Cufflinks can be a smart and simple way to express personality in formal settings. Usually, in men’s formal or business dress, there isn’t a whole lot you can do to liven up a suit. You can play with things like color, fabrics, and patterns, but that generally pushes things in a more casual direction. While a tan linen suit with a gingham shirt can look great at a summer wedding, an outfit of that sort might look out of place in the boardroom. That’s why the easiest way to keep things formal but still express a little personality is to add some tasteful jewelry. Jay-Z has a knack for wearing a gold chain with his suits, and while he pulls it off with aplomb, the rest of us might have to settle for something a little smaller. That’s where cufflinks come in.
Cufflinks, like watches, are stylish things that serve a practical purpose. However, while a classic diver can be worn pretty much anywhere, there’s a time and place for cufflinks. Most dress shirts, for example, are sold with barrel cuffs. Much like your average button-down flannel or Oxford shirt, these dress shirts have buttons sewn onto the cuffs. Those kinds of shirts are not meant to be worn with cufflinks. The kind of shirt you’ll want to look for are French cuff shirts, which have extra long sleeves that are designed to be folded over. French cuffs have holes on both ends and no buttons, which is where cufflinks are designed to be put through to hold the cuff in place. For most business and semi-formal settings, barrel cuffs are acceptable; in these cases, French cuffs are a matter of style and preference. If you’re wearing a tuxedo, however, French cuffs are all but mandatory.
If you’re looking for affordable cufflinks to accessorize your suits with, these options range from minimal to ornate to playful, so you can switch them out depending on the setting.
1. Silver Clover Cufflinks
These cufflinks have a traditional whaleback closure. They feature an intricate filigree design done in contrasting silver and gold plating or a solid silver color. They’re ornate but small, so they won’t be ostentatious. Plus, they come in a jewelry gift box.
Pros: Ornate design suits formal occasions, comes in a wooden gift box.
Cons: Some reviewers felt that the cufflinks didn’t look as intricate in person as in the pictures.
2. Baban Men’s Cufflinks
These cufflinks have faces that are designed to resemble vintage watch movements; they feature small gears and wheels that from afar would just look like regular silver cufflinks. Up close, though, they’re statement-making and highly unique.
Pros: Unique horological-inspired design, comes in a gift box.
Cons: Some found them delicate.
3. UHIBROS Mens Cuff Links
For classic cufflinks on a budget, these have a bullet back closure and a sleek but classic square face. The face has a textured pattern that adds a little flair but isn’t too flashy. It’ll suit more formal settings and the silver finish pairs well with silver watches.
Pros: Classic, understated design that suits formal and traditional business settings. Comes in a gift box.
Cons: Some felt that they didn’t look as nice as in the photos.