It’s On eBay
Modernist Sterling Cufflinks
Start at $49.99, end Sunday

It’s On eBay

Modernist Sterling Cufflinks

Start at $49.99, end Sunday

Q and Answer: Cufflinks
Kaelyn writes: Are cufflinks formal? If so, when can they be worn? And further, where can someone find a well-made, fair priced pair of them?
Cufflinks are indeed general more formal.  Or, to be more accurate, French or double cuffed shirts are more formal than barrel (button) cuffed shirts.  A good general rule is that double-cuff shirts shouldn’t be worn with anything less formal than a suit. 
In some offices or contexts, a linked cuff might be seen as flashy.  Of course, this depends in part on what style of cufflinks we’re talking about.  The simplest, like a silk knot, are much less flashy than a big fat diamond.  A plain shirt with silk knots is appropriate pretty much anywhere a suit is appropriate.
Cufflinks are one of a couple of things that I really think are best bought second-hand.  They’re plentiful on the vintage market, and much less expensive as well.  Check out this previous post on cuff links for more details.  I like mother of pearl for utility.

Q and Answer: Cufflinks

Kaelyn writes: Are cufflinks formal? If so, when can they be worn? And further, where can someone find a well-made, fair priced pair of them?

Cufflinks are indeed general more formal.  Or, to be more accurate, French or double cuffed shirts are more formal than barrel (button) cuffed shirts.  A good general rule is that double-cuff shirts shouldn’t be worn with anything less formal than a suit. 

In some offices or contexts, a linked cuff might be seen as flashy.  Of course, this depends in part on what style of cufflinks we’re talking about.  The simplest, like a silk knot, are much less flashy than a big fat diamond.  A plain shirt with silk knots is appropriate pretty much anywhere a suit is appropriate.

Cufflinks are one of a couple of things that I really think are best bought second-hand.  They’re plentiful on the vintage market, and much less expensive as well.  Check out this previous post on cuff links for more details.  I like mother of pearl for utility.

It’s On eBay
Vintage Deakin & Francis Enamel & Silver Cuff Links
Starts at $75 (with reserve), ends Monday

It’s On eBay

Vintage Deakin & Francis Enamel & Silver Cuff Links

Starts at $75 (with reserve), ends Monday

It’s On eBay
14K Gold and Mother of Pearl Cuff Links
Start at $9.99, end Sunday

It’s On eBay

14K Gold and Mother of Pearl Cuff Links

Start at $9.99, end Sunday

It’s On eBay
Gold & Mother of Pearl Cufflink & Stud Set
I really don’t think it gets much more elegant than this.  Spectacular.
Starts at $9.99, ends Sunday

It’s On eBay

Gold & Mother of Pearl Cufflink & Stud Set

I really don’t think it gets much more elegant than this.  Spectacular.

Starts at $9.99, ends Sunday

It’s On eBay
Victorian abalone cufflinks
I always prefer double-sided links, and mother of pearl or abalone is a lovely choice.  Elegant and appropriate for almost any situation.
Starting at $18.99, ends Wednesday

It’s On eBay

Victorian abalone cufflinks

I always prefer double-sided links, and mother of pearl or abalone is a lovely choice.  Elegant and appropriate for almost any situation.

Starting at $18.99, ends Wednesday

Q and Answer: Cuff Links
Eric writes: I recently found myself with a French cuff shirt and no cuff links. I don’t wear suits all that often, but I’d still like to find a respectable set of links that I can wear to weddings and other classy events. Where should I be looking, what should I be looking for, and what can I expect to pay for a respectable but not too gaudy set of cuff links?
There are only a couple of kinds of jewelry a man can reasonably wear.  Of those few, cuff links are almost certainly the most fun.
First: if there is one style-related item you do not buy new, make it cuff links.  Vintage and antique cuff links are plentiful and dramatically less expensive than their contemporary equivalents.  Whether you’re buying fine jewelry or a costume piece, you will pay dramatically more in a department store than you would for something similar on ebay, at an estate sale, or even in an estate jewelry shop.
As far as what to look for, there are a wide variety of options.  The most basic are silk knots.  They come in a variety of colors, are inexpensive, and appropriate for most occasions.  You’re missing a chance to wear beautiful jewelry, but you’re also getting something quite attractive and sophisticated for ten bucks or so.
Beyond that, you can let your imagination run wild.  There are huge volumes of base metal (ie non-precious metal) links from the mid-20th century available at flea markets, thrift stores and on ebay for five, ten or twenty dollars a pair.  If you want something fun, that’s an easy way to go, though even precious metal links can be pretty inexpensive, so I don’t see much reason to go ultra-cheap.
If you’re comfortable spending a little more money, get something in a precious metal.  Silver or gold, either solid or with some adornment like enamel or mother-of-pearl (or both, as above) is a great choice for almost any occasion.  You can even kick it up a notch to small precious stones, though at that point you’re looking at serious money.
Precious metals will be marked (something like “.925” or “14K”) - if there’s no mark, or the mark says “base metal,” it isn’t silver or gold.  Silver can tarnish over time, while gold will not, but both are fine for most any occasion.  If you pay a good price, your jewelry will only grow in value.
I’d recommend that if you’re buying one pair of links, it shouldn’t be funny or cheeky.  Cute cuff links have their place, but you should have a pair that will always work before you start buying pairs that sometimes work.  I prefer double-sided links, or at least ones with a finished second side.  Double-sided links were very popular from the Victorian era through the thirties or so, when toggles came into vogue.  Toggles are perfectly fine, but a little bit ugly to my eye.
My own links including a simple mother-of-pearl pair that lives in my travel toiletries, so I don’t arrive somewhere with a french cuff shirt but no links, along with a fine pair of gold and navy blue enamel bars that were purchased for me as a gift at an estate auction, a pair of brown leather links that I wear with casual and tweedy outfits, and a pair of silver mid-century links with an star-explosion motif and a matching tie bar that were also a gift.  None but the gold and enamel pair were especially expensive, and all have their place.

