Cufflinks for men’s shirts have been around since the 1500’s when wealthy men began to wear shirts with ruffled cuffs which they held together with strings. These then developed into the use of pretty ribbons to perform the same task, and they continued to be popular until the early 1800’s.
However, in the early 1700’s a new method of holding the cuffs together became fashionable as well, and this consisted of a gold or silver chain which held together a couple of small glass beads which were known in France as “boutons de manchette” or “sleeve buttons”. Some years later, the beads were replaced by buttons made of jewels – often diamonds – which demonstrated the wearer’s wealth and importance. These then became adapted to other jewels such as rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and the like, and the cufflink was born.
Still Only For The Wealthy
Of course, such cufflinks were still only for the wealthy: the working-class man could not afford such luxuries. But then came the Industrial Revolution. With the new manufacturing processes, the chains were replaced with simple clips and rods, and cufflinks became affordable for men of all classes. Manufacturers of shirts increased their production of formal shirts with double cuffs, and suddenly just about everyone was wearing cufflinks.
However, in the 1920’s, shirt manufacturers began to produce their products with buttons on the cuffs and since that time cufflinks have waxed and waned in popularity somewhat. In the 1960’s and 70’s when we had the “laid back” attitude of the younger generation which basically said: “do whatever you want to do”, it included not working (i.e., let the government pay you), being generally lazy, and not bothering to dress smartly. In fact, laziness become something of a fashion. So, it was not surprising that cufflinks took something of a back seat during those times.
However, in the 80’s, a lot of men realised that if you actually did work and wanted to have a great career, earn good money, and enjoy an affluent lifestyle, then dressing smartly was a part of all that, and as a result, the cufflink made a comeback and has remained as popular as ever today. In fact, if you search on Google for cufflinks for men in the UK, you will get millions of results, with many retailers stocking no end of different designs.
A lot of cufflinks today are manufactured overseas, but there are also a considerable number of manufacturers in the UK. If you start looking around on the internet you will begin to see many high-end manufacturers’ names appearing time and again.
Cufflinks For Anyone
Cufflinks are available for just about anyone, since you can buy a pair for just a few pounds. Many men today have a dressing table drawer in which they keep a selection of cufflinks so that they can choose the most appropriate style for any particular occasion. For a lot of men, once they start collecting cufflinks it becomes something of an absorbing hobby.
However, at the other end of the scale, there is almost no limit to the amount that you can pay for a pair of unique cufflinks. Many are produced by well-known jewellers and made of gold or platinum and contain the most expensive gemstones.
For instance, one renowned company produced a pair with an emerald-cut canary diamond octagon design priced at some £3,350,000!
Another company produced a pair for Wallis Simpson who married King Edward VIII and gave them to him as a gift. These appeared at an auction of cufflinks (among other things) at Sotheby’s in 1987 and fetched £320,000.
But you really don’t have to pay that much. You can buy some amazing cufflinks for £50.00 or even less with so many varieties and colours to choose from. From Patriotic to sports and much more. You can also get cufflinks to wear on every occasion.
It follows that, if you are a man who wants to dress to impress (and you should), you can start a collection, and then add to them as and when you spot something that catches your eye. Starting a collection of cufflinks is one of the best things that you could do.