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Cuff Links

What are cufflinks? They are small ornamental devices, generally a pair of linked buttons or one button that fastens with a bar or shank, inserted through buttonholes to keep the cuff of a shirt or blouse closed. Cuff buttons took the place of cuff strings in the 17th century, and the word link appeared as early as 1788.

By the 1840s, cuff links were usually in the form of gold, silver, or pearl buttons. They have become as much of a fashion statement as a clothing necessity.

How did cuff links come to be? They are believed to have first been used in the 17th century. The late English King (Charles II) made them popular with his style of dress. The shirts he fancied had lacy fronts and lacy cuffs. The coat cuff was held back to the sleeve with an ornamental button. Over the centuries styles evolved and the buttons came to resemble modern cuff links. Today, the links are as functional as they are ornamental. They do work to hold cuffs together.

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