Dapper Dans

Vintage shirt studs and cufflinks.
Vintage shirt studs and cufflinks.

I am pretty old school.  I love a clean cut man in a dark suit.  Make it a tuxedo, and I am swooning!  Of course, make it a uniform, and I am in love (it is a good thing I have lots of photos of my husband in his Army uniform).

Vintage cufflinks, shirt studs and blazer buttons intrigue me.  Bow ties, cummerbund, tuxedos, and shiny black patent shoes make any man look like a million dollars!

Modern shirt studs.
Modern shirt studs.

In my town, we have a hospital gala once a year and a new fundraiser is starting this April when the Freedom Ball is held to raise money for upkeep to our veteran’s memorial.  I love seeing everyone dressed up and wearing their nice jewelry, elegant evening purses, jeweled evening dresses, fur coats, family plaid kilts, and/or tuxedos.  For the Freedom Ball, there will be participants in their military dress uniforms.  It will be a lovely sight in a dimly lit room with candle light dancing off brass buttons, jewels and sequins.

A few years ago, I gave my husband an antique set of 10K, gray abalone cufflinks and shirt stud set.  They are exquisitely detailed with tiny gold florets in the middle of the pearly gray circle.  A fine detailed gold rim completes the face of these relics from bygone days.  Maybe they were worn by Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, to dinner at Downtown Abbey.

Modern cufflinks and shirt studs.
Modern cufflinks and shirt studs.

For his birthday recently I gave him a modern set of John Hardy sterling silver and black sapphire cufflinks and shirt stud set.  I love black shirt buttons on a white tuxedo shirt, and these will look perfect, while adding a bit of edge to the ensemble.

The antique set of cufflinks were the button style, where two buttons are attached by small chain links.  These are my  favorite style to use when my blouse calls for cufflinks, as I find them easier to put on and stay on.  The John Hardy set is a one piece cufflinks with the larger, decorative face on one side and a small bar on the other.  The small bar tilts so that the cufflinks can be easily inserted into the button hole.

This was how I presented the vintage set of cufflinks and studs to Michael.
This was how I presented the vintage set of cufflinks and studs to Michael.

There are so many beautiful sets of cufflinks and shirt studs available at jewelry stores and websites like eBay and the Real Real.  They add the finishing touch of elegance or whimsy to an already refined look.

It is easy to make a standard tuxedo fit your individual style.  Vests, bow ties, cummerbunds, lapel pins, shirt style, and, of course, shirt studs and cufflinks.  Even the goldstone and silvertone cufflinks and shirt studs from modern makers such as Cuff-Daddy and Men’s Wearhouse are beautiful accents that add to an evening look.

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A lovely set of black sapphire and sterling cufflinks and shirt studs.

And yes, women’s blouses sometimes do require cufflinks.  They are usually smaller than a gentleman’s cufflinks and, from my limited experience, they tend to blend with the fabric rather than stand out.  It tends to be based more on what is in style.  In the mid-2000s, I had several silk blouses that I wore with suits that required cufflinks.

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