Ever wonder how to put cufflinks on? It can be a bit confusing, but it’s pretty straightforward with the right directions. Here those directions are.
When it comes to fashion, I don’t like to order men around or make absolute statements. After all, everyone has a different personal style.
Today, I’ll make an exception. If you wear suits and care about style, you must learn how to wear cufflinks.
Just learn it.
You don’t have to wear them every time you wear a suit or tuxedo. Heck, you don’t even have to wear them ever. But what if your best friend or brother or any guy in your life needs help getting them on? What if your wife likes them on you?
Cufflinks make a suit more exciting and more personalized, and most importantly, anyone can wear them. They aren’t too dandy if you’re more of an understated guy. They’re also classic but not too vintage or old-fashioned for the modern guy.
How Do You Put On a Cufflink?
First of all, you need to have the right kind of dress shirt with the right kind of shirt cuff. That means the edges of the sleeves should have zero buttons.
The most common type of cufflink-appropriate shirt is the double-length French cuff style. This means that there are two pairs of holes, some closer to the edge and others farther up the sleeve.
First, you’ll simply fold the end of the cuff over so that holes closer to the edge overlap the ones farther up.
Then, you’ll “kiss” each side of the cuff. This means you’re simply aligning each end so that all four of the holes themselves are also perfectly aligned with each other.
Then you’ll stick the end of the cufflink, not the cufflink face obviously, through all four holes and secure it. The cufflink’s decorative face should be on the outside of the cuff holes. So, it faces out when your arm is to your side.
Everything should now be in place, with the edges of the cuffs stiffly sticking out in a clean fashion.
If you’re like me and aren’t particularly dexterous, You can slide the cufflink through the first two holes on one side before you put your shirt on.
That way, you only have one side to thread through when the shirt is on your back.
How To Put On Cufflinks with One Hole Pair Per Sleeve
Rarely, very rarely, you might find a shirt with only one hole pair per sleeve. This means you don’t have that extra layer to fold over. Or, perhaps your French cuff shirt is too short on the sleeve to fold over.
In this case, you can put the cufflinks on in the same way you would on a French cuff if you want. However, the ends sticking out would be pretty flimsy.
Instead, you can try a barrel style. This just means you’ll put one hole over the other and stick the cufflink through, essentially creating a makeshift button. The end of the cufflink would be in the interior of your shirt.
You can do a barrel style with a French cuff as well, but the sheer number of holes means it would take some finessing — or a friend who can volunteer another pair of hands.
Types of Cufflinks
Obviously, cufflinks come in an endless array of shapes and sizes. Make sure you pick a pair of cufflinks that you like and one that you think complements your suit or tuxedo.
When it comes to the type of cufflink, the cufflink end is more consequential than the face. That’s because there are different ways to secure that end.
Here are a few examples:
- Backs You Flip or Turn: Usually, you’ll secure this style by simply flipping the end of the cufflink so that it’s no longer aligned with the post. Examples include a locking closure and a whale back closure.
- Bullet Back: A bullet back is often the same shape as a locking back but is stationary, sitting at a 90-degree angle with the post. This means you’ll stick one side of the bullet through the cufflink holes first before standing the post up to get the other side of the bullet through.
- Fixed Back or Ball Return: A fixed back features a decorative back end, while a ball return has a ball-shaped end. You’ll thread these through similarly to a bullet back.
How To Put On Cufflinks With Buttons
So, how do you put cufflinks on a shirt that has buttons on the sleeve ends? Well, you can’t. And for the most part, you shouldn’t.
But, if you’re desperate, you can guerilla it as long as your cufflinks look the same from every angle and they’re big enough to cover the button. A perfectly round pearl cufflink is a good example.
Basically, you’ll button your cuff first. Then, you’ll stick the cuff through the buttonhole, side by side with the button. Then, you’ll position the cufflink over the button so it’s hidden.
Ideally, having two items fighting for space in one buttonhole will ensure the cufflink is tightly slotted in enough that it can sit still.
Go for a shirt with tonal buttons so it blends into the fabric more.
Ultimately, just stick to a proper French cuff shirt.
Here are some answers to common questions about cufflinks!
Can You Put Cufflinks on a Regular Shirt?
No. If the shirt has a button on the cuff, it’s not meant to host a cufflink. You can certainly force it through with the button, but that’s not what it’s made for.
How Do You Put on a Sufflink and Stud Set?
The cufflinks of a stud and cufflink set go through the French cuffs of the shirt as any cufflinks would. The studs go through the stud holes next to the front tuxedo shirt buttons.
You’ll then thread those through the other side of the shirt’s buttonholes, effectively replacing the buttons.
How Do You Fold Cuffs for Cufflinks?
You’ll simply fold the end over so that each pair of cuff link holes are aligned with each other.
Are There Different Ways To Wear Cufflinks?
Traditionally, you’ll kiss the ends of the cuffs, then thread the cufflinks through all four holes. You can also do a barrel-style approach, in which you’ll put one end of the cuff over the other and thread the cufflink through like a button with the cufflink end in the sleeve interior.
Conclusion: Give Cufflinks a Shot!
Cufflinks have been around for centuries, though they were popularized in the 1800s. This means they’re as classic as it gets.
If you want to follow strict style traditions, you’ll wear silver cufflinks for evening events and gold ones for the daytime. You can also opt for pearl cufflinks if you’re wearing a white tie.
However, these days, it’s all about your own personal style.
Do you wear cufflinks with your suit? Let us know in the comments! And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more style tips, how-tos, and recommendations!