How To Wear Cufflinks: Men’s Style Guide



In the early 1900’s, the use of cufflinks was popularized by working middle-class men. These are men who constantly attended night events requiring formal attire – dinner meetings, parties, and others.

Cufflinks are considered male jewelries that adorn the chest part of the blazer or coat. Today, there are thousands of ways that you can wear them appropriately. Read on and consider these important tips to remain current in basic fashion trends.

What Is A Cufflink?

When we speak of cufflinks, we usually think of formal events because that is how they were traditionally worn.

Cufflinks are simply used to secure a shirt’s button cuffs. They also serve as some kind of jewelry for men. We all know that, when it comes to accessories, men don’t have quite as many options as their female counterparts. That said, cufflinks are the simplest form of jewelry that they can wear. Usually, either toggles or reverses secure the cufflinks. This is made possible by their front section designs that make them foldable when positioned on the shirt.

Cufflinks are manufactured using a variety of materials like the following:

  • Glass
  • Stone
  • Metal
  • Leather
  • Precious Metal
  • A combination of materials

As for their decorations, the front sections can be decorated with the following:

  • Gemstones
  • Inset Materials
  • Enamel
  • Inlays

How To Wear Your Cufflinks

We have seen a lot of cufflinks worn by men. We may have also been dazzled with the different designs and with how they are chosen to be worn for various occasions. Cufflinks may appear to be easily worn in any way. But then, there are several ways on how cufflinks should be worn. Just consider these tips when choosing what works for you:

  • Wear the correct shirt for the correct pair of cufflinks. They look best work with French-Cuff shirts for a more formal look. However, you can always use it with single cuff shirts. When using a double cuff, make sure that the fold of the cuffs is neat up to the lining. Also, make sure that single cuff shirts have their cuffs placed tightly.
  • Cufflinks are very fashionable and it gives a look into one’s personality. It is a nice piece of men’s jewelry regardless of the type of shirt. Cufflinks may turn an ordinary shirt into a classy one.
  • Cufflinks are traditional men’s accessories. It can be worn daily as long as the cufflink type appropriately compliments the top. There are thousands of options to choose from to match your shirt.

The Different Cufflink Styles

  • The Kissing Style

This style makes use of a shirt with a pair of holes that differentiates them from the French cuff style. This style entails the cuffs not to be mid-folded, instead worn with ease and with simplicity by passing the cufflink ends into the holes and closing them up.

In filing the cufflinks, adjust bottom making to a T-shape to be easily pushed through the button holes.

Make a transverse cross through the inside and the outside of the holes. You may do that by pushing the cufflink’s small end to the outside of the buttonhole. You must then bring the other side of the cuff’s button hole closer to the previous one. Keep the cuffs in place by rotating the clasp. Make sure to have the button close beneath the forearm.

  • The French-Cuff Style

Fact: A French shirt is expected to have two cufflink holes to be tied. French shirts have cuffs that are intended to be folded in middle of the cufflinks attached. The French cuff style is said to be the most common among other styles. However, if your shirt does not have two sets of holes, you may simply make a pair of holes using a scissor. Just make sure to have the same holes that the shirt already has.

How to wear the French-Cuff Style:

  • Folding the cuffs in between can be done by pleating them in the middle and by having the holes aligned evenly for easy wearing of the cufflinks.
  • To take the cufflinks and open its wings, straighten the wings like that of the toggle one or the bullet back.As for some cufflinks, you may take the bottom part and have it placed across the holes going to the pair of button holes. You may then pass through the cuff’s button underneath before closing them properly.
  • The last step is to close the wings to secure them.After straightening the wings you can slide them in the first pair of sleeve holes going to the second set of holes. Close the cufflink wings either by bending them or locking them up. Have your sleeves even out nicely by adjusting them along with your cuffs after folding them neatly.
  • The Overlapping Style

Fact: As the style suggests, either the fabric or a cuff that overlaps the other is what you can expect with a vertical cleft. This style is what may be referred to the overlapped or the folded style. This cufflink style requires a button to be added to the cuff’s inner side aligned and adjacent to the button hole on the outside.

How to wear your Overlapping Style cufflink:

  • To do this style, start by matching both cuff ends equally and aptly. To do this properly, you may take the cuffs of your sleeves and align them so the inner and outer holes  are matched perfectly.
  • Rotate the cufflink buckles to open them. Then push the buckle of the cufflinks to the button hole outside. Lastly, let it pass through the button hole underneath found just beside the top hole. This cufflink style usually gives more enhancement to a man’s appearance.

