I never wore or owned any cuff links.
Dating back to the seventeenth century, cufflinks came about when men wanted something more elegant for their shirts than ribbons or ties to hold together their cuffs. Men began using small chains that were fastened to the end of a gold or silver button and fed through the holes of the cuff to keep them together. Hence, the first cufflink was born!
Over time, the cuff link developed and became a more sophisticated part of a man’s wardrobe, especially for tuxedo usage and formal attire. With the varying types of stones, precious metals, fabrics, and design, the cuff link became the new well-dressed man’s staple.
With the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the high production of low-cost cuff links enabled a greater variety of cufflinks to be manufactured. Chains were replaced with rods and fasteners with easy-to-close clips. Shirt makers, eager to sell a larger quantity of higher priced dress shirts caught on to the cuff link frenzy and expanded their lines of formal dress shirts to include cufflink-ready attire. Sales boomed and men flaunted their personalities as they sported their new look with cufflinks and matching stud sets.
During the nineteenth century, businessmen of varying classes began wearing cufflinks and stud sets for more casual wear, expanding beyond the traditional gala or evening event. Prices came down and cuff links were now affordable to the average middle-class gentleman.
In the late twentieth century, the cuff links industry had a low period when shirt manufacturers began mass-producing dress and tuxedo shirts with buttons on the cuffs. But that didn’t discourage the big jewelry companies, like Tiffany and Cartier. Cufflinks and stud sets were here to stay.
The cufflink has grown into a popular fashion statement for both men and women alike. Today, cufflinks can be found in any shape or style for all types of dress. From silver, gold, silk, mother-of-pearl, onyx, white gold, and much more, cuff links are making a big comeback with reckless abandon!