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.


  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.

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

  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.

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


Related Posts with Thumbnails