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The History of Cuff Links


The History of Cuff Links

Joanna Salmond-Chang

The Cuff link is the must-have accessory to give a shirt the perfect finish, but where did the cuff link first originate? And when should you wear them?

According to the history books, cuff links were first worn back in the early 1600′s. However, it was not until the end of the century that they became increasingly popular, and by the 19th century, the modern day version of the cuff link became a staple part of a man’s wardrobe. In the 19th century, cuff links were worn mainly by members of the middle and upper class, and as the nineteenth century was the time of the industrial revolution, this meant that cuff links could be mass produced. It wasn’t long before cuff links became essential accessories and they came in an array of colours and materials; cuff links looked a lot smarter than some of the other methods of fastening a shirt such as tying the cuffs with a ribbon. Cuff links would be finished with a variety of colorful gemstones and they came in numerous different styles.

Cuff links were less popular in later years; however, they would become popular again in the 1980′s. In the 1980′s “Yuppie Fever” was ripe, and cuff links provided the perfect finish to a designer suit. This mean
t that cuff links again became an essential accessory and they were often worn by men in the city as part of their office “uniform.”

 Cuff links as Fashion Accessories 

Throughout history, cuff links have often been seen as a status symbol. However, these days they are also a fashion accessory and they come in a huge range of styles and finishes. Traditionally, cuff links were worn by men, but in modern times many women accessorize their outfit with a pair of cuff links. Cuff links are also extremely diverse and they can be worn as part of a smart outfit or as part of more casual attire.

 Wearing Cuff Links 

Cuff links are not designed to be worn with every outfit. However, if you are wearing a French cuff, then you most definitely do need to wear cuff links to finish off the shirt in style, and if your shirt only has holes at the cuff, and no buttons, then you’ll need a cuff link.