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How to Wear Cufflinks

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A big part of putting together your outfit for a special event is accessorizing well. From picking out the perfect tie to donning some brightly colored socks, it’s essential to put thought into your look’s final touches. One way to do just that is with a great pair of cufflinks. While their official use is fastening shirt cuffs closed, cufflinks are so much more than that. In fact, they can really bring your ensemble to another level without being over the top.

Fortunately, Generation Tux has some classic styles to choose from along with some advice on how to select the right pair for you and wear them the right way.

When to wear cufflinks

Cufflinks are a must for formal occasions with black tie or white tie dress codes. If you are wearing a tuxedo, then generally, it is a good idea to wear cufflinks. If you want to stand out from the pack in the workplace, you can definitely add them to your everyday look.

Choosing the right cufflinks

Cufflinks come in many shapes, metals, and styles, including gold, silver, brass, and polished enamel. Before you choose your cufflinks, though, you have to figure out what tuxedo or suit you’re going to wear. You’ll want the cufflinks you select to complement your look, as well as coordinate with any other accessories you’re wearing. Remember, you want to match your metals, so if your belt buckle is silver, your cufflinks should be too.

You can personalize your look for your special occasion through your cufflinks in a variety of ways. Wear heirloom cufflinks to pay homage to a beloved family member for a special event; engrave your cufflinks with your initials, monogram or an important date (like your wedding day); or choose cufflinks that display your favorite color, hobby or even occupation. 

If you’re getting married, you can also coordinate your cufflinks with your partner’s ensemble. Mix and match colors and metals to create cohesion with small but important details.

Different types of cufflinks

The five most common cufflink styles are:

Bullet Back, which includes a metal bar at the bridge that rotates 90 degrees, allowing the cufflinks to easily move through cuffs.

Whale Back also features a 90-degree rotating bar, but it spins vertically when sliding the cufflinks on, and then rotates horizontally to fasten.

Fixed Back has no movable parts and doesn’t need adjustments.

Ball Return boasts rounded fixtures on both ends and doesn’t need to be adjusted.

Chain Style has a flexible bridge that connects the front and back ends, as well as a small metal chain joining both ends.

How to put them on

A cufflink fastens a dress shirt or tuxedo shirt by sliding through holes on either side of the cuff opening, then swinging into a locked or fixed position to hold the sides together. Generation Tux’s dress shirts feature convertible cuffs, which means they can be secured by buttons or cufflinks. Here’s how to put on your cufflinks:

  1. Bring the openings of the sleeve cuff together, turn the bottom of the cufflink so that it’s vertical and insert it into the buttonhole with the decorative part facing outward. 
  2. Once a cufflink is in place, the piece facing inward will close the cuff after it’s released into a horizontal position. 
  3. You can tell you’ve successfully put on cufflinks when the flat fastener faces inward, and the decorative side faces outward.

Ready to start completing your look? Check out our array of accessories to perfectly complement your tuxedo or suit.

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