January 12, 2010

French Kissing

Growing up in working-class England, a cuff was typically best known metonymically in the context of adult hand brusquely encountering the auricular appendage of impertinent child. As a consideration of style, an integral part of the male shirt, it was barely given a thought.

In other echelons, confusion reigned. Barrel cuffs and link cuffs, single and French, each with prescriptions concerning what clothes went with which. Thankfully, rules have relaxed. Working-class kids, their ears intact, might receive a decent education; the cuff link has become everyday wear, at least for some.

I rarely see single linked cuffs. The French variety, fastened in the ‘kissing’ style (inside pressed to inside), are more common, although still a minoritarian preference compared with the boring old button. Disturbingly, many of the cuff links I see on the nouveau riche wrist are truly awful, tasteless, and cheap. The cuff link is an elegant but ultimately functional fastening (pictured: solid silver squares on a Ben Sherman cuff). It ought not to be ostentatious. Male adornments are risky things and, without proper care, jewellery can make a man look vulgar and crass. Nothing conveys a baseness of character so well as ‘bling’. All that glisters, etc. To avoid such unwholesome projections, keep one’s French kissing discreet.

4 comments:

  1. Having just discovered your blog and considering the previous post on compliment-paying, I would like to commend you on an eloquent, informative and interesting blog - 'eloqinforesting', if you will. I only wish there were more fashion/style bloggers like you, instead of empty-headed Topshop-worshipping rake-girls (is that too many hypenated compounds for one sentence?) with silly hair and nothing to say beyond 'look at the pretty clothes and stuff I own!'.

    I shall be visiting again!

    P.S. My significant other used to own the most appalling gold cufflinks with disturbing crystal embellishment. I told him that as long as the cufflinks were out in public with him, I would not be. He no longer wears them.

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  2. Humble thanks. Encouragement is most welcome! Congratulations on the cuff-link stance.

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  3. ronan the librarianJanuary 13, 2010 at 11:22 PM

    Hmmm... surely you mean "dicreet"...anyway jewellery on men apart from a wedding or signet ring is avoidable.

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  4. Thank you for spotting the glitch - now remedied.

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