norm for the upper-classes, cufflinks really came into their own. Trends initially dictated that cuffs and collars at the time were fastened by ribbons or buttons, but with the shirts being starched, they simply weren’t strong enough to hold them in place. As a result, the cufflink made a resurgence into fashion where it has been present, to varying degrees, ever since.
The industrial revolution and mass production techniques lowered costs and increased accessibility to the general public. As a result, the cufflink was no longer exclusively for the upper-classes and quickly became the standard shirt accessory for men.
Cufflinks today are still popular and often adorned with formal attire. However, there is a cufflink etiquette that should be adhered to where at all possible.
How to Wear Cufflinks
- Attire: Etiquette dictates that cufflinks should only ever be worn as part of a suit and never with more casual attire. Some believe that it should also in fact be a three piece suit, but that’s down to personal choice.
- Only wear with a double/French cuffed shirt: Cufflinks should only be worn with a double cuff shirt, also known as French cuff, when the cuff folds back onto itself. Most single cuff shirts aren’t sturdy enough to keep cufflinks in place and as a result can make them hang and look untidy.
- Face out: More a way of addressing a fairly common mistake, but it goes without saying that the cufflink face should always face outwards so it is on display and can complement the rest of the outfit.
- Cuff pressed together: The double cuff should be pressed together, rather than folded underneath, so that the cufflink sits at a 90 degree angle.
- How much cufflink to show: More of a suit styling issue, but current fashion states that when arms are straight and by the side of your body, 1 inch of cuff should be visible. Consequently some, or all, of the cufflink should also be visible. When arms are bent, the entire cufflink should be shown.
- Colour matching: Cufflinks, when worn correctly, add sophistication to a suit so colour matching is very important. A red cufflink face for example, won’t go well with a pink tie. Try to wear colours that complement or offset each other, such as black and white.
- Metal matching: Silver cufflinks will look out of place with a gold watch and vice versa, so also be careful to match accessories too – silver cufflinks in the UK are generally considered to be more modern and stylish than gold cufflinks.
- Don’t let your cufflinks take centre stage: Cufflinks should just simply accentuate you and your suit, so don’t wear crazy over the top links that drastically draws the eye.
Fashion etiquettes tend to change as quickly as styles, but the ‘proper’ way to wear cufflinks has generally stayed the same for hundreds of years.
Cufflinks can be an extension of your personality so to ensure we cater for everyone, we have one of the largest collections of silver cufflinks in the UK. Our silver cufflinks vary in style, including exclusive Doctor Who Cybermen…
…as well as more traditional styles, each carefully handcrafted from the finest sterling silver.
To browse our range of over 180 different silver cufflinks, click here.