The fourth installment of our OBJ Holiday Giving Guide is devoted to Men’s Jewelry Gifts, adapted from “The All-Encompassing Guide to Cufflinks” on 1stdibs.com.
If you’re looking for Christmas gift ideas for the man in your life, consider a pair of cufflinks. He just might love them! If he’s a clotheshorse, cufflinks could be a welcome new accessory category…something he might enjoy collecting. On the other hand, if he’s a Sloppy Joe type, cufflinks might help improve his overall appearance — since cufflinks, by definition, require dress shirts.
Cufflinks: The Backstory
Cufflinks first became popular in the 1800s when cuffs and collars — the shirt parts that wear out first — were made stiffer for durability. Because this process made cuffs too stiff to secure with a simple button, the cufflink was invented out of necessity.
While the first cufflinks served a utilitarian purpose, the stylish Duke of Windsor popularized gold and gemstone versions in the early 20th century, making cufflinks one of the first pieces of jewelry acceptable for men to wear.
The material cufflinks are made of will determine their price point, so consider how and where your guy will be wearing them. Cufflinks are essential, along with shirt studs, when donning a dinner jacket or tuxedo for a formal event. But perhaps it’s best to start him off with an everyday pair of cufflinks to wear to the office or to holiday parties.
The 1stdibs Cufflinks Guide says the only rule of thumb is to match the cufflinks material with his watch – gold with gold, silver with silver, etc. Here are some tips to help you pick the perfect pair.
- Gold…18K and 14K gold cufflinks are always in good taste, and appropriate for formal wear. Gold-tone metal is perfectly acceptable too.
- Silver…Sterling silver cufflinks are special, but surprisingly affordable…and they’ll work with his silver-tone or two-tone watches. Stainless steel is a good alternative.
- Titanium…It has a grayer cast than silver or stainless steel, and it’s lighter in weight. Titanium is durable, corrosion-resistant, and sporty.
- Silk…One of the most popular of all cufflink styles is made from knotted, corded silk. These little two-sided love knots are fun to give and easy to collect. Just remember they should contrast with — not match — his tie and pocket square.
- Enamel…Another way to add a splash of color is with enamel links in silver or gold. We love this vintage oval pair in multicolor rep-tie stripes, available on 1stdibs.
- Precious or Semi-Precious Stones…We’ve come full circle back to formal cufflink styles. Crystal, mother-of-pearl, onyx, opal, diamond and sapphire links are all good options. Prices will vary widely depending on the stone you select.
The Cult of Personality
Cufflinks are one of the few accessories where men can truly express their personalities. There are thousands of cufflink motifs to commemorate everything from colleges to sports teams, hobbies to action heroes. Click here for an array of cufflinks currently available on 1stdibs; we’ve sorted them from lowest to highest price for your convenience.
P.S. Don’t forget to buy him a shirt with French cuffs to put under the tree so he can enjoy his new cufflinks on Christmas day.