Want to Elevate Your Formalwear? Here’s How to Wear Cufflinks

how to wear cufflinks
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When it comes to men’s formal wear, all the pieces matter. Every single detail builds to something larger. The way your shirt fits under a suit, how the knot of a tie looks when it’s framed by the collar, how those two elements then fold into a more cohesive look — each piece comes together to form a sartorial Voltron. But the one element that’s often overlooked is a pair of cufflinks.

Cufflinks are fairly simplistic in their function. Instead of having a button to fasten your shirt cuff closed, cufflinks have a sort of toggle that slides through a hole that’s open on both sides, functioning as the button. Once you’ve slid it through the opening in the shirt cuff, you flip the toggle closed and your shirt is ready to wear. People prefer cufflinks because they provide yet another way to personalize a suit. Similar to a pocket square, cufflinks allow for a drop of color in an otherwise boring section of your outfit.

Speaking of wearing, cufflinks themselves are typically reserved for evening wear (I.e., with a tuxedo), but they’re a great way to elevate an everyday suit too. A french cuff shirt — named partially because of how the cuff flares out in an almost rectangular way — is the shirt that supports cufflinks. Just be sure that the fastener and closure faces into your body as to show off whatever design you may have.

You can find great cufflinks at several different outlets, but we saved you the trouble and listed a handful of our favorites below. 

    

1. The Tie Bar Gold Texture Sweep Cufflinks

BEST OVERALL

While The Tie Bar started out selling fantastic looking ties at completely reasonable prices, they’ve expanded their offerings in recent years into other key formal menswear accessories. These textured gold cufflinks opt to be square instead of circular and cost about as much as a trip to the movies. If you want to try a pair of cufflinks for yourself without spending a lot of money, well, you should link up with these.

The Tie Bar Gold Texture Sweep Cufflinks Courtesy of The Tie Bar

  

2. J. Crew Black Onyx Sterling Silver Rounded Cufflinks

BEST SIMPLE PICK

Rounded cufflinks, like this set from J. Crew, are a timeless option. They’re attention grabbing without ever being too showy and the combination of the sterling silver and rich black pops nicely. They’re a worthy investment if you’re in need of a pair that you want to ensure will match with anything and everything.

J. Crew Black Onyx Sterling Silver Rounded Cufflinks Courtesy of J. Crew

  

3. Brooks Brothers Rep Stripe Cufflinks

MOST STYLISH

With their rep stripe, these cufflinks from Brooks Brothers have more of  a playful and vintage feel to them. They do a good job of conveying that you’re into style enough to opt for a set of cufflinks, but not too much as to not have some fun. The ‘whale’ style closure (its nomenclature comes from the fact the stem is slightly extended, like a whale) makes them really easy to slide through a French cuff.

Brooks Brothers Rep Stripe Cufflinks Courtesy of Brooks Brothers
  

4. Charvet Set of Three Knotted Cufflinks

BEST SET

There’s been a trend in recent year to move away from standard metal cufflinks and go towards knitted cufflinks like these from Charvet. This set of three was made in France to look akin to little balls of yarn. Plus, the two shades of blue and a more neutral tone will match with pretty much everything in your wardrobe, giving you plenty of chances to mix and match them as you see fit.

Charvet Set of Three Knotted Cufflinks Courtesy of Mr. Porter

  

5. Deakin & Francis Gold-Tone Cufflinks

HONORABLE MENTION

And if all else fails, you can’t go wrong with a pair of cufflinks like this set from Deakin & Francis. They’re a pretty standard shape, which is to say they’re good to invest in for the long term. A classic shape and color like this won’t likely go out of style. Plus, the gold hue makes for a striking first impression.

Deakin & Francis Gold-Tone Cufflinks Courtesy of Mr. Porter

  

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