Cufflink Pairing Guide

Cufflink Guide Image

A decent pair of cufflinks is indispensable when it comes to add that extra level of sophistication to your outfit.  Cufflinks do much more than keeping cuffs neat.  In addition to their functionality, they help you showcase your personality and individual charm through that extra touch.

That is why choosing the right pair of cufflinks is an art in itself and not as easy to get right when the time calls for them.  We have composed this article to help you understand the few rules and exceptions when wearing cufflinks and complement your skills as a true gentleman.

We recommend that you also familiarise yourself with the History of Cufflinks and the different Types and Materials to choose from.

The Difference between Cufflinks and Studs

Cufflinks and studs are sometimes being confused, but they are different items which serve different purposes.  Although both are usually worn for formal occasions, cufflinks are used to fasten the cuffs of a shirt.  On the other hand, studs fit into the buttonholes of a tuxedo shirt at the front and don’t have a place on the sleeves.  Studs are most commonly bought in sets of 4-6.  There are also some cufflinks which come in stud styles – you might have come across those when buying off-the-rack cufflink shirts which have plastic stud styled cufflinks.

Black Tie Event

For formal occasions, such as events which require a black tie attire, cufflinks will be a necessary accessory to your outfit.  A simple, elegant pair of cufflinks would be a perfect choice, not encumbered with too many details or moving parts.  As for the colour, we would recommend a timeless silver or gold design which would never look out of place.

The rule for formal black tie events are to choose cufflinks with are minimalistic, yet elegant in design in order to strike a balance between sophistication and understatement.

Silver Bar CufflinksIntertwined Cufflinks

White Tie Event

If you’re off to a white tie event then things get a little more tricky as the formality of your outfit heightens even more. If you are attending a white tie event, then you’ll usually be given a certain dress code that you’ll have to comply with, but every event varies, so make sure you read the invitation. Because of the formality of white tie events your cufflink game needs to be heightened. This may sound a little excessive, but try wearing a pair of Mother of Pearl cufflinks as these will certainly impress when you’re at a white tie function. I know not all of us can afford to buy a pair of Mother of Pearl cufflinks, so there are plenty of cheap cufflinks for you to choose from that look similar.

White tie is another type of dress code. It is slightly more formal than a black tie attire and is called upon for highly special events, such as galas and some weddings. As such, it typically requires you to don cufflinks. To nail the look, try selecting a highly formal and elegant pair of cufflinks. While there are many options from which you can choose, consider a sleek mother-of-pearl pair for an appropriately luxurious appearance.

Work Event

White Shirt

Let’s be honest, what are the chances that the shirt you are wearing is not white?  Exactly!  Personally, I do prefer the simplicity and understated looks of a (clean) white shirt.   However, it doesn’t mean that your outfit has to be plain and boring.  Stylish accessories, such as a cufflink are great for enhancing your attire and set yourself apart from the crowd.  The beauty of a shirt with neutral colour means that you have the freedom to experiment with cufflinks of different shapes, material and colours to liven up your looks.  Just make sure to match them to the right occasion.  We recommend metal cufflinks for interviews and formal meetings, while colourful options are suited for everyday office wear.

Clockwork Cufflinks

Blue Shirt

Once you have gone on the adventurous path of adding a hint of blue to your shirt, you want to put a bit more thought into your cufflink selection.  Pairing the right cufflink requires slightly more finesse than with a white shirt.  Coloured cufflinks might clash with a blue shirt, hence we would recommend to select a pair of silver cufflinks.  Alternatively, you could play around with different shades of blue or choose a colour from the opposite end of the spectrum.  You might have seen colour pairings of blue and orange, which is a fairly popular match-up in the design world.  Obviously there is nothing to keep you from more exotic pairings, but as always, we would recommend gauging the level of formality and seriousness of the event when making your cufflink selection.

Black & Blue Opal Cufflinks

Pink Shirt

If you thought a blue shirt was hard to match, then you should try and tackle a pink shirt.  Finding the right cufflink for a pink shirt is not impossible, but certainly no simple feat.  We would recommend applying the same logic as with a blue shirt.  A pair of cufflinks with a different shade of pink might seem most intuitive.  Alternatively, you can also opt for the neutral silver cufflink which conforms with any office environment.  Lastly, if you do want an additional splash of colour, then a multi-coloured pair of cufflinks would still be appropriate but beware that the colours compliment your pink shirt.

Rainbow Cufflinks