Wearing It On the Sleeve

Cufflinks have been riding the tide of men?s fashion since the reign of Louis XIV, when ruffles evolved into wristbands. At first, men used ribbons to fasten their cuffs, as they did their collars, but they soon discarded cuff strings for more versatile linked buttons. (To this day, the French call cufflinks boutons de manchette, or ?cuff buttons.?) There?s more demand for antique and estate cufflinks today than there?s been in decades. ?The craze started about 10 years ago,? says Millicent Safro, co-owner of Tender Buttons in New York City, which began carrying cufflinks after customers asked her to convert the store?s antique buttons into sleeve-wear. Now the store carries cufflinks of all eras, from the Victorian to the flamboyant 1960s. ?There?s not a lot of jewelry men can wear, so cufflinks in general are always very collectible,? says Stephen Russell, who sells antique cufflin
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