One of the most popular accessories that we deal in here at The Men's Gift Company are cufflinks. The simple device used to fasten the sides of a shirt cuff. Of course, these days there are many different designs available, meaning that this simple functionality takes a back seat to the style aspect and personalisation of your look.
But how did the humble cufflink evolve? We thought we'd take a look at the history of this men's style staple...
The cufflink first appeared in history in the 1600s. These early cufflinks utilised ribbons, which were threaded through to tie the cuffs of a shirt. This fiddly incarnation was not hugely popular, but the cufflink started to become more widely used in after the new style in the late 17th century replaced the ribbons with jewel-encrusted buttons. Much easier to wear and now also a way to indicate wealth and status for the elite class of men in adhering to the newly-implemented formal dresscode for court, the cufflink went from strength to strength.
As time passed, cufflinks became steadily more and more ornate. The 18th century saw cufflinks that featured miniature masterpieces in the form or tiny artworks and sculptures. These ornate artisan-crafted cufflinks were exorbitantly expense and only the elite and ruling classes could afford to wear such pieces.
At the advent of the 19th century there was an emergence of a stronger middle class in society. These businessmen demanded wished to dress like the upwardly-mobile gentlemen they were and demanded a cheaper cufflink. Because gems and gold were too expensive, replicas were made, using materials such as rhinestones and zinc alloy. Towards the end of the century, cufflinks were being mass-produced by the new manufacturing processes borne of the industrial revolution, thus making them more affordable for everyone.
Through the 20th century, designers have been streamlining the fastening system of cufflinks, and now they are easier to wear than ever. In the 1970's shirts with buttons eliminated the need for cufflinks, but they continue to be worn, adding character and style to any outfit, as we can see has long been their creed!
Why not take a look at how the 21st century is shaping up by perusing our range of cufflinks at The Men's Gift Company?
We hope you have enjoyed this short history of the ever-popular cufflink. If you found this post entertaining and informative, then please find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest or leave us a comment below, we'd love to hear from you!