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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Recent News: Cufflinks
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The 10 geekiest Twitter accounts you should followTechRepublic, March 5th
Recent tweets include background on the CIA's efforts to smuggle books into Bolshevik Russia, and a picture of a pair of cufflinks that were also compasses. Example tweet: #1 most read on our #Bestof2014 list: Reports of unusual activity in the skies...Read more
Hook & Albert Updates its Menswear ImagePaste Magazine, March 4th
The debut of the new site also coincides with the launch of new products, spotlighting its new March 2015 Armor Collection (no, not suits of armor, you're thinking of the wrong era), including items such as cufflinks, lapel pins and tie bars. Based in...Read more
Watches, cash and cufflinks stolenCrawley Observer, February 24th
Watches, cuff links and foreign currency were stolen when thieves broke into a home in Pound Hill. Police were called to Grattons Drive on Friday (February 20) after the householders discovered the burglary, which happened between 4.30pm on February 16 ...Read more
Here's Why Emma Watson Wants to 'Marry' Steve CarellTIME, February 23rd
Now we know why Emma Watson squashed those rumors about dating Prince Harry. She wants to “marry” actor Steve Carell. Well, figuratively speaking. The actress expressed her admiration for Carell after he sported “He For She” cufflinks at the Academy ...Read more
Patricia Arquette's Equal Pay Speech And Steve Carell's #HeForShe Cufflinks ...Huffington Post UK, February 23rd
And as we watched John Travolta embarrass himself yet again, we prepared ourselves for a case of same story, different year. But then, something extraordinary happened. The Oscars 2015 became the #FeministOscars. First Reece Witherspoon showed her ...Read more
Steve Carell Wears HeForShe Cuff Links At The 2015 Oscars, Because Gender ...Bustle, February 22nd
Watson, who launched her HeForShe campaign back in September, personally thanked both actors via Twitter and Instagram for supporting the cause at the ceremony tonight. The cufflinks, designed by Monique Pean, are super sleek and subtle. Based on ...Read more
Emma Watson thanks Steve Carell for wearing #HeforShe cufflinks at the OscarsUSA TODAY, February 22nd
Emma Watson keeps reminding us that she's more than just rumored arm candy for Prince Harry. The U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador/feminist/occasional actor thankedSteve Carell for wearing He for She cufflinks to the Oscars ceremony tonight and ...Read more
Cufflinks.com came out of the dot-com bubble but never burstDallas Morning News, November 22nd
The company has a batch of new functional styles in development, Cufflinks president Paul Song said. Some of his personal favorites: cuff links that double as bottle openers, screwdrivers and “for the James Bond in you,” flash drive cuff links that can...Read more