Cuff links carry a certain air of sophistication and distinction for the man whose wrists they adorn, but many men shy away from them, fearing the added expense and perceived difficulty of acclimating them into their wardrobe. One of the common misconceptions regarding cuff links is that they are expensive; designer cuff links and those made of precious metals are costly, but there are many affordable alternatives that still evoke distinguished personal style. A few tips will help you look like a dashing gent while building a distinctive cuff link collection for the cost of a single dress shirt.
Cuff links made from precious metals are merely a luxury; you need not worry about non-precious metals tarnishing or turning green since they will not be in constant contact with your skin.
Stores such as Banana Republic often stock cuff links for $40-50 which, to some, may sound like a lot for an accessory but you have to remember that cuff links are durable goods and should last forever.
Online retailers such as Cufflinks.com and CuffLinksDepot.com offer cuff links in our sub-$50 price point and also offer very specialized designs that can help you project your unique sense of style and self.
Auction sites, such as eBay, are also a valuable resource when looking for specialty cuff links at a reasonable price. Vintage Swank cuff links are a strong starting point due to their timeless style and can often be found on eBay for as little as $10, making them a classic and affordable staple for your French-cuff shirt.
Four Staple Cuff Link Styles
Non-discreet cuff links that feature a basic geometric pattern or those that are offset with a subtle mother-of-pearl inlay are a great starting point for any gentleman’s cuff link collection. They go well with any wardrobe and are safe for any business or social situation.
Cuff links that show pride in your community or educational background are excellent for that second pair with a dash of personality. College crests and state flags transfer well to cuff links while showing pride in self and community and can function as great conversation starters.
Show your passion for your profession, personal interests or hobbies with a pair of cuff links that depict iconic symbols associated with the given field. Lawyers can get the scales of justice, film buffs may choose cuff links depicting a film reel, cyclists may opt for cuff links designed like a sprocket, golfers can sport golf ball cuff links – the possibilities are endless.
‘Statement’ pieces are the most fun-natured of the four types of cuff links that every man should have in his collection, but use discretion when donning those roulette wheel/Playboy bunny/beer stein cuff links. Do not wear these bold cuff links when you are in the workplace; these are the cuff links you reserve for nights out or “brocations” when you want to kick things up a notch and peacock. Paul Smith produces some bold cuff link designs, although they tend to be pricier than the novelty designs found from online retailers.
The author honed his fashion sense while working at Jean Therapy and Rubenstein’s in New Orleans, Louisiana.