November 07, 2017

Cufflinks Rising

Cufflink resurgence? You bet. Cufflinks are one of the few remaining men’s accessories that combine style with utility. Think about it. So many men’s accessories have gone by the wayside. Hats? Gone. By hats, we mean full-brimmed fedoras, homburgs, boaters (!) and their ilk, not baseball caps or beanies (which we love, btw). Back in the day, hats signified personal style, confidence, and sophistication. Pens? Who carries a pen anymore when you can just dictate into your phone? And don’t get me started on watches. Again, phones! Cufflinks -- and other accessories like tie clips, money clips, wallets and key chains --  all give men an opportunity to create and project a polished image.  

Cufflinks are so much more than just button replacements on tuxedo shirts. They give men a chance to transmit their own style, their own uniqueness in an unlimited number of outfits. They are fun, fashionable and timeless.

Little-known fact: any long-sleeved shirt with cuffs can be made cuff link-ready.

Keepsake for men

I remember, as a young girl, rifling through my dad’s saddle brown glove-soft leather valet case (yes, with his permission!), which had been given to him by his grandfather. I loved the oaky, slightly musty smell when I lifted the lid and opened its drawers. I’d ask my dad about the history of each of its treasures… “Where’d you get this watch?” “Who gave you these cufflinks?” I loved the weight of his college class ring, yellow gold with a garnet. I remember his grandpa’s gold pocket watch. I learned the significance of engraving, whether a monogram, saying or shared joke (on a keychain from my mom). I could tell my dad liked walking down memory lane with me.

Men tend to not have as many family keepsakes as women, and not because they don’t want them. It’s usually because families tend to “hand down” family heirlooms to girls, not so much to boys. But everyone is sentimental, even if they deny it!

Cuff link gift occasions

~ Birthday, Father’s Day, Christmas, Hanukkah, Graduation, Groom or groomsmen gift, Anniversary, Any milestone ~

How to make any shirt cuff link-able (you need a sewing machine)

There’s no need to save cufflinks for a special occasion. You can transform any shirt with a cuff into being cufflink-worthy.

  1.     Remove the buttons from any shirt with cuffs (hipsters: even a flannel shirt!)
  2.     Fold back the cuffs. There will be four layers
  3.     Attach your buttonhole foot to your sewing machine
  4.     Mark through the existing buttonhole to where you will create the three new cuff link holes
  5.     Sew the three cufflink holes on each cuff
  6.     Use a seam-ripper or xacto knife to open up the space between the stitches to create a hole

You now have a “French cuff” shirt ready to sport a nifty pair of cufflinks. Magnifique!

Word to the wise: I am not a seamstress, so I strongly encourage you to look online for specific directions.  Or, better yet, take the shirt to a tailor.

  • When cuffs are folded with both edges pointing out, they are “kissing.”  The more common cuff style, with one edge pointing outward and the other one inward so that the hem overlaps, is called “barrel style.”
  •  Cufflinks first appeared during the 1600s.
  •  Prior to using cufflinks and buttons, sleeves were often fastened at the wrist with strings, pins and, for fancier attire, ribbons.
  •  Edward VII, the Duke of Windsor, chose pastel Faberge egg-shaped cufflinks and other colorful and whimsical choices to add elegance to his attire.
  • The most extravagant cufflinks we could find are 18-carat white gold with 20-carat canary yellow diamonds surrounded by 10.76 carats of additional white diamonds. You know the saying, if you have to ask “how much,” you can’t afford them!

By Karen S., The LG Style Geek


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