Accessorizing With Cufflinks: Adding Subtle Interest To Your Look

October 16, 2020

Cufflinks are a classic way to add a special adornment to your look, ideally reflecting or emphasizing your interests or unique personal style. Though they may be small accessories, they can be eye-catching and add a whole new flavor of personality to an ensemble. For centuries, cufflinks have been a way for men to accessorize and showcase their own personal style. Their placement on the sleeve make them not visible at first glance, but rather, visible when giving a handshake, straightening your jacket, or making grand hand gestures while telling a good story. Their humble positioning on mens’ attire means you will want them to spark intrigue when they are finally noticed. 

While there are a wide variety of styles of cufflinks, we stayed true to our brand when creating our line, and, of course, created them using all-natural, sustainably sourced materials. Brackish Cufflinks are perfect for those who want to display their love of nature, distinctive style, or the southern landscape. We hope they inspire conversations about your love of where you live, your memories of peacocks in your grandmother’s yard, or your appreciation for the person in your life who gifted them to you. 

HOW OUR CUFFLINKS ARE MADE

Brackish Cufflinks are made with two major elements: Rhodium Plated Hardware and all-natural, sustainably sourced materials - bird feathers and snakeskin. No dyes are used in any of the cufflinks, giving every pair a slightly unique coloring and appearance. All pairs’ decorative faces are 15mm in diameter, making them just right in size: large enough to make the feather detailing noticeable, but never too large or flashy. Just like our bow ties, every pair comes in a hand-branded pine gift box straight from our studio, with options to engrave the box for gifting or as an indulgent treat to yourself. 

WHERE DID CUFFLINKS COME FROM? 

Wearing cufflinks evolved with mens’ fashion from the Middle Ages, when decorative elements were added to tunics for both style and functionality. Ribbons, frills, and embroidery emerged as both additional design elements, as well as ways to keep shirts closed. Ribbons were the first thing used to keep mens’ sleeve cuffs together, as well as the collars, an early form of the necktie. 

With the onset of the 19th century, the newly employed classes began to take part in ornamental fashions: a dark suit for daytime, and a dinner jacket, or tail coat for the evening. As clothing manufacturing evolved, so did the accessories. The modern cufflink became popular by the middle of the 19th century, as the popularity of sturdier constructed garments came to the forefront of mens’ fashion. The starched collars and cuffs became so stiff that securing a shirt with a standard button became difficult, thus creating the need for cufflinks

The Industrial Revolution made mass-producing these easier than ever before, which meant that they could suddenly be available to more classes of people than ever before. By the 1900s, cufflinks were being created in every style, color, and material available, until the shortages of World War II temporarily halted creation and circulation. 

Following the shortages of the War, the men of the 1950s took every opportunity to adorn themselves in luxuries they’d been missing during the previous few decades. The cigarette case, lighter, tie pin or tie bar, watch, ring, money clip, and set of cufflinks were perfect for showcasing a refined style. Though the popularity of cufflinks dipped in the 1970s with the Woodstock generation, they made a resurgence in the 1980s and still remain popular today for adding interest to any mens’ look. We love that they can be used as a callback to classic mens’ style, while consistently being reinvented to take on a modern form. We are proud that our feather cufflinks combine both of those elements in a truly unique way.

 

HOW TO WEAR CUFFLINKS

Not sure when you’ll have an occasion to wear them? Not to worry, we get that question a lot. Cufflinks are necessary when wearing a shirt that has French cuffs, which is a double-layered cuff created by folding the cuff back once before fastening. A tuxedo will always be paired with a French cuffed shirt, and a suit can sometimes be paired with one, while it is not mandatory. You can add them to your favorite work day look if you want to tie your ensemble together - and you certainly should add them to your Black Tie look. The fun part of them being a smaller, more subtle accessory is you can play with colors and patterns more easily in Black Tie dress; they can be less of a direct match if you want to add a small pop of color. 


BUSINESS CASUAL WEAR 

Want to wear cufflinks for more everyday wear? Yes, it is completely possible to accessorize with cufflinks in a more casual setting. The dressiness of the cufflinks allow for dressing without a tie if you so choose. Try pairing a blue suit with a crisp white french cuffed shirt, no tie, and a cufflink with a pop of color. The Capers Cufflinks are a great choice if you’re looking for a versatile pair that can transition easily throughout all dressing requirements. These will bring vibrance out in your business casual looks, while being an excellent choice for tux pairing as well. 



We love seeing bobwhite quail feathers in lighter, more casual looks. For a more warm weather ensemble, try pairing a light grey suit with the Brays Cufflinks. To make it a little dressier, pair with the Grey Bobwhite or Peck bow ties. Of course, this look could be dressed up effortlessly by switching out the suit for a tux. 



 

BLACK TIE WEAR 

For a traditionally muted Black Tie look, the black and white spotted guinea feathers affixed on the Bear Cufflinks are a classic choice. Guinea feathers are ever present in our line of bow ties and cummerbunds, making these an easy set to match. You can find matching feathers in the Monarch, Mesa, Gatsby, Guinea, St. Pierre, Green Pond, Bell and Scarab bow ties, as well as Guinea Cummerbund. For a less overtly matching set, try pairing the Harbor Cufflinks, which contain peacock and pheasant feathers in addition to guinea feathers, with one of the all black guinea bow ties. The bright hues in these cufflinks will be the only color in the look, allowing them to stand out. 



 

Looking to add something a little unexpected to your black tux? The deep hunter green pheasant feathers of the Dewees Cufflinks match perfectly with the Kirby Cummerbund. Both of these paired with the Myrna or any other green pheasant feather bow ties would make an incredibly show stopping Black Tie look. 

Photos by Leigh Heyward Photography

 

HOW TO INSERT YOUR CUFFLINKS: 
  1. Fold the cuffs on the shirt and align the holes at the bottom on the outside
  2. Grab your cufflink and straighten the toggle (the bar that fastens it)
  3. Insert the bar straight into the holes with the design facing outward
  4. Turn the toggle horizontally so the cuff link will securely stay put
  5. *Cheers*

 

GIFTING CUFFLINKS AS GROOMSMEN GIFTS 

If you are thinking about gifting Brackish as your groomsmen gifts, cufflinks are an incredible choice if you want to give a slightly different style to every man in the wedding party. With gifting differing cufflinks, you can personalize the style you give each groomsmen without sacrificing a matching suit and tie look in your photos (we love that look too, we just know it’s not for everyone. By all means, it’s your wedding!). We have a large enough assortment of styles and colors that you will be able to find a fit for every one of your friends and family members. Because of the consistent hardware in all of our sets, all of the cufflinks can be mixed and matched and still look completely cohesive as a group. 

And for all brides to be - gifting your groom a set of our feather cufflinks on the day of your wedding is the perfect way to say “I love you” before walking down the aisle. 


Photos by Aaron and Jillian

 

CHOICES, CHOICES 

There are an unbelievable amount of different cufflink, tie, and cummerbund pairings you choose from and we know the choice is not always easy. If the decision is too difficult (we’ve been there) we’re happy to help, which is why we offer a Styling Concierge. You can text, call, email, send a courier pigeon… whatever you need to do to make sure you find the right fit!




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