This is Sugama of the TAILORS WORLD editorial department.I have written about the history of cufflinks, one of the most familiar accessories in business and formal situations.
Birth of the cufflinks.
Cufflinks are said to have first appeared in the late 17th century, during the reign of King Louis XIV of France. The main function of cufflinks was to fasten the cuffs of shirts, but until the Middle Ages shirts were considered underwear and it was considered embarrassing to show the cuffs.
However, as time went on and such ideas faded, so did the need to fasten shirt cuffs. Until the advent of cufflinks, shirt cuffs were mainly tied with string or ribbon. However, in the late 17th century, fashionable gentlemen began to chain together a pair of buttons with a figure or design on them to fasten the cuffs, which were worn by the upper class of European gentlemen.
18th century cufflinks.
In the 18th century, cufflinks were worn by many members of royalty and the nobility, and their popularity grew.They were also worn on royal occasions and special events, as they are today.
Cufflinks were also valued as gifts for gentlemen and served as a kind of collection. Over time, cufflinks developed and became an indispensable accessory, especially for shirts worn while wearing a tuxedo or tailcoat.Unlike the buttons of the early years, the materials used for the buttons are different, and the designs are more sophisticated, using gemstones, precious metals and fabrics.
Industrial Revolution and cufflinks
The Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and 19th centuries facilitated the mass production of cufflinks by developing the electroplating of precious metals. Cufflinks, which had previously been expensive and a collector’s item for upper-class aristocrats, became popular among middle-class men. A wide range of cufflink designs was also created.
Cufflinks in the doldrums and French cufflinks in vogue
In the 20th century, men’s shirt manufacturers developed and mass-produced shirts with buttoned cuffs. This led to a rapid decline in the use of cufflinks by men, as the cuffs could now be easily fastened with buttons.
However, cufflinks regained popularity when the double cufflinks with folded cuffs (French cuff) favoured in France came to the attention of fashion-conscious men.
Today, cufflinks come in a variety of styles, from classic and collectible to fun and casual, but are mostly worn for mainly formal occasions, except by a few fashionable men.
However, like ties and watches, they will continue to remain men’s obsession items.
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