What are Cufflinks?

What are Cufflinks?

Many have asked what cufflinks are for and where they came from. The short answer is that cufflinks are small ornamental clasps designed to keep the cuffs of a shirt or blouse tightly fastened closed. As for where they came from…that’s a little bit more involved.

A Short History

Despite the recent popularity of cufflinks, not many people know about their origins and functionality. Where did cufflinks come from? Why were cufflinks used? Who invented cufflinks? In answer to these questions we’ll start from the beginning; when were men’s and women’s cufflinks introduced? Sometime during the 17th century the newly introduced “cuff button” replaced the long-used “cuff strings” effectively closing, or “linking” men’s and women’s shirt and blouse cuffs. 

No one is quite certain who invented cufflinks originally. However, the use of cufflinks was popularized by King Charles II. Known to have a flair for fashion, King Charles II sported cufflinks regularly, quickly influencing public opinion on this new clothing accessory.. The warm acceptance these new “cuff links” received was also due to the fact that people seemed to have been on the lookout for a more fashionable and elegant way to fasten their cuffs. Most wore cufflinks until the mid-1800’s where progress brought updates to the novel invention with the introduction of the traditional cuff button.

Silver, gold, and pear-studded cufflinks became extremely popular options.. As years went by, cufflinks became a must for every man’s attire. With more and more materials and colors being introduced cufflinks became more than just an accent for formal wear. When the Industrial Revolution burst forth, even more cufflinks were designed and created, with several iterations of the original cufflink designs being made. Many popular designers and dress shirt makers began producing cufflink-compatible shirts and custom cufflink products. These were offered at lower, more affordable prices, accelerating the fierce popularity of men’s and women’s cufflinks.

As the nineteenth century dawned, the use of cufflinks expanded to include casual wear. As cufflink product continued to become more affordable, more and more people had access to these ornamental accessories known as cufflinks. Men and women, upper and middle class people, once again began sporting cufflinks of varying designs, colors, themes, materials, and so forth.

Cufflinks have grown to be much more than the functional necessity of the early 17th century. Cuff links remain today a staple of a well-dressed man or women and have become a great way for people to make a strong fashion statement right on their own cuffs!

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