Shirts with French cuffs—which are cuffs with two buttonholes instead of one buttonhole plus a button—are designed for cufflinks (or cuff links, as they are sometimes spelled). Some cufflinks feature straps that wrap around the outside edges of a shirt’s cuffs, but most cufflinks feature an embellished surface that is worn facing out, as well as a pivoting post that discreetly secures the decorative side of the cufflink to the cuff.
In the late 19th century, as Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts vied with Edwardian sensibilities for style supremacy, cufflinks were often made of 14-karat gold and set with everything from onyx to agates. Lion heads were popular designs, as were cufflinks made from Roman coins. At the turn of the 20th century, a manufacturer called Fenwick and Sailor made numerous styles of cufflinks that resembled charms on a charm bracelet.
By the 1920s and ’30s, enameling techniques common to other types of jewelry—from rings to bracelets to brooches—had found their way to cufflinks. South of the U.S. border, Mexican silversmiths in Taxco created cufflinks in the shapes of tropical birds and other animals. And at some point, Royal Copenhagen and Wedgwood got into the act, the former creating pillow-like porcelain cufflinks in the firm’s trademark blue, the latter producing cameo cufflinks out of Jasperware.
The functional design of these cufflinks was as varied as their decorations. Instead of a pivoting post, some so-called “dumbbell” or shank-style cufflinks would feature a backing piece that was just small enough to squeeze through the cuff’s buttonholes. Small lengths of slender chain were substituted for posts in some designs, while double-face cufflinks (also referred to as double-side or double-panel cufflinks) had no “good” or “bad” side since both faces were richly detailed.
Cufflinks achieved a cachet of cool after World War II, when the sophisticated man about town kept a collection of cufflinks on hand that rivaled his array of neckties. In the 1960s in particular, a company called Swank was making 12-million pair a year, most of them big and brassy as costume jewelry. Crown shapes were a popular Swank design, as were cufflinks that showed off large chunks of topaz, smoky quartz, and other semi-precious stones. Swank also made cufflinks for Masons and other fraternal orders, while Hugh Hefner sold his devotees square black cufflinks with a white bunny at their centers.
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Buttoning up: Sporty cufflinks are suitable for after-work eventsEconomic Times, May 28th
Men have always complained that they don't have enough variety at hand when it comes to wardrobe choices, compared to women. Women, historically, are used to wearing jewels and accessories. For men, cufflinks are the answer to their longstanding ...Read more
Father's Day Gift Ideas for the Jetset Dad: 10 Getaway PackagesForbes, May 28th
Dad will always appreciate a good toolkit—or a $10,000 grill—for Father's Day. And you can never go wrong with a pair of Verdura cufflinks if he's more sartorially inclined. But more often than not, truly memorable experiences in far-flung (or nearby...Read more
The Rise of the Private Art “Museum”The New Yorker, May 28th
He was wearing gold cufflinks and smoking a Lucky Strike. “How the art fights against the ugly building is very interesting to me.” Karen, who works in V.I.P. relations for Art Basel, guessed that perhaps half of their visitors were more interested in...Read more
Patricia Highsmith's Ripley series is being adapted for TVA.V. Club DC, May 27th
(It seems less likely that the series will also adopt Hannibal's police procedural elements, with each murder-of-the-week centered around a new pocket square or dapper pair of cufflinks, but one can hope.) There's no word yet on who'll be cast as...Read more
We should all try to live a 'red nose' lifeMorning Star, May 26th
It's going to be hard to write this column without sounding either self-righteous or hypocritical. But that is what you have to do sometimes to make a point. I did not donate to the Red Nose Day fundraiser last week. I watched part of the program and...Read more
Stolen luxury goods including designer shoes and Chanel cufflinks returned to ...Epping Forest Guardian, May 18th
Last updated -41265 seconds ago Epping Forest Guardian: Photograph of the Author by Georgia Diebelius, Reporter, covering the Epping Forest district. Call me on 07795 507 440. A police appeal has led to thousands of pounds of stolen luxury items being ...Read more
The love I share with Cameron? CufflinksThe Times (subscription), May 10th
It was the cufflinks wot won it. David Cameron has attributed his election success to lucky cufflinks that he wore on polling day. They're from Paul Smith and have the Queen's head on them. It's good to see the power of cufflinks getting the...Read more
Health minister Jeremy Hunt gets a helping hand with his cufflinks at hospital ...Nottingham Post, April 29th
Erewash has swung back between Labour and Conservatives in recent history - so what does 2015 hold? Alexander Britton reports. Erewash has traditionally been a bellwether seat, with control flowing between Labour and Conservative in line with the ...Read more