The Story of Cufflinks
17th May, 2019 @ 02.29 pm
The cufflink is one of the important and most elegant accessories of a man. Though small in size, the sophistication that it provides to a man’s dressing is incomparable. The cufflink has a wonderful history of its own, as it was invented out of necessity.
The basic function of cufflinks is to secure the cuffs of dress shirts. Towards the start of the seventeenth century, the cufflinks initially showed up in Europe. Before the cufflink, the Europeans used laces and ribbons to hold together the sleeves. Although they looked elegant, they were a tad difficult to hold in place, and sometimes they would come undone easily. So cufflinks gave a stronger hold and held the sleeves together the whole day. When they first emerged in the 1700s, they were just gold and silver linked chains with their ends attached to decorative buttons. Although the initial buttons were made of glass or were just simple metallic buttons, soon jewellers used their creativity to add a touch of art to these buttons. While people from the middle class and upper middle class started adding their initials or motto of their life in those buttons, the rich got their buttons decorated with precious gems like diamonds, emeralds, rubies, pearls, etc. Some also went to the extent of customizing these buttons with miniature portraits of someone important or paintings of a popular landscape underneath the quartz or glass of the button etc.
By the end of the 1700s the Industrial Revolution led to a lot of new ideas in manufacturing, and the cufflink was not left behind as people found new cheaper ways to produce them. The chains were soon replaced by rods and clips which were less expensive and easy to use. After the revolution, more people could afford simple luxury and hence people of almost all classes started using cufflinks. Shirt creators needed to exploit the less expensive cufflinks, and expanded their generation of formal shirts. As now there was more selection of shirts, and also cheaper options for cufflinks the sales of shirts and cufflinks reached their peak at this time.
By the end of the twentieth century, however, the shirt companies had started producing shirts with buttons already present on the cuffs, so there was no need for men to buy separate cufflinks anymore, and soon this trend reduced, and today it is mainly the forte of high-end manufacturers, who still maintain their cufflink styles. Some of the popular jewellery houses produced cufflinks for these high-end shirts. We can now see men wearing cufflinks as a part of their personal style and they wear them for important occasions. Some men are even crazy about collecting beautiful and fascinating pieces of cufflinks that they flaunt on special occasions. Cufflinks can be seen today in classy men’s shops that deal with all types of men’s dressing, and are still an important accessory in any man’s wardrobe.
The cufflinks define a man’s taste and his personal style in a subtle yet elegant fashion!