When and How to Wear Cufflinks

Gray stone cufflinks set in sterling silver

One thing is clear when shopping for something to wear to a wedding, black-tie event, or business meeting: women have all the fun.

One one side of the store, you see a multi-hued array of dresses, pantsuits, blouses, and skirts. On the other side? The men's section. Where every rack, in every store, holds the same suiting options, distinguished only by slight variations in fabric and cut.

Like it or not, men don't get many opportunities to express themselves when they dress for formal occasions. That's where the cufflink comes in.

So what are cufflinks for, and how do you wear them? This jewelry item (yes, cufflinks are considered jewelry!) is one of the only opportunities guys have to get creative with their formalwear. When the occasion calls for it, there’s nothing like the touch of class and style of a well-chosen cufflink, especially when you get an heirloom set that suits you just right (forgive the pun). 


What Is A Cufflink? 

Cufflinks came into use in the seventeenth century, when nobility wore frilly shirts with ribbons to hold their sleeve cuffs together. Over time, the ribbons were replaced by chains with studs, then ultimately by cufflinks.


A weathered cuff link made of two metal discs stamped with an image of a man's head with a large nose
Would you wear this chain-style cuff link dating from 1750-1800? From the Portable Antiquities Scheme, photographer Stuart Wyatt, found on Wikimedia Commons


Today, you're probably most familiar with dress shirts that have a button closure, which are also called a barrel cuff. While a barrel cuff is perfectly acceptable for moderately formal occasions, cufflinks are still preferred for black-tie events and other occasions that call for the classiest possible attire.

When choosing a shirt for your cufflinks, you'll have two options: a single cuff or a double cuff (also known as a French cuff). Save the double cuffed shirt for very formal occasions. A single cuff shirt with a cufflink can be worn any time a cufflink feels right.


How Do You Wear Cufflinks? 

Now that you have your cufflink shirt, you'll see that instead of a button and buttonhole, it has two buttonholes on either side of the cuff. To put on the cufflink, first pull your shirt down so that the end of the cuff is visible beyond the jacket sleeve. Insert the cufflink through both buttonholes, making sure that the decorative side of the cufflink is facing outwards. 

Some cufflinks come with folding and locking mechanisms that you manipulate to insert it into the buttonhole. At Waystone, we make our cufflinks with a solid sterling silver backing and bar. This whaleback style cufflink has a T shape on the end, so it stays on your shirt without needing to fiddle with swivel bars or clasps. 


Choosing Your Cufflinks 

Now for the exciting part: choosing your cufflinks!

There are lots of cufflinks available to order online, from silver to gold, hollow or solid, engraved, plain, or set with semi-precious stones and pearls.  

 Here at Waystone, we believe that when you spend money on jewelry, it should last a lifetime, and be meaningful too. Our favorite cufflink material is sophisticated, yet simple: natural stone. Since stone comes in almost every color imaginable, it can complement many suit colors. Natural materials are also versatile and can be dressed up or down. 


Hand holding dime-sized stone cufflinks with a fixed T shaped back
Made with a piece of granite, the neutral colors in these solid sterling silver cuff links would match most suits.


Want to make custom stone cufflinks that are totally unique? Order our Atlas Cufflinks and send us a stone you'd like to turn into an heirloom. We'll shape the stone at our Denver workshop and mount it in sterling silver. You can also personalize your cufflinks by engraving up to 22 characters on the back. Personalized engraving is especially nice when you're giving cufflinks as a gift to mark a special occasion.

Custom Cufflink Occasions

Here are a few of the occasions when an heirloom set of cufflinks make a big impact. 



If the wedding party is wearing black tie, or just wants to take things up a notch, they will need cufflinks. Just like the bride wears something old or something blue, the groom will love to wear a special set of cufflinks to his wedding day.

A couple could make a set of custom Atlas Cufflinks out of a stone they picked up at the location where they were engaged. Or perhaps they found a special stone at the wedding venue itself (which is exactly we did, and inspired us to start Waystone)!

We love the idea of giving cufflinks to the groomsmen, father of the bride, and father of the groom. They could be engraved with the wedding date, their names, or an inside joke that only they would understand. You call the shots!


Man dressed for a wedding in a white suit with natural stone cufflinks
Natural stone cufflinks are a unique accent for a groom's wedding attire


Corporate Gifting

For major construction projects, the usual go-to memento is an engraved shovel. Now, we have nothing against engraved shovels. I'm sure they look great leaning in the back of the closet. But what about a gift that's more likely to be used?

The Atlas Cufflinks would be the perfect construction ceremony keepsake for architects, developers, and builders. Make them out of a piece of concrete, brick, or stone used in the project. On the back, you could record the date or address of the project, and the name of the project or the firm. Not only is it a unique gift idea for builders, but they're sure to become a conversation piece when worn to a gala or proposal. 


A man's hand holds cut cylindrical rounds of brown stone to turn into cufflinks
Almost any stone can be made into jewelry at Waystone, including remnants from a construction site.


Get Classy with Cufflinks

No shade to the button cuff, but when you want to add a touch of class and style to your menswear, cufflinks are the way to go. A well-made set can easily become an heirloom that you'll pass down for generations. Not only that, but cufflinks are one of the only ways for men to personalize their formal wear, so why not take advantage of it and get something truly special? 

If you have an important occasion coming up, we'd love to make a pair of custom stone cufflinks for you. Head over to the Atlas Cufflinks to get started!

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