FT How to Spend It

December 2011

Chaps, it is self evident, don't have too many outlets for decorative flourishes about their person. A tie and tie pin, a spotty handkerchief, perhaps some subversive socks, a brilliant shirt or a raffish cravat, and that's about it - apart from cufflinks, that is. Cufflinks were historically the mark of a gentleman since they were only worn with shirts sporting double cuffs, which traditionally were only paired with suits. These days that all feels a bit last century and plenty of men now pair their double-cuffed shirts with trousers and a jacket. But cufflinks themselves are currently getting a lot of artistic attention, so much so that even those who don't own too many double-cuffed numbers might be tempted to start indulging. Samuel Gassmann started designing cuff links by accident when he was making a documentary about men's buttons. He found a cache of vintage glass buttons made in the 1940s in Germany for a very grand French designer, and has turned them into very desirable cuff links; they are being sold exclusively through Wolf & Badger in London. The button cuff links are priced between £80 and £180. (Pictured centre right: Daisy cuff links, £180.) Meanwhile, Henry Graham, one of the co-founders of Wolf & Badger, has become so entranced by the possibilities of the cuff link that he and girlfriend Zoë Wilkinson have embarked on designing some of their own through their jewellery company, Hotel Zulu. In sterling silver, plated in black rhodium or gold with haematite, they are spherical and very classy looking indeed. They are £350 a pair (pictured top left).