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Cufflinks


A decorative fastener worn by men or women to fasten the two sides of the cuff on a dress shirt or blouse.
 
Traditional formal attire, usually available in gold, silver, silver plate, gold plate, and nickel-plate. Normally coordinated with four shirt studs worn on the front placket of the shirt in lieu of buttons. Cufflinks are designed only for use with shirts which have buttonholes on both sides but no buttons. These may be either single or double-length ("French") cuffs, and may be worn either "kissing," with the ends pinched together, or "barrel-style," with one end overlapping the other. Kissing cuffs are usually preferred. Cufflink designs vary widely, the simplest design consists of a short post or chain connecting two disc-shaped parts. The part positioned on the most visible side is usually larger; a variety of designs can connect the smaller piece. It may be small enough to fit through the button hole like a button would or it may be separated and attached from the other side or it may have a portion that swivels on the central post, aligning with the post while the link is threaded through the button-hole and swiveling into a position at right angles to the post when worn. The visible part of a cufflink is often monogrammed or decorated in some way. There are numerous styles including novelty cufflinks, traditional cufflinks, contemporary cufflinks, utility cufflinks, and humorous cufflinks. The history of cufflinks goes back to the Middle Ages where its precursor, the ‘cuff string’, adorned the wrists of fashionable gentlemen of the day. One of the earliest references to what we now recognize as cufflinks was made in the London Gazette of 1684, which referred to a pair of cuff buttons set with diamonds; the same journal in 1686 also described a pair of gold enameled cuff buttons. More evidence of the existence of cufflinks in the 17th century was found in Suffolk, England, where a decorated gold single chain cufflink was discovered. Despite its early appearance, the continual taste for adorning sleeve ends with elaborate wrist ruffles meant it was not until the mid-nineteenth century that the cufflink really came into its own as dandy-ish ruffles gave way to functionally minimal sleeves and in particular the arrival of the French Cuff (also called the Double Cuff), or as the French themselves called it poignet mousquetaire – the musketeer's cuff, paving the way for the emergence proper of cufflinks.

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