Other Cufflink Options You Can Choose From:

  • Button type – Traditionally the lightest of all cufflinks. They say this is the safest cufflink, but can be quite tedious to lock.
  • Chain Link type – This is the old time favorite and the more traditional type. This utilizes the chain in between to lock both ends of the cuff. Through both holes, the chain is used to thread both cuff holes, a bit loose.
  • Ball Return type – Have larger heads and a small backing. Normally comes in fixed and tilted back lock.
  • Fabric type – This is mostly used in casual business days, a bit informal. Mostly, this is used in offices.

Different Usage Options For Cufflinks

Cufflinks On A Single Cuff Shirt

If you happen to have a single cuff shirt, your options would be as follows:

  • You can remove the buttons and fold your cuff to create a four-cuff shirt.
  • Also, you will need to create additional holes on the opposite sides of your folded sleeves.
  • You can conveniently use your favorite cufflink after creating neat holes on those folded cuffs.
  • Your next option is to use knot style cufflinks on your single cuff shirt.
  • Shirts with single cuffs are great for a white tie occasion. Fashion Conservatives equally consider single cuff shirts for a black tie party.
  • There are some who would really like to go into single cuff shirts with their cufflinks on, although it would look too loose. If you really want to wear a pair of cufflinks on your single cuff shirt, try using the knot style cufflinks.
  • Knot style cufflinks with retractable chains always look great for a single cuff shirt.

Wear You Cufflinks Like a Royalty Anytime

Most men wear a minimal amount of jewelry. Besides a watch and a ring, men should add a nice pair of cufflinks to class up their look. Originally, cufflinks were made for royal people. So, why not take the chance of looking like royalty anytime by sporting a nice cufflink?

If you are attending a formal occasion requiring you a coat and tie wardrobe, take the opportunity to show off a bit. Go, wear that gold watch and your ring and never forget to add your impressive kiss cuffs on your French cuff shirt. Pick the best pair of cufflinks that suit your individual taste, style, and personality.

Wear Them For Casual Occasions

“It’s a casual occasion, there’s no need for that”, they say. I disagree completely. Yes, you can certainly put on a nice cufflink on a casual occasion with your casual outfit.

If you are thinking of wearing a striped casual shirt under a dark blazer, pick a denim and a nice loafer and use a pair of silver or light colored cufflinks. You maintain the usual laid-back cool rugged look on a casual occasion with a nice pair of cufflinks.

Which Cufflinks Look Best at Work?

The middle class working men have outnumbered the elite in our society. Fashion-wise, the trend is likely to happen with the number of people in the middle class using it.

Consider these tips. For your cuff links’ choice or color, always look for the reverse shade of your shirt (within the same color spectrum) to provide a contrast. For example, if you are wearing a dark blue shirt at work, you can use a light blue cufflink; a green shirt may require a light green or any shade of green cufflink, a light camel shirt would also require you to pair it with a cream or dark brown cufflink.

If you are using a while shirt, you can choose any color to match it. The nearest suggestion is to wear a black with silver frame cufflink, but you can always experiment with other colors.

Just remember the rule of thumb: a darker shirt requires light-colored cufflinks and vice versa.

But wait, pink shirts don’t have a contrasting color on its same spectrum and it’s rare to find a pink shaded cuff link in the market. Try using bright, multi-colored cufflinks in this situation. You may choose to have a bright multi-color cufflink or you can choose subdued stripe colors. You can pick any depending on your personality or mood for the day.

Cufflinks for Formal Occasions

Mostly, more formal occasions and events used link up cufflinks. Formal outfits sometimes require these kinds of cufflinks. Just take note that on occasions like this, a French cuff shirt would look best with your cufflinks.

If you are attending a white tie occasion, keep in mind that you need to look good with the proper (required outfit as stated in the invitation) attire and a classy pair of cufflinks. What about a mother pearl, an elegant gemstone or a diamond cufflink? As they say, you need to level-up your cufflink choice in occasions like white tie parties.

Opt for other cufflinks in the unavailability of the sophisticated authentic mother of pearl, diamond or gemstone. You may have those that would best resemble these expensive suggestions for a much cheaper price.

If you are a philanthropist or somebody who is working for eco-conservations, you can also take advantage of this at white tie parties and events to advance your cause. Any IT enthusiast could surely wear a nice silver plated USB flash drive cufflink; or perhaps ribbon-designed cufflinks for anti-cancer causes, or a “Batman logo” cufflink for Police Officers.

As they say, your cufflinks could subtly advance any cause you are fighting for in the midst of other important personalities at white tie parties.

Wear Cufflinks With A Blazer

We’ve got our man Danish rocking cufflinks with a pinstripe blazer and suit pants above and he looks great.

