History of the cufflink
In early days, pieces of cloth or string were used to fasten shirt sleeves. I wasn’t until the 1700’s that the upper classes started using jewelled buttons to keep their sleeves fastened together. These buttons were usually made of precious metals and jewels. Then in the 1800’s men in the middle classes started copying the fashion with inexpensive replicas. Cufflinks were developed out of these early jewelled buttons.
Cufflinks are a way that a man can express his fashion sense in a discrete manner. Originally cufflinks were the domain of the upper classes and in particular of formal dress. Nowadays, however, cufflinks can be worn in just about any situation from formal evening wear, down to a dress shirt teamed with jeans.
Care must be taken nonetheless that the style and formality of your outfit is appropriate for the cufflink.
Precious metals and gems are usually used in a more formal situation. Manufacturers have developed a great range that team or contrast with ties and shirts, which are ideal for business and casual wear. The use of novelty cufflinks do not have a place in business wear, and are best used in purely casual or social occasions.
There are a number of methods used to fasten the cufflink, and these are merely a personal preference. The shirt will normally have a double (or French) cuff that folds back onto itself with holes in which to insert the prongs. The cufflink is meant to face outwards and not against the body.
To show a cufflink to its best advantage, about 3cm of sleeve should be visible from the suit jacket.