What Are Cufflinks Used For – Meaning, Price & Style Guide


Let’s be honest, cufflinks jewelry is trending, but men have come a long way from 90s iconic music bands Kriss Kross baggy pants or the dark Grunge look of Nirwana to today’s fashionable Hipsters unashamedly cuff shirt wearing.

Still, most men and many women alike are unclear what cufflinks mean. How they are used, and how much to spend as a special gift to your boyfriend, husband, father or rewarding yourself.

For that simple reason, let’s briefly define the edgy accessory men are ready to put on:

Cufflinks are small decorative jewelry pieces that close long sleeve shirts with a cuff. The shirt usually possesses holes on both sides with no buttons attached. They are many types of cufflinks with various sizes, materials, prices. The use of cuff links ranges from formal attire to informal wear.

The world of fashion has gifted even the most unfashionable men with simple rules when it comes to wearing attire. Cufflinks are no different as they symbolize formal wear, though more and more people discover them for daily use.

Cufflinks Style

First and foremost a cufflink must fulfill the following before considering one:

  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Holes on both sides of a shirt
  • Cufflinks shirt has no buttons

With this prerequisite in mind, you can now go deeper into the different types of cufflinks jewelry styles and even entire men’s style, including a tuxedo or tie, tailored suit, authentic leather shoes, real chronograph watches, and so on.

Cufflinks Type Material Used For
Bullet Back Closure metals and precious gemstones like sapphire, emerald, ruby The back of the ball swings back and forth between the posts. The ball is turned up when inserted into the shirt and secured down when closed. Bullet back closure is the most popular cuff link.
Whale Back Closure precious stones and metals from gold, platinum to silver The whale back is similar to bullet back closure whereby whale back mechanism latch folds against the center post before it is inserted into the shirt. After inserting the links flip the whale back down to secure the cufflinks in place. Popular in use too.
Locking Cufflinks Precious metals like gold, silver With locking cuff links you simultaneously lock by pressing both heads sides like you do with modern wristbands. It’s the up and coming system that closes smoothly, elegantly (Kissing cufflinks).
Chain Cufflink Stainless steel, silver Chain cuff links exist for the longest time whereby two head ends are hold by a loose chain. Best used for informal wear.
Ball Return Cuff Links 925 sterling silver, fine gold or gold-plated Ball returns cufflinks are non-mechanical round or oval with thick head, link, and a thin end. Since you can’t really fixate the cuff shirt, the use is more informal, though classy.
Silk Knot Cufflinks Silk, colorful yarn Usually made of yarn/silk the knotted cufflinks are rather loose, non-mechanical and mostly used for informal gatherings and workspace since quite inexpensive.
Studs and Button Cuff Links Stainless steel and black onyx From the shirt front you insert the back stud into the shirt using the stud as the button while pushing to the other end of the front hole. A seemingly first-time complexity, but short exercise that guarantees easy, rigid closure.

As demonstrated by the chart above, cufflinks come in different styles, materials as well as usage. In fact, though this is a thorough representation, it is nonetheless an incomplete cufflinks chart list.

There are too many mix match styles or materials like birthstone jewelry as well as specific use and designer creativity out there, impossible to cover them all in this cufflinks’ jewelry introduction guide.

Before you think you’re maybe missing on some spectacular cufflink creation, think that this is a good thing because it translates to a creative jewelry designer universe impossible to penetrate with a single article.

Moreover, men luxury cufflinks for that special moment where detail-oriented women notice his subtle, but eye-catching style represent a strong buying gift factor.

Cufflinks are for many men worth a lot regarding a specific dress code that represent a certain value. This value is of an assertive, successful, and womanizing male. Anything that can represent that kind of man is welcome, and cufflinks jewelry can be such an accessory.

Many traditional and progressive men alike on the other side don’t like to dress too extroverted and look like comedian Jim Carey in Mask. 

Jon Hamm of Mad Men series or James Bond are instead, for a significant number of men even if only for a day, the reference of a man when in comes to style, manners, masculinity.

Cufflinks are more Bond alike, attractive style understatement compared to a colorful clown no woman can seriously convince.

If you’ve ever been invited to an official meeting outside a 9 to 5 job, then you may have noticed that some people, especially high-value men, are wearing cufflinks shirts.

These button-less shirts are visible through their decorative cufflinks and exclusive material appearance.

He may be wearing classic bullet-back closure cufflinks from fine gold and emerald gemstone. This is a sign of either wealth and style or respecting the event like a charity, awards, or a wedding.

Cufflinks are jewelry for men who usually don’t wear jewelry often or at all. This fact, makes whaleback, stud buttons, or bullet back cufflinks the ideal gift for men (don’t forget to buy him a button-less shirt for that matter too).

Moreover, cuff links for grooms are the perfect engagement gift for him by her, since the perceived value, especially with precious metals and gems like ruby and gold can even be an heirloom for generations to come.

It’s an excellent male gift outside the boring men’s jewelry for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or any anniversary since modern men are more fashion aware than your good ´ol uncle John.

There is a popular myth that cufflinks are an expensive jewelry purchase. However cufflinks can be inexpensive while classy. The most expensive cufflinks are those made of precious gemstones like sapphire and fine silver or gold. Fabric, yarn or rhodium-plated cufflinks on the other are cheaper.

While you can’t wear cufflinks with a normal shirt, since you require a button-less shirt, you can indeed take a normal shirt, remove the attached buttons on it. This way you can create a  cuff link shirt from a regular garment. A tailor can turn your shirt into a cufflinks tuxedo shirt.

Though traditionally men wear cufflinks, there is lately a growing trend of cufflinks for females. Both genders can therefore dress in cuff links shirt, be it at a formal event like a wedding or informal gathering for a dinner date since many women love ornaments and cufflinks jewelry fit that.

Studs are a formal jewelry piece for men that come as a set of four and are usually tucked next to a peal button along one side of a shirt. On the other side typically two cufflinks are reserved to be attached for a long sleeve shirt that has no buttons at all.

One of the hardest parts, when you want to make someone, including yourself, happy and feel special, is to get a unique gift that will last. A cuff link piece of jewelry can achieve that.

Piece of Jewelry for Gentlemen

Lastly, cufflinks for men (and women as we’ve learned), is one such special because unusual present to make. 

There are so many styles of cufflinks ranging from beautiful gems like glowing green emerald on a sterling silver metal to leather-based or silk cuff links jewelry to choose form.

No wonder, back in the day these items were considered jewelry for gentlemen (Source).

One of the best representations for wearing cufflinks with style and class was in my humble opinion the best James Bond actor ever, the late Sean Connery.

Most importantly, unlike vintage cufflinks that are getting popular again (yes, grandfather is cool again), today’s jewelry fashion companies have come up with various styles for all tastes and generations.

Even women have jumped into the predominantly formal wear for a man and transformed this accessory into a universal fashion statement with stunning designs ornaments from black tie cufflinks to blue suits or blazers.

The meaning of cufflinks has gradually entirely changed from formal, high-class attire to a timeless symbol you can wear at the next wedding, dinner party, or date with him, her.

The stunning gift named cufflinks comes additionally with various sizes, colors, and price points whereby the color accentuation, for example, onyx or precious ruby gemstone pair sitting on golden whale back cufflinks, gives this typically men jewelry exclusivity.

Which cufflinks you purchase for your significant other, family member, yourself,  or friend is now hopefully a breeze and will put a smile on that special one in your life for years to come.

Bill Dominic

Bill is an art history and business graduate. Moreover, he loves to test, compare, shop jewelry & fashion items for his 5 sisters, girlfriend, nieces when not enjoying a great novel.

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