Cufflinks are stylish accessories for men that are both functional and ornamental. We've provided a in-depth look at these often overlooked accessories along with other details about why men should wear them.
What Are Cufflinks?
Traditionally, cufflinks have been associated with formal menswear such as tuxedos. Similar to a button, their main purpose is to fasten shirt cuffs closed. Cufflinks come in a variety of styles, sizes, and shapes. Keep reading to learn more about this ornamental and functional accessory.
Types of Cufflinks
Toggle Closure or Bullet Back: These are the most common type of cufflinks because they are easy to use. There is a small rotating back that connects to the bridge of the cufflink. The rotating piece of metal rotates 90 degrees to slide through the cuffs, and then the toggle must be rotated horizontally to fix the cufflink in place.
Whale Back Closure: These have a similar concept to the bullet back cufflinks and feature a 90 degree rotating bar that attaches to a metal bridge. The bar can be rotated vertically when sliding the cufflinks on and then horizontally to secure the cufflink in place. The difference between whale back and toggle is the thickness of the bar.
Fixed Back: These slide through the sleeve's cuffs without the need for adjustments, which some men see as an advantage. They have no moveable parts and the front and back of the cufflinks are usually different sizes.
Ball Return: These are a variation of the fixed back cufflinks with rounded fixtures on both ends. Ball return cufflinks require no adjustments and have ball fixtures on both sides. You can differentiate the back from the front because of the size. The smaller side is the back.
Chain Link: These have a small metal chain that bridges the front and back of the cufflink together. Some men find them difficult to put on and, while these aren't as common as other cufflink styles, they are usually decorated on both sides.
How & When to Wear Cufflinks
While most men reserve cufflinks for formal and semi-formal attire, they can be worn with single cuff men's dress shirts or with French cuffs. If the shirts you own have buttons on the cuffs, tailors can remove the button on each cuff and insert a small buttonhole in their place. There really is no limit to when men can wear cufflinks. They are a stylish accessory that can be worn with a variety of looks and are a great way for men to show off their individual style.