Men’s cufflinks have always been associated with high society. Even today, a man is often thought to be rich and powerful if he is wearing a set of custom cufflinks. The start of this trend in thinking began with the first cufflinks that were ever worn.
The History of Modern Cufflinks
Before the cufflink, men’s shirt sleeves were held together by ribbon. Tailors made the openings for the head and arms larger so that there was plenty of room to take the shirt on and off.
By the mid-13th century, tailors started to add buttons to pin shirt sleeves together, rather than ribbon. This trend grew in popularity until the early 16th century when two buttons started to appear on men’s shirts. The buttons became ornate with a chain link connecting them. These “sleeve buttons” became very popular with the upper class when men started to wear them to commemorate special events, such as weddings, with this accessory. King Charles II is credited for keeping cufflinks part of high society. Because he was often seen wearing them each and every time he went out in public.
These ornate custom cufflinks were called sleeve buttons until 1788 when the first record term “cufflink” was used. By this time, the cufflink was a part of every male of wealth’s wardrobe. This trend, which had started out in England, was spreading quickly throughout Europe. Men were starting to add jewels and monograms to their custom cufflinks. A new jewel material called glass paste help to fuel more elaborate and ornate cufflinks. The cufflink design however had not changed. It was still two fat metals the size of a button connected by a chain.
Because the cufflink had to be made by hand from a jeweler, only men of wealth were able to purchase them. With the Industrial Revolution, quantities of cufflinks started to rise while the price began to fall. This allowed more men to begin purchasing mass produced cufflinks for a fraction of the cost. This new production method also brought us the fix back cufflink design.
As production continued to increase, businessmen started to make the cufflink part of their everyday wardrobe. By the 1920′s, the cufflink was no longer thought of as a formal attire accessory only. Designers started to come out with inexpensive, basic designs that everyman could use. This also gave way to inventing the “whale back” and toggle closure that are most commonly used today. Because of the ease of production, custom cufflinks began to decline but were still ordered for special occasion.
After the 1960′s, cufflinks started to fall out of popularity. This was mostly due to shirt manufactures designing formal shirts with button already on the sleeves. Cufflinks were still popular among top executives and people of high society but the everyday men were no longer wearing this symbol of stature. Despite this short decline in use, cufflinks today are still as popular today as ever among men with French cuff shirts who wish to wear custom cufflinks and novelty cufflinks that fit any occasion. From working at the office to going out dancing at a club, men today understand the style, class, and sophistication these cufflinks provide.
History shows us how important men’s cufflinks were and their importance in our wardrobe still today. Whether you are looking for custom cufflinks with your initials, your name, or your company’s logo or a pair of fabulous and classic cufflinks should be an intricate part of your wardrobe.
Cuff Connection offers a wide variety of men’s cufflinks for all occasions. Visit them online for information about novelty cufflinks, engraved cufflinks for men, and elegant cufflinks.
Pinto Gold is one of the best Toronto Jewelry shops for men who are looking for Cufflinks. Our selection of jewelry is constantly changing, as we find new to us pieces that we know our customers will love.