He’s paired a white shirt with gold and black square cufflinks on a French cuff shirt. You can also wear cufflinks on a shirt without French cuffs, but for the most formal of cufflinks, we advise against this.

If you’re going to a black-tie event, you need to wear cufflinks.

cufflinks with a suit

For an event that does not call for black tie, cufflinks are up to your style decision.

If you’re going to wear cufflinks, the rest of the outfit should have some dapper quality to it. Notice the collar pin in the picture above, that elevates the outfit as does the pocket square

Don’t wear cufflinks without a jacket– it just doesn’t look polished

You will never have any trouble wearing your cufflinks on a shirt below your blazer, just make sure that you have the perfect shirt to match your blazer. You may want to consider the color of the shirt in contrast to the color of your blazer.

How To Wear Cufflinks With A Suit

There are things that we can and those that we can’t wear without. There are accessories that are mandatory when wearing a specific wardrobe, and cufflinks are one. Just imagine wearing your long-sleeve shirts with your suit without your neck or bow tie. Can you imagine how awkward that would look like?

Wear cufflinks traditionally for formal occasions. Here are your options when you want to wear a cufflink with your suit:

  • You can wear it with your Black Tie.
  • You can have it with your Tuxedos.
  • It would be excellent with your White Tie Suit

Wearing suits entails the presence of cufflinks on your shirt cuffs. Without them on, your overall look will just be as ordinary as when you go on regular occasions. Cufflinks are really an element of elegance to men, especially on special events. But when wearing a set of cufflinks, always consider the style and the type to wear to make sure that they fit into the occasion.

What Shirts Work With Cufflinks?

Cufflinks perfectly work for shirts with a hole where you can normally see the button on the cuff. Shirts without two button cuff holes with not work for cufflinks. Ordinary shirts may not have holes. A lot of available shirts these days, however, are button cuff, also known as barrel cuff.

A cufflink can be worn with barrel cuff shirts by replacing the buttons with cufflinks. French double cuff shirts would certainly look best with cufflinks.

What Is A Shirt Stud And How Do Shirt Studs Work?

A shirt stud is a fastener that fits in your shirt’s pleated buttonhole or front shirt’s stiff starched bib. Some shirts do have special buttonholes that are meant only for shirt studs. One of these shirts is the tuxedo. A tuxedo’s shirt stud is found next to the button on the right.

  • When wearing a shirt stud, the stud should be fed first through the back of the formal shirt’s hole. With the presence of shirt studs, you may ignore the pearl button of your shirt if there is any. This way, your shirt studs serve as the button for your shirt.
  • Acting like your main button for the shirt, you may feed the shirt stud to the front buttonhole to close it securely.
  • After, smooth out the wrinkles made by your fingers before moving on to the three consecutive studs.
  • After inserting the four studs, you are set for the event you are attending to.

Other Ways of Wearing Cufflinks

Cufflinks are nothing without the shirt to pair them with. Different shirts work with a different pair of cufflinks. After knowing the ways of wearing cufflinks, here are some ways of wearing them using different shirts.

How To Wear Cufflinks On A Regular Shirt

  • You would recognize a standard shirt because of the presence of two buttons on the cuff.
  • Remove the buttons and fold the cuff so your shirt will have 4 cuffs (folded) this time.
  • You will notice that there is only one available hole on your cuff, but the cufflink should go through you 4 folded cuffs. Mark that hole because at the other cuff opposite to that hole you will need to create a new hole.
  • You may opt to use a sharp Xacto knife to put additional holes. There should be 4 holes all in all.
  • You can now fold your cuffs and insert your favorite cufflink through the 4 holes.

How to wear cufflinks without French cuffs

Sometimes you would feel like wearing a cuff on a regular shirt without French cuffs. Here’s what you can do:

  • If your shirt is without any French Cuffs (absence of 4 layer cuffs), remove the buttons first.
  • Fold the existing cuffs so you can 4 available folded cuffs
  • Create additional holes at the other folded cuffs using the existing buttonhole as your guide.
  • Make sure you create a clean-cut hole for your cufflinks.
  • You may now wear your cufflinks, make sure they pass through all the four holes.

Shirts With Cufflink Holes

  • It would be best if your shirt has ready cufflink holes because all you need to do is to pick for your favorite cufflink and you’re good to go.
  • Shirts with ready cufflink holes mostly are French Cuff shirts. These shirts have thicker cuffs. This makes placing cufflinks easier without any strain.

How To Attach Cufflinks To A Shirt With Buttons

Shirts with buttons would be a barrel cuff shirt and it may have a double button cuff. You can actually just easily convert it into a casual dress with your cufflinks on without further ado. All you need is just to get rid of the buttons and make sure that there are 4 holes for cufflinks to pass through.

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