Up Close: Studs and Links

Posted on March 20, 2013


Vintage Krementz onyx and seed pearl cufflinks set in 14k gold.

A recent discussion by blog readers about the correctness of silver evening jewelry prompted me to add a history of formal studs and cufflinks to The Black Tie Guide.  Some interesting findings from my research:

  • Shirt studs originated in response to the the invention of stiff-front shirts which were too heavily starched to be buttoned.
  • I can now see why so many authorities recommend buying vintage evening jewelry.  Much of it is stunningly beautiful . . . and surprisingly affordable at many online antique dealers.
  • Researching 19th century studs can be a tricky matter because they were often referred to as “buttons” and were often designed to resemble their sewn-on counterparts.

For the record, I couldn’t locate a single written reference to silver studs or cufflinks in my numerous historical etiquette and fashion resources.  However, silver-ish metals were the norm for full-dress jewelry, primarily platinum, white gold and “white metal”.

On a side note, I also came across this nostalgic 1923 ad for men’s jewelry maker Krementz:

1923 Krementz ad

“Vacation days mean jazz. Jazz means dance. Dance means tuxedos.”

Makes one yearn for the gracious living of days gone by.

Posted in: History