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How to Wear Cufflinks

We all like getting dressed to the nines every now and then, but what many do not know is that a simple pair of cufflinks can take your outfit to the next level. Cufflinks are a great way to introduce a bit of colour and detail into your everyday wardrobe.

Cufflinks are designed only for use with shirts which have buttonholes on both sides. These may be either single or double-length ("French") cuffs, and may be worn either "kissing," with the ends pinched together, or "barrel-style," with one end overlapping the other. You’ll want to invest in a French cuff shirt, or double cuff shirt if you want to wear a pair of cufflinks.

  1. Pick a dress shirt with either a double cuff, or French cuff or a buttoned cuff.
  2. Cufflinks are fastened by setting the toggle in its closed position, so that there is a straight post descending from the underside of the head.
  3. The post slides through the holes on both sides of the cuffs, and then the toggle is swung outward to prevent the post from sliding back out.
  4. That holds the cufflink in place, with the front face of the cufflink placed decoratively atop the buttonholes.

Watch a quick video tutorial on how to put on cufflinks from our Guide to Choosing Cufflinks.

No matter what type of cufflink you decide to go for, you can always keep it personal with a pair of monogrammed or customized cufflinks to see you through. Read our Ultimate Guide to Cufflinks for the different type of cufflinks available.

A shirt with French or double cuffs is traditionally one of the dressiest shirts a man can wear. While your shirt and cufflink choices allow you to express your personal style, consider a few important guidelines if you decide to wear this style with a suit rather than a tuxedo.   

  1. Cufflinks Required for French cuffs
    It looks sloppy to don a shirt with French cuffs and not wear cufflinks, which is like wearing lace-up shoes without laces.

  2. Neckwear to Complete the Look
    Some ensembles require certain sartorial complements. Just as a tuxedo jacket requires tuxedo pants, French cuffs paired with a suit usually goes better with neckwear. Wearing the collar open on a French cuff shirt is too casual for a suited look. Either a bowtie or necktie is appropriate.

  3. Suit Styles
    If the suit is simple, opt for more subtle cufflinks. For edgier suits, more whimsical cufflink styles make a better fit. Stick with a neutral-colored shirt if you're wearing the suit to work, but feel free to go with a more adventurous style for an out-of-office social function that requires a suit. Make sure that the suit fits you well - find out how to ensure your suit fits properly with our Suit Wearing Cheat Sheet.

Choosing when to wear a pair of cufflinks is entirely up your personal dressing style and your wardrobe suitability. You can wear them daily for work or just occasionally for pleasure. For more formal occasions, you may be required to wear a pair of cufflinks that coincides with your formal outfit.

Cufflinks For A Formal Occasion

When it comes to formal occasions, cufflinks are almost a mandatory part of your tuxedo. Cufflinks in classic colours complete your look without taking away the attention from your outfit.

Shop: 1. Lapel Pin Rose (Cream), 2. Michelin (Black) Cufflinks, 3. Infinite Cufflinks, 4. Bejewelled Cufflinks, 5. Bond Self Tie Bow Tie (Black), 6. Watch Movement Abel Cufflinks 

Cufflinks For Work

It isn’t as tricky to wear cufflinks to work everyday as you’d think, especially when you’re wearing an easy to match base colour such as whites or blues.

Because the color of your shirt is neutral, you can be free to experiment with colors and patterns when it comes to your cufflinks, this will work in your favour to keep your own personal style, and to differentiate your look from the rest. 

Find out how to style cufflinks to other colored shirts with our Cufflink Guide 101.

Cufflinks For A Casual Occasion

You may be thinking that you can’t wear a pair of cufflinks with a casual look, but of course you can! A pair of novelty cufflinks can easily be paired with a casual look, so try adding something playful to your smart casual suits and let them do all the talking.

Shop: 1. Smoking Aces Cufflinks, 2. Skull Lapel Pin, 3. Bellroy Slim Sleeve Wallet (Bluesteel), 4. Dart Time Cufflinks, 5. Darts Cufflinks, 6. Punny Pixels Beer Belly Cufflinks

For more styling tips and how to match cufflinks for all occasions, read our style blog now.

Adapted from:

  1., Author: Lamont Jones Jr
  2. The Idle Man, Author: Tom Courcey