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Thread: When can you start wearing French cuffs + cufflinks?

  1. #1
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    When can you start wearing French cuffs + cufflinks?

    I recently got a pair of gorgeous cufflinks from my fiancée as an anniversary gift.

    In my office, I'm an upper-middle ranking staff member, although I'm still a junior associate when corporate level managements and executives are visiting.

    I'm aware of the implications of French cuffs and cufflinks, that unless it's a formal event, cufflinks are a symbol of power, and that they are earned.
    Needless to say, the gifts from my fiancée has lots of sentimental value, and I really do like them as well. But at the same time, I certainly don't wanna be "that guy" who overdresses for daily weekday grind.

    How should I go about this,
    1) Wear them, or not wear them?
    2) If so, how often, and when should I wear them?

    Thank you guys!

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    Super Moderator hornsup84's Avatar
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    Unless there's a clear-cut sentiment in your office about it, I feel like you might be overthinking it. While I personally don't wear them with regular business attire (find them annoying in terms of typing, etc. and if I roll up my sleeves, and don't have to be that dressy all the time), I can't say I've ever thought "how dare that junior wear links!".

    EDIT: I wanted to revisit, just to say that I think that if you worked them in occasionally to your otherwise business-level attire, then I don't think it'll raise any eyebrows--especially if you explain they were a gift from your fiancee. If you started to wear FC/links all the time, you could definitely become a "that guy" in terms of it being what you do all the time that's a bit off of the norm (e.g., sportcoat guy in a casual office).
    Last edited by hornsup84; February 26th, 2018 at 10:22 AM.

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    Are cuff links a symbol of power? Anyhow, wear them as much as you'd like. My boss wears FC shirts exclusively though he is probably in the executive level. FC shirt cuffs are just to big for daily use personally but if they fit your role, go for it.

    In my pre-dappered days circa 2007, I bought a french cuff shirt from TJMaxx and would wear it weekly as an auditor. That shirt was paired nicely with either black pants or khakis and some crap brown shoes or these square toed ultra shiny shoes. I was a mess.

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    Wearing a French cuff shirt and cufflinks today actually. I think you're overthinking the power aspect a bit. While that may have been true in the past I don't think many (most?) men think of it like that anymore save maybe some financial or legal executives.

    I only have 2-3 French cuff shirts, so I don't wear them often to work. But I inherited a box of antique cufflinks from my uncle, so I like the break them out every now and then. I'm a mid-level local government employee, for context.

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    You also have to consider what do you wear at your job. If you wear a suit every day, French cuffs can pass without a second look. If you wear jeans and boots and a French cuff shirt with no blazer, you're going to look out of place. Then there's the large area in between. I would probably stick to wearing them only with a suit and tie, but that's just me.

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    Whenever you want.

    French cuffs were popular around the same time everybody was wearing mass-produced shirts with no sleeve length. If we were in the 19th Century, these cuffs would be to fine tune your sleeve garter length and to hide the dirt from the last ten wears by going up a notch. As we don't care about any of that any more, the cuff style really doesn't matter.

    I would recommend not wearing them with a jacket with tapered cuffs as they bunch up. They also look goofy without a jacket. Besides that, have fun with it.

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    Varsity Member mebejoseph's Avatar
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    I never heard of that rule about power etc.

    No wonder my career stalled and I'm a senior counsel instead of a partner. I thought it was my failure to build up a big enough book of business. Crap--too old now to do anything about it.

    Joking aside, I usually save my french cuffs for slightly more formal things like meeting new clients or going to court OR a social function where I feel like standing out a bit, as I long as I am wearing a suit jacket/sports coat/blazer (and always with a Tux).

    I think I have more cuff links (most purchased by the wife, who loves jewelry) than I have french cuff shirts, so it seems like I don't wear them often enough. I don't like the extra steps of getting dressed and extra steps if I want to wash my hands above the wrist during the day.

    That said, I think it is a very nice look and I find it hard to imagine that anyone would think you're being insubordinate if you wore them to work with your suits. I think I recall you posting that you wear suits four or five times a week--go for it once or twice a week and you'll be fine.

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    I agree with the others who think you are over thinking it. I use to wear them pretty often but not anymore because I’m just not wearing suits much these days. I think at worst people thought they were old fashioned or a little too dressy. Mostly they were just a conversation piece. The one thing to watch (that’s hard to gauge without trying a shirt on) is how big the cuffs are on a French cuff shirt. I’ve had some that didn’t fit comfortable in jacket sleeves


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    Quote Originally Posted by mochi123 View Post
    In my office, I'm an upper-middle ranking staff member, although I'm still a junior associate when corporate level managements and executives are visiting.

    I'm aware of the implications of French cuffs and cufflinks, that unless it's a formal event, cufflinks are a symbol of power, and that they are earned.
    !
    Some firms and schools, particularly ones with long histories, can have very strict rules about dress as a function of rank. Unfortunately, these rules are often unwritten.

    Tradition may be irrational in the face of changing times, but that is usually when it is most fiercely defended.

    However, if such rules exist, they're generally easily confirmed. Talk to a man (women face different scrutiny and may not be aware of the men's code) who's been in the company for some time and ask if there are any traditions about dress codes. A casual 30-second inquiry can save you from what those who control your promotions may see as a presumptuous breach of etiquette.

    Plus, if it turns out there are such rules you can explain your decision to the gift giver with less risk of appearing to dislike the gift.

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    We all love our own styles here but unfortunately when it comes to business, it should be conservative , conservative ,conservative. When you are at work, you not only represent yourself but you represent your company. So, for the first 20 years at my firm, it was suit (we all know the standards), white or light blue shirt, regular cuffs and "boring" tie. Now that I'm a manager and pushing 50 does it cross my mind to "wear whatever I please because I'm the boss", of course it does. However, just as I send many of my nephews to this website for clothing advice, I still feel I was set an example for my younger staff. Now, I will say the one time I do see cuff links are a few executives wearing a light blue french cuff shirt ala "Robert Kraft" Sorry to bore you.HEHE

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