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Different Types Of Cufflinks: Your Dedicated Guide To Mens Cufflinks (2023)

Men’s cufflinks are seen as a symbol of status, wealth and sophistication; the icing on the outfit cake for any occasion where a dress shirt is worn.

Having evolved tremendously over their 400-year history, there is now different types of cufflinks available on the market, that vary in mechanism, shape, colour and material. 

We uncover some of the amazing cufflinks accessible on the market, ranging from the commonly worn to some more specific and specialised pieces.

Are you ready to take your cufflinks game to the next level?


The main part of the cufflink is the front face, which is part of the cufflink that is displayed at the cuff. The post goes through the holes of the cuff and connects the front face to the toggle at the back, used to secure the cuff to the cufflink.

Before we look at the different front-face cufflink shapes available, it’s important to know that cufflinks can also vary in their post and toggle mechanisms. Here are some of the different types of cufflink mechanisms and how they function:

  • Whaleback cufflinks: Have a flat head, straight post, and the signature “whale tail” that flips securely against the post to use while their large posts and closing mechanisms make them the essence of simplicity and practicality.
Different types of cufflinks

  • Bullet back cufflinks: Bear an uncanny resemblance to their whale tail counterparts, with the post being a hollow frame. To secure them in place and ensure they remain on your cuffs for years to come, all you need to do is flip out the cylinder of metal nested inside the frame.

bullet back cufflinks

  • Chain link cufflinks: Features a connecting chain between two ends (usually identical) for an elegant finish. These accessories come in many forms – from basic designs to more intricate styles sure to add sophistication and flair no matter what your wardrobe consists of.

chain cufflinks

  • Knot cufflinks: Similar to chain link cufflinks, knot cufflinks have two heads connected by a short and supple cord, usually silk rather than metal. Due to the silk material, these types of cufflinks are actually more commonly worn on informal and casual occasions.

knot cufflinks

  • Ball return cufflinks: Have a distinctly curved post with a tiny heavy ball positioned opposite to its decorative head. Due to its structure, it fastens slightly looser than hinged cufflinks but slightly tighter than chain link. 
ball return silver cufflinks
  • Stud/button cufflinks: Features a small stud/button attached to the post and is a more minimalist type of cufflink. 

button cufflinks

  • Locking cufflinks: Utilizes a remarkable hinge mechanism to secure the cuff. It secures the cuffs by swinging open the post, slipping the smaller end of the cufflinks through the cuff hole, and then shutting the post. This mechanism makes them one of the most secure cufflinks available on the market.

locking cufflinks

As well as differences in the mechanical design of cufflinks, they can also vary in the shape of their face. The shape of the different types of cufflinks you decide to wear should coincide with the occasion, whether formal or informal, and the look you are trying to portray.

The varying face shapes of cufflinks include the following:

Round cufflinks: A very traditional and classic shape for mens cufflinks. Round cufflinks are incredibly versatile and can be worn in a variety of settings, whether formal or informal. 

Square cufflinks: A more modern styled cufflink than its round counterpart. Square cufflinks are also very versatile and provide a clean complement to your look, whether you’re dressed up or down for the occasion.

Rectangular cufflinks: An elegant and stylish cufflink that offers an additional piece of elegance to your look. Very often used for formal events like weddings, black tie events and fancy cocktail parties.

Oval cufflinks: A statement-driven cufflink that showcases a more unique and distinct look. Much like round and square cufflinks, oval cufflinks are versatile and can be worn in an array of settings, whether formal or informal.

Shield cufflinks: A virtue-driven cufflink with a more specific use for military and academic events. The shield-shaped cufflinks, which usually display a symbol associated with a country or heritage, can be worn with honour and distinction to reflect the values that the design may represent. 

Novelty Cufflinks: A unique and imaginative cufflink that adds a touch of playfulness to your style. They come in a wide array of entertaining shapes, such as beloved animals, sporty equipment, and delightful, fanciful designs. Whether you’re looking to make a bold statement or simply inject some humour into your wardrobe, novelty cufflinks are the perfect accessory.

Button cufflinks: Button-style cufflinks are typically simple and understated, and are perfect for casual and everyday wear.


Cufflinks can be the ultimate finishing touch for adding a sophisticated flavour to your style. It’s important to understand the different types of cufflinks available on the market, how exactly they compliment your outfit, and for what occasion to wear them. 

There are always a few general rules and guidelines in terms of when to wear certain types of cufflinks, but at the end of the day, it boils down to your own personal preference and choice.

Now… Use this information wisely!

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