Are the cufflinks an essential element of office wear or they should be reserved for formal occasions? For gentleman who wants to stand out or show his status, cufflinks are a great accessory that make a statement.
Clothes do not make the man, but attention to the detail differentiates man from the gentleman. Choosing a shirt with cuffs is a matter of style and require wearing cufflinks.
Cufflinks were an essential accessory for nobles for centuries and became more common in Victorian times. In the seventies of last century cuff links were replaced with build-in buttons, but they made a big comeback in the nineties and today are worn by men and women. What was once an exclusive domain of wealthy and privileged class of people became a main street fashion accessory.
Today, cufflinks are commonly available, and in my opinion they are always in a good taste to complement a professional attire. They are also a part of men’s jewerly and since the more stylish a man becomes, the more he relies on smaller details, you should strive to match the colour of your cufflinks with other metals – your watch or ring.
Shirts come with either cuff with buttons or cuff for cufflinks. The last is definitely more elegant option and I would advise having few shirts for cuff links, as well few pairs of metal and silk knot cuffs.
If you decide for enamel or knot cufflinks, you should coordinate their colours with the rest of your attire. Knot cufflinks are an inexpensive option for adding an extra flair to your look. They work great for a more relaxed look and you can play with the colour, matching them with tie or handkerchief.
There is a wide range of fancy cufflinks available on the market and even some fashion designers promote them. Pair them rather with casual outfits, as funny cufflinks do not add to the professional look.
Please note shirt with cuff links is meant to be worn with the jacket. If you want to be more relaxed and remove the jacket, then choose for a shirt with buttoned cuffs.
Tips on wearing cufflinks:
- Choose gold or silver cufflinks for formal occasions
- The more formal the occasion the less ornamented the cufflinks
- For formal occasions choose double cuff shirt (also known as French cuff)
- For office wear and business, you can choose less formal single cuff shirt
- For a professional office look avoid fancy cufflinks, keep them simple and solid
- Match the colour of your knot cufflinks with the attire
- For an elegant look, metals of all jewerly pieces should match
- When wearing cufflinks, keep the jacket on
A monogram is a symbol that is based on letters and is used as decoration. It usually represents the owners’ initials. Monograms first came about when people needed to mark objects with the initials of the owners. They have been used since ancient times, but experienced their most widespread popularity during the Victorian era. It showed that people were fond of having personalized objects, but it also came to be associated with snobbery.
Monograms fell out of fashion because of mass manufacturing and the prevalence of brands. Today using a monogram shows that you are an individual and have something that is unique to you. You may put a monogram on personal items like stationery, pen or briefcase. Some exclusive brands offer this service to its clients free of charge.
The most common use of monograms for men today is on custom-made shirts. It shows that the shirt was made for you by a tailor and demonstrates that you care about detail and an individual approach to clothing. Most tailors offer embroidery services to put monograms on your clothes. However, it can also be seen as ostentatious and an unnecessary luxury. But I like to think, that is is better to wear your own initials, than those of the tailor.
Monograms can be added by hand or by a machine in any place on a shirt, but they are usually on the cuffs, pockets, collars, or lower edge of the shirt. Monograms in bright colors or those on the cuffs are the most ostentatious. Most monograms are subtler and can only be seen by the owner of the shirt. They are in the same color as the shirt or are in a hidden place.
A tailor made shirt shows sophistication and good taste, but you don’t need to be ostentatious about it. A monogram will compliment your outfit and symbolizes the uniqueness of your clothing.
Guidelines for creating a monogram for men.
Monogram consist of an initials of name and surname or names and surname.
When choosing a shirt, a gentleman should also pay attention to the details like:
There are many kinds of collars. They can be straight or rounded, narrow or broad, high or low, and without or without buttons. There are also specialty collars, like the mandarin collar, which does not require a tie or bow tie, or collars that require a special pin or chain.
When wearing a straight and narrow collar, you should use a single knot tie, like a straight knot or a Kent. With broad and thick collars, you should wear thicker knots like the Windsor.
Good shirts will have collars with openings where you can put stiffeners to help keep the shape of the collar straight and stiff. Better and more solid stiffeners are made from metal or mother of pearl, while cheaper ones are made of plastic. Do not forget to remove the stiffeners before washing.
Shirts can have a short sleeve which ends before the elbow or a sleeve which reaches all the way to the elbow. A short sleeve can be straight or have a cuff, while a long sleeve always has a cuff. Short-sleeve shirts are less formal and should not be worn during business meetings, but they are appropriate in a more casual setting under a sport jacket without a tie.
Cuffs can be single and straight and have one or two buttons. Cuffs can also be double with buttons or holes for cuff links. A double cuff with pins is particularly elegant and looks stylish.
- Other style elements:
Some shirts look best with a pocket square, which can be square or diamond shaped. Other things to look for include decorative buttons and complimentary seam colors.
When talking about ties, you cannot forget about another essential element of men’s clothing – the shirt. Most men only think about the color and size of a shirt, but when searching for a quality garment, there are many more options to think about. The best shirts are customized by tailors, who will adjust the size and cut to fit each individual and who can change style features like the cuff type, seam colors, or button design. Shirts can also be monogrammed on the pocket or at the bottom of the shirt.
What are the most important things to look for when buy a shirt?
When looking at size, one needs to consider both the collar size and the length of the shirt. The collar should fit around your neck with one finger comfortably fitting between the collar and your neck. Collars are measured in inches and available from 38 to 52. It’s best to measure your neck or have a salesperson do it for you first and then choose a shirt.
The size of a shirt is defined by height, which means the width and length are made for the average person of that height. You should find a shirt that matches your height so the shirt proportions match your body.
The best fabric for a shirt is pure cotton. In the summer, you want a light cotton, but in the winter, you should look for a heavier, thicker material, sometimes called double-ply. Unfortunately, pure cotton shirts tend to wrinkle and it is difficult to press them. There are synthetic cotton blends, usually made with polyester, which are resistant to wrinkling and are easier to press.
Classic shirts are usually solid color or have a pattern with just one color. These colors are easier to match with ties and jackets and always look elegant, therefore, it’s worth investing in several different shades. The most common colors are white, ivory, bright yellow, sky-blue, and rose. White is the most neutral color and suits all occasions, but you should select colors based on your preferences and on your complexion and hair color.
Striped and checked shirts with two or three colors match plain jackets and solid ties. These shirts are less formal and are not recommended for business meetings. Those with a strong imagination and good taste can match patterns, but for beginners, matching patterns can be a risky experiment.
Men’s shirts come in normal or slim fit. Men with broad shoulders and a solid trunk should choose normal fit, whereas thin men ought to opt for slim fit shirts. A tailored shirt highlights a thin body and prevents the problem of having too much material to tuck in to trousers.