Everything You Need to Know About Cufflinks

The small accessory that will
transform your formal wear

Written by Deanna Ginter

Every now and then, it’s
important to do something different with your daily attire.  If you’ve run out of ideas, give cufflinks a
run for your money.  Why, you might ask?
Because when done correctly, they can be just the finishing touch you need to
top off your look.  For those of you that
don’t know, cufflinks are these nifty little things that replace buttons on a
dress shirt, and are traditionally worn with French cuffs.  These funky accoutrements date back to the
early 1900’s, but will still provide a boost of modern and unexpected flair to
those cuffs of yours.  Although cufflinks
predate the 1950’s, it was during this decade that men became interested in
accessorizing with more than just one item. 
Men increasingly began to wear multiple pieces at a time including
pocket watches, tie bars, rings, and of course, cufflinks.  It was at this point in history that an
accessory’s purpose shifted more toward fashion and experimentation with
personal style, rather than just function. 
Due to the laid-back mentality of the 1970’s, the middle class was not
as fond of cufflinks, and most of men’s shirts at that time were beginning to
be manufactured complete with buttons, eliminating the need for cufflinks.  Although they were seen as impractical among
the working class, influential celebrities of the time kept the trend
alive.  The 80’s brought back these
accessories, and cufflinks have since then continued to be a stylish, if not
underrated, part of men’s fashion. 
Skeptical that cufflinks are for you? Our guide to cufflinks will give
you insight into everything you need to know about these small but mighty
Cufflink Types

Although cufflinks may appear
to be a simple accessory, don’t judge a book by its cover…or, in this case, a
cufflink by its face.  There are many
types of cufflinks, in reference to shape, color, design, closure, and
material.  Before decking out those
wrists, get to know each type of cufflink there is so you can choose which pair
best suits your style:

Bullet Back Cufflink

Due to ease of use, this is a
highly popular cufflink among menswear aficionados to this day.  These cufflinks are categorized by a small
cylinder that is set between two short bars, and is flipped 90 degrees to
Everything You Need to Know About Cufflinks: Bullet Back Cufflink
Whale Back Cufflink

One of the most common
cufflink closures there is, the Whale Back Cufflink consists of a flat face
with a “whale tail” that flips back to close the link.
Everything You Need to Know About Cufflinks: Whale Back Cufflink
Fixed Backing Cufflink

There are no moving parts in
this design, and many fixed backings come in reversible styles.  These may be a little more difficult to
insert, but the “fixed” aspect simply means one less step you need to worry
Everything You need to Know About Cufflinks: Fixed Backing Cufflink
Chain Link Cufflink

This link allows for a looser
cuff according to preference, and can be fastened with ease.  Many chain link cufflinks are also
reversible, but the ends are connected with a chain.
Everything You Need to Know About Cufflinks: Chain Link Cufflink
Ball Return Cufflink

A more advanced style, the
ball return cufflink can be found in both chain link and fixed closure
variations.  Faces will vary with design,
but the back end will always be differentiated by its ball shape.
Everything You Need to Know About Cufflinks: Ball Return Cufflink
Knotted Cufflink

Great for informal occasions,
the silk knot cufflink provides pops of color and ease of use.  Although slightly less durable than metal
cufflinks, knot cufflinks are the most affordable option out there.  They are perfect for revealing that winning
personality of yours, and add a little fun to your look.
Everything You Need to Know About Cufflinks: Knotted Cufflink
Stud/Button Cufflink

A more secure cufflink, this
style is fastened with no moving parts. 
To adjust through the buttonhole of your dress shirt, simply tilt the
smaller end and then straighten to secure it for wear.  Both ends will usually consist of the same
material and design.
Everything You Need to Know About Cufflinks: Stud/Button Cufflink
Locking Cufflink

A more contemporary style,
this cufflink functions as a hinge and is secured via a closure similar to that
of a wristwatch.  It possesses a dual-locking
system and an innovative design.
Everything You Need to Know About Cufflinks: Locking Cufflink
Defining Your Cufflink Style

Now, the fun part–Which
cufflink matches your personal style? 
Despite their size, cufflinks can make or break a menswear look.  Choose which shapes and designs best suit
you, but don’t be afraid to try something new. 
Whether you’re more of a Boss, a Creative, a Techie, Sartorially Daring,
or a Comedian, with the sheer amount of cufflinks out there these days, we’re
pretty sure you’ll find something up your alley. Here are our some of our
favorites. .
The Boss

Cufflinks for the man in
charge! Embrace your boss mentality by sticking to sophisticated shapes and
materials for a cutting-edge look. 
Stud/button and ball return styles should be your go-to’s to accentuate
your look.  When you walk into a room,
everyone will know you’ve arrived.
Everything You Need to Know About Cufflinks: The Boss
1.Slated Cufflink  | 2.Gradient Bar Cufflink | 3. At an Angle
Cufflink | 4. All Tangled Up Cufflink  |
5. Silver Metal Monochrome Cufflink  | 6.
Square Visionary Cufflink
The Creative

Nobody remembers the boring
guy. Show off your unique, creative personality through the little details of
your outfit.   Go for a silk knot, or a
reversible chain link for a more secure closure.  Be sure to put your creative side on display
and wear some cufflinks with personality. 
Style and personality–that right there is the whole package, gents.

1. Artisinal Floral Glass
Cufflink | 2. Mod Square Cufflink | 3. Knot Cufflink | 4. Curved Cufflink | 5.
Mustache Cufflink | 6. Multicolor Cufflink
The Techie

Got an eye for detail?  Stick to unique designs and showcase your
interest in all things innovative. 
Locking cufflinks and bullet back closures are the perfect styles to
represent your appreciation of fashion and function.   
Everything You Need To Know About Cufflinks: The Techie
1. Architectural Bar Cufflink
| 2. Square Reflections Cufflink | 3. Metallic Weave Cufflink | 4. Intricate
Knot Cufflink | 5. Bejeweled Half Bar Cufflink | 6. Rounded Rectangular Weave
The Sartorially Daring

We know your motto: be
bold.  Rather than conforming to the
norm, you like to experiment with your attire by mixing it up with different
prints, colors, and statement pieces. 
Allow this to translate into your accessories, especially your
Everything You Need to Know About Cufflinks: The Sartorially Daring
1. Square Grooves Cufflink |
2. Winfrey Square Cufflink | 3. Which Way? Cufflink | 4. Matte Square Cufflink
| 5. Knot Cufflink | 6. Rounded Rectangle Mosaic Cufflink
The Comedian

You enjoy making others smile,
and are always down for a good laugh. Your outgoing and carefree personality is
often reflected in your fashion-forward yet unorthodox wardrobe choices, and
you aren’t afraid to wear things that make a statement. A fun novelty cufflink
will suit you just fine, considering you’ve already got the attitude to match.
Everything You Need to Know About Cufflinks: The Comedian
1. Handcuffs Cufflink | 2.
Building Blocks Cufflink | 3. Card Deck Cufflink | 4. Going Bananas Cufflink |
5. Business Attire Cufflink | 6. Wine Bottle Cufflink
Some Final Things to Remember

Cufflinks are best suited for
formal social gatherings (weddings, galas, and meetings with clients, for
example) and for the office (especially if you’re in a position of power).  Wherever you plan to wear yours, be sure to
have a variety of cufflinks from informal to formal so you can be ready for
anything. And, as always, the most important thing to keep in mind is being
sure that you stay in tune with your style and wearing what you feel best
expresses who you are. With that in mind, don’t be afraid to try a pair or two.
Who knows, cufflinks might just become your next wardrobe mainstay.
Deanna Ginter

Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.