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Recommend a basic 1st pair of cufflinks?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Posting for the first time---normally I post on a women's fashion board, but this board seems perfect for my question. What would be a good, versatile first pair of cufflinks? My boyfriend has accumulated a few shirts with french cuffs (because he liked the collar/fabric/cut, not because of the cuffs). He's been wearing them exclusively with the sleeves rolled up (and it looks great), but there have been one or two occasions where he'd like to wear a french cuff shirt with a jacket, and then he's not sure what to do about the cuffs. He has some silk knots, but has never worn them (too casual for the jacket (?), and in actual casual situations he rolls them up...). We tried these (don't laugh *too* hard): br cufflinks with one of his shirts (which admittedly is not a great shirt) and they looked terrible. Perhaps we should try them with a good shirt, but I think they just look somehow wrong, kind of cheap and chunky? His style is mostly very laid-back, understated, simple, casual (software consultant), so he'd probably only have an occasion to wear them a few times a year at most. Overall he seems to look good in English styles (rather than Italian). He doesn't want to be flamboyant or attract attention, he wants to look well-put-together and discreet. Anyhow...I am totally ignorant about men's clothing...any guidance would be appreciated. I'll pass on whatever advice you have to him. Thanks.
post #2 of 26
How much do you want to spend? Cufflinks have a huge price scale... you can get something decent on eBay dirt cheap, but of courses these things can get up into the hundreds or thousands. If $50 is your limit, you might be best served by browsing thrift stores or eBay for items that might catch your fancy. $50-100 or so gives you a little more flexibility, but it helps to narrow down what you want. Do you want a gold or silver tint; do you want coloring; do you want stones; do you want any sort of designs or patterns? One common recommendation here is to stick with double sided cufflinks, or at least avoid the ones with the toggle backs, as they generally tend to look cheap.
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Good questions. I'm not really sure about any of them. : There are very few occasions for him to wear them, so it seems hard to justify spending more than $50. But if there's a good pair that's more expensive that he could wear forever, it seems reasonable to spend more. I guess we're looking for something that's completely versatile that would go with everything...so we were thinking a plain metal. Not sure about gold/silver. His navy jacket has gold buttons---does that matter? Thanks for the rec. about the double-sided---those do look better.
post #4 of 26
For basic wear, I use a pair of mother of pearl cufflinks made from some silver colored metal (don't really know or care whether it's actual sterling or not), cost me about $15 on eBay. I don't have any gold buttoned blazers, so I don't really have something to comment on that aspect, but I'm thinking a silver pair wouldn't be problematic for him unless he were really picky about details. What do you think of this pair or this pair? Keep in mind that this is only my doing a quick 5 minute eBay search for lower priced, basic design, double-sided cufflinks, so I'm not vouching for any sort of quality standard. Of course, cufflinks tend to be exhorbitantly marked up, especially at retail, so it might just make more economic sense to get some cheap and fast for now without worrying too much as long as you like the look. I've been shopping around for cufflinks myself anyway, so I'll let you know if I come across anything that might interest you or him.
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I like the first pair, not sure what he'll think---I'll run them both by him tomorrow and root around ebay some.
post #6 of 26
Wait for Tom (Cuffthis) to make a recommendation. He's the cufflink, closet space, and Ralph Lauren guru around here. Personally, I think a stainless steel pair of Tiffany barbells is a step in the right direction. I wear a pair of stainless steel flipbacks (avoids heckles) that I raided from my dad's knicknack box in college. Save the precious metals for later... besides gold gets dinged way too easily.
post #7 of 26
SIlver barbells or knots are probably the best first set of cufflinks, imo. Works with charcoal and navy (although their not matching with the gold buttons on his blazer may be a problem) jackets, and either are simple enough to be used for eveningwear.
post #8 of 26
Those br links are actually very basic and are good for a first pair. You can also find some good deals on the net. I purchased 3 pair that are quite nice for relatively little money after doing a search for "cuff links." I tend to avoid ebay. At least for clothes. Had some bad experiences there. One type of link is my least fave is the kind that simply slip through the button holes, w/o a swivel on one end to secure them. This kind tend to come loose. Also, many years ago, I purchased a beautiful pair of links from Nordstrom's. Black onyx with gold and the type that have the design attached to a chain that slips through the holes. I busted them a year or so later. I went back to see if they still carried them. They did. And they simply replaced them at no charge. What great service.
