I must say, I really don’t trust people who don’t read in the bathroom. Our bathroom at home is filled with reading material; from Oprah magazines to a true-crime book (my disgusting guilty pleasure), to my husband’s history book (his not-so disgusting guilty pleasure) and his GQ magazines. When I have read my magazines one too many times, or when my current true-crime book is finished, my last resort is to skim through his GQ magazines (only because I cannot see myself getting into the Industrial Revolution and how it profoundly impacted the socioeconomic situation in America during the 19th century, no matter how bored I get). It is then that I realize that GQ is my husband’s fashion bible. From the way he wears his jacket and tie to the casual shoes he sports to the fashionable dress shoes he always eyes at the department store; it is all right there on those cologne laden glossy pages. So, instead of searching aimlessly online or scouring magazines, I just have to pick my husband’s fashion-oriented brain. My question to him was how to determine what type of cufflinks to wear on different occasions. Look online and you’ll find plenty of cufflinks options; playful cufflinks, traditional cufflinks and even cufflinks that are made to look like old 45 records. If you can imagine it, it is probably out there in the form of a cufflink. But would it be okay to wear those classic electric guitar cufflinks to, say, a job interview? Is there an etiquette for these things? What’s appropriate? And when is it appropriate?
You are a computer analyst by day, scolding your colleagues for using up all the bandwidth by watching YouTube videos when they should be focusing on the budget for the next fiscal year. You roll your eyes whenever you hear somebody across the cubicle wall scream, “Hey, guys, is the internet down?” Yet, by night, you throw that short-sleeved button-up shirt to the curb and throw down as a DJ on the turntables at the local club down the street. As a gift from your hip mother, you get some detailed Sterling Silver DJ Turntable Cufflinks. When to wear them? The debatable rule of thumb for playful and/or hobby-related cufflinks is to wear them at less formal occasions. For example, while it may seem like a nice ice-breaker to wear them at your next job interview, you may want to leave them at home and talk about your moonlighting as a DJ after you’ve locked up the job. However, if you had an office Christmas party where a suit and tie were required, you could definitely get away with sporting hobby cufflinks, due to the festive nature of the occasion. For weddings it might be best to decide on a case-by-case basis. If you are attending the wedding of a best friend and you know that it is going to be dressy but that everybody will be dancing to the latest rap songs, go ahead and put on those playful cufflinks. On the other hand, if you’ve been invited to the wedding of your CEO’s daughter where everyone will be dancing the minuet, hold off on the playful and go the more traditional route. At a political rally, you could always pair your suit with those Democratic donkey cufflinks if you are so inclined, unless, of course, you are a television reporter who needs to be unbiased to the public. Should you be attending a formal fundraising event for the local aquarium, go ahead and wear those Piranha or Shark Cufflinks. When it comes to being playful or sporting an interest through your cufflinks, simply play it by ear and do your best to always be tasteful, suiting the cufflinks to the occasion where appropriate.
Classic, more traditional cufflinks do not always have to translate into boring. Striped, crystal or silk knot cufflinks could all come under the definition of classic. Simply match the cufflink to the color of your tie and/or the tone of your belt or wedding band and you should have an easy fix. If you are attending a funeral or a formal wedding (like the boss’s wedding mentioned above), you will definitely want to go the traditional route. The same goes for a job interviews. You want that panel interviewing you to focus on what you are saying and what you can bring to the company – not staring at your Dallas Cowboys cufflinks and wondering if you will be the one getting everyone to participate in a fantasy football league on ESPN instead of doing your job. If you are going on a formal blind date to the opera, it probably best to go with a set of traditional cufflinks instead of the Slot Machine cufflinks; a first date is not the time for her to be wondering whether she is embarking on a relationship with a gambling addict who will force her to take a second mortgage on their home to support his habit.
In all actuality, there really are no hard and fast rules when it comes to cufflinks It really is a matter of personal preference and personality as to what cufflinks you will be wearing with your various outfits at your assorted events. If you are the kind of guy who can pull off pink socks with a suit, by all means, be as flashy as you dare. If the idea of somebody coming up to you to discuss the Harley Davidson logo on your cufflinks leaves you in a panic, stick with something more traditional. Remember, cufflinks are meant to enhance an outfit, not detract from it.