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Men’s Cufflinks: An Elegant History

By Brad Wilson

Men’s cufflinks have always been associated with high society. Even today, a man is often thought to be rich and powerful if he is wearing a set of custom cuff. The first pair of jewelry brought about this trend.

The History

When this items weren’t invented, ribbon was required to hold men’s shirt sleeves together. In order for the shirt to be taken on and off, openings for the head and arms were kept larger by tailors.

By the mid-13th century, tailors started to add buttons to pin shirt sleeves together, rather than ribbon. This trend grew in popularity until the early 16th century when two buttons started to appear on men’s shirts. A chain link would connect the buttons as they became quite ornate. These “sleeve buttons” became very popular with the upper class when men started to wear them to commemorate special events, such as weddings, with this accessory. King Charles was the one to make cufflinks popular. Because he was often seen wearing them each and every time he went out in public.

In 1788, sleeve buttons were termed “cufflinks” for the first time. Every male of wealth would have it in his wardrobe. This trend, which had started out in England, was spreading quickly throughout Europe. Jewels and monograms were being added to custom jewelry. A new jewel material called glass paste help to fuel more elaborate and ornate products. The cufflink design however had not changed. It comprised of two fat metals connected by a chain.

But the only ones who could buy them were rich people because only jewellers made them. With the Industrial Revolution, quantities of cuff jewelry started to rise while the price began to fall. This allowed more men to begin purchasing mass produced them for a fraction of the cost. That era also gave us the fix back design for the first time.

As production continued to increase, businessmen started to make the cufflink part of their everyday wardrobe. It was no longer a formal attire accessory by the 1920′s. Inexpensive, basic designs came from designers. During that time, the “whale back” and toggle closure came about. The demand of custom designs began to decline owing to ease of production.


Once the sixties were over cuffs became less popular. The reason was because shirt manufactures started to design formal shirts with buttons on them already. They were still popular among top executives and people of high society but the everyday men were no longer wearing this symbol of stature. Despite this short decline in use, today are still as popular today as ever among men with French cuff shirts who wish to wear custom jewelry and novelty cuff that fit any occasion. From working at the office to going out dancing at a club, men today understand the style, class, and sophistication these cufflinks provide.

Throughout history, ‘mens jewelry have been very important. Today you can opt for custom cuff with your initials, name, or your company’s logo or even a simple pair of fabulous and classic cufflinks. offers cufflinks with Rhodium finishing. They offer scratch resistant, reflective appearance and durable custom cufflinks at discount prices.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Wilson, Brad "Men’s Cufflinks: An Elegant History." Men’s Cufflinks: An Elegant History. 17 Oct. 2012. 23 Sep 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Wilson, B (2012, October 17). Men’s Cufflinks: An Elegant History. Retrieved September 23, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Wilson, Brad "Men’s Cufflinks: An Elegant History"

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