post #9 of 26
Welcome to Style Forum, bostoniangirl. Any girl who asks for advice BEFORE buying her significant other a pair of cufflinks, get tops points in my book. First, a quick background on me. I collect only double-sided and snap type cufflinks from the 1910's - 1930's. I like these for their gorgeous Art Deco influences, as well as their unique designs and closure mechanisms, the quality and style of which are rarely manufactured today. My collection is over 2,000 pairs of links of this style. I consider cufflinks to be miniature works of art, and links from this period to be the height of quality, affordablity and availability. To answer your question about a good first pair of links, I would recommend these, which are currently available on Ebay: basic mother of pearl snap cufflinks, a bargain at $30 or less. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws....me=WDVW Double sided engine turned, a steal at $12 buy it now price. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws....me=WDVW Porcelian double sided links, a little more $$, but unique http://cgi.ebay.com/ws....61&rd=1 plain sterling silver, goes with everything. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws....12&rd=1 Celluloid, at $12, you can resell these for $40, easily. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws....49&rd=1 These are some example of what's available out there (from my collection) http://img58.echo.cx/my.php?image=cufflinks0028bm.jpg http://img58.echo.cx/my.php?image=cu...splaycase2.jpg http://img58.echo.cx/my.php?image=cufflinks5sv.jpg
post #10 of 26
Tom gives great advice and makes excellent suggestions. I think something sterling silver/white gold and/or mother of pearl would be the most understated and versatile for a first pair. Like cuffthis (but not in the same league in my lifetime) I limit myself to double-sided links. If you go with modern links, the plain sterling barbells at Tiffany and Brooks Brothers are both very nice (I have both). The Tiffany versions are a bit cheaper, oddly enough. I also have a modern pair of sterling knots that are very versatile. I think that these days most find silver/white gold to be a bit more understated and sophisticated than yellow gold. It's more contemporary looking, although as a second or third pair he ought to get gold at some point. For a first pair, though, think sterling. These mother of pearl links are pretty nice.
post #11 of 26
I am rather fond of stirrup cufflinks.
post #12 of 26
don't know why you (and your boyfriend) think that silk knots are too informal for wear with a jacket. The larger point is that double cuffs / French cuff are the most formal type of cuffs one can have. Thus, no matter how they're fastened you're already a step more formal than plain buttons. I have several pair of the silk knots in bright colors and combinations, and wear them with a tuxedo. Wore the black/white knots with a white tie once, even. The down side for me is that when I'm rushing off to shul (which is, um, every single shabbos I blush to admit) the knots are a bit of an installation delay. Fastest are my Agnes B steel swivel backs, shiny silver color with a cursive "b". Not the most stylist -- and I wouldn't suggest it for a gift -- but they are my go-to pair when I'm running late. Check out Tiffany. They've got some silver one-piece links that are fantastic and not expensive at all (IIRC less than $100). The "dumbell" model which is one piece of metal with bulges on either end. Mine have a nice, heavy feel, and it's never an insult to get something in the little blue box ... good luck.
post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much to everyone for all the suggestions and help (especially to cuffthis for giving so many examples--very impressive collection). I'll relay everything to B to see what he thinks. So far I'm definitely preferring the double-sided styles. (hm, maybe *I* need some french cuff shirts.) Also I think it's a good point about being able to wear the silk knots with a jacket--we're pretty clueless on the cufflink front, so we weren't sure if this was acceptable or would look weird. He likes the silk knots he has, I think he just has to take the plunge and try wearing them to get used to it. But it sounds like some metal ones would be a good addition. It seems (as with women's accessories) you really can't have too many.
post #14 of 26
If you're really stuck but want to get something, colored silk knots are fun and easy to buy for not a lot (c. $12). One reference for what is out there is Longmire: http://www.longmire.co.uk/index.h....1000012 check out the silver enameled.  Beyond stated price range, but might make a good Christmas present or similar. But if you know what you want and don't demand everything to be new, eBay is an excellent resource. Especially since the more discreet cufflinks are often not made anymore.
post #15 of 26
Simple gold or silver double-sided ovals. I like a smaller, slimmer oval. Goes with everything, and very elegant. Black silk knots are another basic, versatile option.
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