Can You Wear Cufflinks With a Shirt That Has Buttons?

I’m lucky enough to know that there are many different dress shirt designs. To wear cufflinks with your dress shirt, you need to have a dress shirt that has holes on either side of the cuff. This allows you to push your cufflinks through them. But what if you have a dress shirt that is fitted with buttons where the holes for your cufflinks are supposed to be? This is what you can do.

The different cufflink designs, which are T bar, fixed, chain, snap, and enamel, only allow you to fit them to dress shirts that are equipped with holes on either side of the shirt’s cuff. What you will have to do is either modify your dress shirt yourself or take it to a tailor who will professionally modify your dress shirts, allowing you to utilize any style of cufflink

We will cover all the various styles and designs of cufflinks in this article and go over them in detail, looking at their mechanism by which they are fitted to dress shirts. Then we will look at dress shirts and how they are designed for cufflinks or how they are designed without cufflinks in mind. Lastly, we will go over the two ways in which you can modify your dress shirt with buttons, so you can wear those beautiful cufflinks you have.

What types of cufflinks do you get?

This may come as a surprise if you don’t know much about cufflinks, but there are quite a few different types when considering their design. We need to understand what types there are to see if any designs will allow us to wear them with shirts that have buttons.

T bar cufflinks

T bar cuff links are the most popular style of cufflinks made today, not because they necessarily look good, but rather because these types of cufflinks are the easiest and cheapest to make, considering their design style.

Remember that the only reason (or should I say the main reason) we where cufflinks are for style purposes (we want to look good), and they should represent our style and personality.

T bar cufflinks sometimes don’t give us this desired effect; however, they are the easiest to put on and manage, so keep that in mind.

Therefore it would be wiser to invest in other cufflinks designs if you have the option to do so.

Fixed bar cufflinks

The difference between these cufflinks and T-bar cufflinks is that they do not have any moving parts and are decorative on both sides.

T-bar cufflinks will usually not be decorated on the “bar” side because that is the mechanism that you need to utilize and maneuver to fix the cufflink in place.

On the other hand, fixed bar cufflinks are great because they are easy to put on, are decorative on both ends of the cufflink, and because they do not have any moving parts, they are not as easily broken as T bar cufflinks.

Chain cufflinks

This cufflink design was trendy in the 1930s, and they have decorative elements on either side linked together by a chain.

These cufflinks are a little bit trickier to put on than the other two cufflinks, but you won’t need a degree to fit them onto your dress shirt.

Enamel cufflinks

These cufflinks, just as with the chain cufflinks, have two decorative elements, but unlike the other cufflinks that have a small end and a larger end, these are the same size at both ends.

The two decorative elements are usually engine turned and then enameled on silver or gold.

These cufflinks are the trickiest to put on because their designs can sometimes be oval, hexagonal, or even octagonal in shape.

One thing to note is that the two decorative ends of these cufflinks are also joined by a chain, just like chain cufflinks.

Snap cufflinks

These cufflinks were popular in the ’30s and ’40s; however, they quickly fell out of favor. The biggest advantage of snap cufflinks is that you can put them on before putting your shirt on.

The only downside to snap cufflinks is that if you are too vigorous in your arm movements, they could become undone.

As we can see from the list of all these different cufflink designs, there is no design that does not require a hole on both ends of your dress shirt’s cuff to fit these styles and cufflink designs.

This is problematic if you have purchased a shirt that does not sport a hole on both sides of the shirt’s cuff. However, don’t worry; there is a remedy to fix this problem.

Cufflinks with dress shirts

Some dress shirts are not made to (are not designed) fit cufflinks, and some are. This is one thing to keep in mind when purchasing a dress shirt. Some may have buttons on them, and some may have holes where cufflinks are supposed to go.

Make sure that you purchase dress shirts made for fitting cufflinks to make things easier on yourself; otherwise, you will either have to modify your dress shirt yourself or take it to a tailor (which we will discuss in a little bit).

How are dress shirts designed to fit cufflinks

Dress shirts that are designed to be fitted with cufflinks do not have buttons fitted to them, but rather they are designed with holes on either side of the cuff, so you can insert and fit your desired style of cufflink onto your dress shirt.

This shirt design style makes it so that fitting cufflinks are easy and they look good once fitted. How good they look will boil down to cufflink design choice, style, and preference.

What to do if your dress shirt has buttons

A problematic situation arises if your dress shirts are fitted with buttons and not holes. On a rare occasion, if you are lucky enough, you may find that your dress shirt, which is fitted with buttons, also has a hole cut into it alongside the button or buttons.

This is a rare occasion, though, and more likely than not, you will have to opt for one of these two options to rectify this situation.

Modify your dress shirt yourself

If your dress shirt does not have holes on either side of the cuff; however, they do sport buttons, then what you will have to do is remove a button, fold the cuff out and then modify (cut holes in) your dress shirt with a pair of scissors or a knife. This may not be the option you are looking for, and it may be contrary to having beautiful cufflinks. Nevertheless, this is an option you can look at.

Watch Andrewesquivel show you how he modified his own dress shirts to fit cufflinks.

Get a tailor to modify your dress shirts

The other option and probably the more effective and neater option would be to take your dress shirts to a tailor and let them fashion and sew holes in the cuffs of your dress shirt so that you can fit your cufflinks on them.

Watch Men With Class show you how a tailor can modify a shirt with buttons for you to fit your cufflinks on it.


As we can see that there are many different styles of cufflinks such as T bar, chain, snap, fixed, and enamel cufflinks. However, none of these allow you to fit them into a dress shirt with only buttons on it and no holes.

All styles of cufflinks are designed for shirts that have holes in their cuffs. This is because, essentially, dress shirts with buttons are the cuffs.

You will need to either modify your dress shirt yourself, or a better option would be to have a tailor sew and fashion holes on your dress shirt alongside the buttons or replace the buttons entirely.

If you are not in the mood to modify your dress shirts with buttons, I recommend purchasing dress shirts designed specifically for cufflinks. You can find a wide variety of them on Amazon. Take a look at them here.

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