New Delhi, July 9 (IANS) Men, get over your fetish for belts, wallets and watches and discover the world of cufflinks. From simple glass buttons to bejewelled studs, cufflinks of a wide variety are waiting to add an extra punch to the wardrobe.
‘Cufflinks were and still are popular only among the upper class. People who are rich are the ones aware of them. There are many people from the lower income group who still don’t have any idea as to what cufflinks are,’ designer Vijay Arora told IANS.
The cufflink, or a decorative fastener, helps fasten the two sides of the cuff on a shirt. After the belt and the tie pin, it is a valuable accessory for men.
While they are quite popular in the West, cufflinks are still trying to find a hold in the Indian market.
Designer Raghuvendra Rathore said: ‘Despite being around for a long time, cufflinks are still not popular in India. Many people still don’t feel the need to use them with formal wear.
‘Availability is another reason why cufflinks are not yet popular in India. One can find them in fewer stores. And besides, India’s traditional wear doesn’t involve this accessory, so less people prefer it.’
They come gold plated, stone studded, in sterling silver, stainless steel, pearl, and even diamonds at jewellery stores. Cufflinks are also available in gift shops and designer stores.
Zodiac, Orosilber, Satya Paul and Raymonds are some of the stores where one can look for the decorative fastener in India.
As far as international brands are concerned, Versace, Gucci, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton are known for their classy accessory. Brands like Tie Rack, London, also sell cuff links with special messages and letters from the English alphabet.
‘I bought a pair for my dad on the occasion of Father’s Day. It said ‘World’s Best Dad’ and he was thrilled to bits,’ said Teesta Guha.
Cufflinks have appealed to men ever since the early 18th century.
‘No one knows the exact location, but they came from the West. They were worn by the royal men of those times and over time became the most sophisticated part of men’s wardrobe,’ said Arora.
It is believed that the decorative piece of jewellery became popular during the reign of Louis XIV of France, a country known for its high-end fashion. During that period, men started joining the cuffs of their sleeves with strings and later it was replaced by painted or ornate studs.
Today a wide variety is available even in India. And thanks to the expanding market, reasonably priced cufflinks are also available.
If you don’t want to burn a whole in your pocket, you can pick something from the local market for around Rs.300-Rs.1,000; At designer stores like Zodiac, the price varies from Rs.1,000-7,000 and if the you are opting for the accessory with real jewels, then the sky is the limit.
Arora feels cufflinks add to your personality.
‘Cufflinks are a stylish and elegant accessory that emphasise your individuality even when you wear it with a classic costume. They are very simple and tasteful and add a unique personal touch to your wardrobe,’ said Arora.
So what is the best way to wear a cufflink? Designer Nitin Bal Chauhan has a piece of advice.
‘With any designer shirt, one can wear stylised cufflinks. With a black shirt one can always carry silver and with any light colour gold cufflinks can be used. Cufflinks should always be in combination with the waistcoat or tie,’ said Chauhan.
Some feel women can also wear cufflinks with their formal shirt, but Rathore doesn’t agree.
‘I think cufflinks aren’t women’s accessory at all. The reason why they are popular only among men is because women concentrate more on jewellery,’ said Rathore.
(Devyani Kacker can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)