Elegance Simplified – A Step-by-Step Guide to Putting on Cufflinks

how to put on cufflinks

Cufflinks are small but mighty accessories that can elevate your attire from mundane to magnificent. These miniature works of art not only hold your shirt cuffs together but also make a bold fashion statement. If you’ve ever been intrigued by the world of cufflinks but felt intimidated by their intricacy, fear not. In this article, we will demystify the process of putting on cufflinks in a simple, step-by-step manner.

Choose the Right Cufflinks

Before you embark on your journey to cufflink mastery, you need to start with the right cufflinks. Cufflinks come in various styles, materials, and designs. Whether you prefer classic, novelty, or contemporary designs, ensure your cufflinks match the formality of your outfit. Gold, silver, and stainless steel are popular choices, but materials range from wood to precious gemstones. Select cufflinks that reflect your style and the occasion.

Gather Your Tools

To successfully put on cufflinks, you’ll need two important tools

  • Your shirt with French cuffs Ensure your shirt is equipped with French cuffs. These are longer cuffs that are designed to be fastened with cufflinks, as opposed to regular button cuffs.
  • Your chosen cufflinks Have them ready and make sure they are clean and free of any tarnish.

Preparing Your Cufflinks

Before you put on cufflinks, ensure they are in proper working order. Some cufflinks have a swivel post while others have a bullet-back mechanism. Test the mechanism to ensure they open and close smoothly.

Set Your Sleeve Length

Make sure your shirt’s sleeves are the right length. They should be long enough to cover your wrist, leaving about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of cuff visible below your jacket or blazer.

Fold Back Your Cuffs

Fold back the cuffs of your shirt so that the holes on each side align perfectly.

Insert Cufflink through Holes

Gently insert the first cufflink through the two holes in the shirt cuffs. Ensure that the decorative side of the cufflink faces outward and is visible to onlookers. The swivel post or bullet-back mechanism should be on the inner side of the cuff.

Align the Holes

Once the cufflink is through, align the holes of the cuff.

Secure the Cufflink

The next step is to secure the cufflink. Depending on the type of cufflink, you can follow these two methods

  • Swivel Post Cufflinks For cufflinks with swivel posts, rotate the post 90 degrees so that it is parallel to the cufflink, thus locking it in place.
  • Bullet-Back Cufflinks If you have bullet-back cufflinks, simply flip the bullet so that it is perpendicular to the cufflink post, securing it in place.

Repeat on the Other Cuff

Now that you’ve successfully fastened one cufflink, it’s time to repeat the process with the other cuff. Ensure both cufflinks are aligned and secure at the same height and angle to maintain a balanced appearance.

Check for Symmetry

Stand back, or use a mirror to check your cuffs for symmetry. They should be at the same height and angle, creating a polished and balanced look.

Adjust as Needed

If you notice any discrepancies in the alignment or tightness of your cufflinks, make any necessary adjustments. Symmetry is key to achieving an elegant appearance.

Pair with Appropriate Attire

Now that you’ve mastered the art of putting on cufflinks, it’s essential to pair them with the appropriate attire. Cufflinks are particularly suitable for formal occasions, such as weddings, black-tie events, or business meetings. They can also be worn with semi-formal attire, like a dress shirt and blazer.

Complement with Other Accessories

Cufflinks can be part of a coordinated accessory ensemble. Match them with other accessories like your tie, pocket square, or belt. Just be cautious not to overdo it; less is often more when it comes to accessories.

Confidence and Style

Finally, it’s important to remember that cufflinks are not just functional but also a style statement. Wear them with confidence and a smile, and you’ll instantly elevate your look.


Can you put cufflinks on any shirt?

To wear cufflinks, you need a special shirt: a cuff shirt, also known as a dress shirt. The sleeve length of the French – or double – cuff shirt falls slightly over the hand when the arm is extended. Per sleeve this shirt has four buttonholes and is designed to be folded up to the wrist.

Are cufflinks formal or casual?

Generally, people wear cufflinks at black tie events or other formal occasions, although they can be part of casual looks or semi-formal attire, such as with business suits.

In conclusion, don’t be intimidated by cufflinks. They are an elegant and straightforward addition to your attire once you understand the process. With the right cufflinks, practice, and a little patience, you’ll be well on your way to mastering this art. Cufflinks not only keep your cuffs secure but also add a touch of sophistication and personal style to your outfit. So, go ahead, embrace the elegance, and start using cufflinks to make a bold fashion statement.

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