Originate: The ‘sleeve buttons’, referred to by French tailors as ‘Boutons de Manchettes’.

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Shirt collars and cuffs were held together in the late Middle Ages by means of ribbons or strings. Around the 17th century, when fashion changed, the first cufflinks as we know them today were created.

During this time, loose collars and cuffs were worn over the shirt. These were then closed with gold or silver buttons. The two parts of the cufflink were connected to each other by means of a link or small chain. Precious metals were still a rarity at this time and so wearing cufflinks was therefore only affordable for the rich.

The ‘sleeve buttons’, referred to by French tailors as ‘Boutons de Manchettes’, became increasingly popular with the upper classes. Jewelers started making these sleeve buttons in silver and gold, adding semi-precious stones or stamped designs and thus the cufflink was born.

A pair of silver cufflinks, presumably to commemorate the marriage of King Charles II with Catherine of Braganza in 1662

Partly due to changing fashion styles and the use of different classes of precious metals, the popular clothing jewelry became accessible to a wider audience.

Until around the end of the 19th century, the cufflink was worn by both men and women. Men expressed their status through a hefty patched up shirt with large cuffs and collars. The women’s cuffs were of soft cotton or fine linen and they wore subtle gold cufflinks inlaid with diamonds.

Around the 20th century, cufflinks were replaced by fixed buttons on shirts that made their appearance in the fashion industry.

Cufflinks returned to fashion in the 1990s. Elite fashion elements were again applied en masse in notably traditional and chic forms, including galas and weddings. A tuxedo, morning dress or white tie have become unthinkable without the accompanying cufflinks.

Sean Connery as James Bond, in the movie ‘Goldfinger’ © original photo EON Productions

Game changers

King Charles II (1630-1685)
Cufflinks became popular in England in the 17th century. This was mainly due to the royals such as King Charles II . He started with having special commemorative cufflinks made in honor of weddings, coronations and other special occasions.

Charles II, King of England

‘The Count Of Monte Cristo’ (1844)
In this novel, the famous French writer Alexandre Dumas tells of the character ‘Baron Danglars’ – “a man whose presence sparked great envy when onlookers gazed on the enormous diamond that glittered in his shirt, and the red ribbon that depended from his button-hole”. After reading the book, French tailors immediately recognized the extent of such fashion accessories on a men’s wardrobe and the elegance it could give to men’s outfits. It is suggested that the French cuff was then developed by French tailors.

George Krementz, (1876)
The German immigrant George Krementz, took care with his company (Krementz & Co., New York USA), of the massive production of jewelery and especially cufflinks from 1876.
These were made with ‘cheaper’ materials and provided with an overlay of gold or silver. The technique for this came from the concept of machines that made bullets, and gave the opportunity to apply a lot of variation in the design. By the year 1900 his company was producing most of the world’s cufflinks.

George Krementz

Mr. Boyer (1924)
The house ‘LOUIS FAGLIN’ was founded in 1899 as a button maker, and the company quickly developed into a high-end cufflink manufacturer on the outskirts of Paris.
In 1924, foreman and founder, Mr. Boyer, designed the first version of what is now commonly referred to as the “Bullet-Back Cufflink”. It was called the “T-link” in its day and is still one of the most popular types of cufflinks currently in circulation. A system of a moving rod between a double stem.

Cufflinks are the perfect gift for yourself or to give. In any case, make sure that you have a wide collection in your wardrobe to choose from. With this you can easily match your clothes and accessories. View our cufflinks collection in the store.

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