Q and Answer: Cuff Links

Eric writes: I recently found myself with a French cuff shirt and no cuff links. I don’t wear suits all that often, but I’d still like to find a respectable set of links that I can wear to weddings and other classy events. Where should I be looking, what should I be looking for, and what can I expect to pay for a respectable but not too gaudy set of cuff links?

There are only a couple of kinds of jewelry a man can reasonably wear.  Of those few, cuff links are almost certainly the most fun.

First: if there is one style-related item you do not buy new, make it cuff links.  Vintage and antique cuff links are plentiful and dramatically less expensive than their contemporary equivalents.  Whether you’re buying fine jewelry or a costume piece, you will pay dramatically more in a department store than you would for something similar on ebay, at an estate sale, or even in an estate jewelry shop.

As far as what to look for, there are a wide variety of options.  The most basic are silk knots.  They come in a variety of colors, are inexpensive, and appropriate for most occasions.  You’re missing a chance to wear beautiful jewelry, but you’re also getting something quite attractive and sophisticated for ten bucks or so.

Beyond that, you can let your imagination run wild.  There are huge volumes of base metal (ie non-precious metal) links from the mid-20th century available at flea markets, thrift stores and on ebay for five, ten or twenty dollars a pair.  If you want something fun, that’s an easy way to go, though even precious metal links can be pretty inexpensive, so I don’t see much reason to go ultra-cheap.

If you’re comfortable spending a little more money, get something in a precious metal.  Silver or gold, either solid or with some adornment like enamel or mother-of-pearl (or both, as above) is a great choice for almost any occasion.  You can even kick it up a notch to small precious stones, though at that point you’re looking at serious money.

Precious metals will be marked (something like “.925” or “14K”) - if there’s no mark, or the mark says “base metal,” it isn’t silver or gold.  Silver can tarnish over time, while gold will not, but both are fine for most any occasion.  If you pay a good price, your jewelry will only grow in value.

I’d recommend that if you’re buying one pair of links, it shouldn’t be funny or cheeky.  Cute cuff links have their place, but you should have a pair that will always work before you start buying pairs that sometimes work.  I prefer double-sided links, or at least ones with a finished second side.  Double-sided links were very popular from the Victorian era through the thirties or so, when toggles came into vogue.  Toggles are perfectly fine, but a little bit ugly to my eye.

My own links including a simple mother-of-pearl pair that lives in my travel toiletries, so I don’t arrive somewhere with a french cuff shirt but no links, along with a fine pair of gold and navy blue enamel bars that were purchased for me as a gift at an estate auction, a pair of brown leather links that I wear with casual and tweedy outfits, and a pair of silver mid-century links with an star-explosion motif and a matching tie bar that were also a gift.  None but the gold and enamel pair were especially expensive, and all have their place.

All I Want For Christmas: Will Boehlke

In our series All I Want For Christmas, we’re asking men we like what they’d like for Christmas.  Will Boehlke is the editor of the wonderful menswear blog A Suitable Wardrobe.  He’s an advocate of classic men’s style, and of bespoke clothing.  Put This On will also be presenting a talk by Will on gentlemanly dressing at this year’s MaxFunCon.  So what does the man who has his clothes made want for Christmas?

All I want for Christmas is a pair of Tiffany’s knot cuff links in 18k gold. Classic, great looking, and entirely out of my price range.”

Tiffany & Co. Knot Cuff Links, $1750

It’s On Ebay
Gold Garrard Cufflinks
Garrard have been continuously operating since 1735 - they are the jeweller to a certain Ms. Queen of England.  These are great links, too.
Starting at about $75, ends early Saturday

It’s On Ebay

Gold Garrard Cufflinks

Garrard have been continuously operating since 1735 - they are the jeweller to a certain Ms. Queen of England.  These are great links, too.

Starting at about $75, ends early Saturday

It’s On Ebay
"MF" Cufflinks by Cartier
He’s a bad…
Starting at $480, end Thursday

It’s On Ebay

"MF" Cufflinks by Cartier

He’s a bad…

Starting at $480, end Thursday