Back in the 1600s mens shirt fronts and sleeves were adorned with lace trims. Later, in an attempt to be more practical, the lace was ditched and the sleeves were tied with strings and ribbons, which served the purpose of keeping the sleeve dirt-free and also prevented the chilly air from creeping up the sleeve. In an effort to look a little dressier, some even added jewels to their sleeve ties.
In the 17th century, men did another volte face and decided they would had enough of scraggly strings and ribbons holding up their sleeves. These 17th century men wanted to look sophisticated and suave and strings and ribbons were among the first to go. They were replaced by the now ubiquitous cufflink.
What did the First Cufflink Look Like? The 17th century cufflink consisted of a small chain that had either gold or silver buttons at either end. Special buttonholes were made in the cuffs of the sleeves and each button was fed through one of the holes on the two ends of the cuff. Thus the chain linked the two cuffs together and was aptly named, stainless steel Cufflink.
The Rise and Rise of thestainless steel Cufflink
There are two factors that are equally responsible for the huge variety of cufflinks available today as well as the status these cufflinks enjoy.
One of the things that made the fashion cufflink so much more popular was the Industrial Revolution, which made it possible to manufacture a greater number of cuff links faster and at a lower cost.
The other was the fact that from lowly devices only meant to keep the cuffs together and keep them clean; men began wearing them as part of their formal attire and even wore them when they were dressed in an ultra-dressy tuxedo. Eventually, the cufflink began to be seen as a sign of sophistication and style and is now seen on every cuff at any occasion. It is the staple of every well dressed man and no man who wants to be noticed will saunter into a social do without a pair of cufflinks adorning his cuffs.
Changes and More in Cufflink Designs
AS with every other aspect of mens fashion, the stainless steel cufflink too underwent several innovations and transformations. To its credit though, the 17th century design with a chain linking the two buttons is still as popular today as it was then. The only difference is, present day cufflinks are not limited to gold and silver buttons and neither do they necessarily have a chain linking the buttons.
steel Cufflinks are now designed with a wide assortment of precious and semi-precious stones in different shapes and sizes. These are set in several different metals. In addition to chain, these stones are also connected by rods and fasteners that are designed with special clips that are easy to fasten single-handedly.
From its very practical and lowly start, the cufflink zoomed right into superstardom leaving a huge gap amongst those who were neither lowly nor superstars. Soon however, the allure of the tiny little cufflink filtered through all strata of society and can now be seen on every hand irrespective of age, culture or social status.