In the 13th century tailors began to use buttons to fasten clothes. Before that, men used strings, pins and belts to tighten their clothes. Then, in the 17th century, following the renaissance period (which also meant the end of the decorative lacy cuff) sleeve buttons were introduced, which looked like bejeweled buttons. Initially only the wealthier wore the bejeweled buttons, which were joined by a little chain. But at the beginning of the Victorian Era in 1837, these bejeweled buttons became more mainstream. The men’s shirt had evolved and the use of starch increased. Pushing a cuff link through a starched sleeve is easier than pushing a button through it. At the same time, cuff links were also made of more affordable material making it accessible to everyone. In the early 1900s, jewelers like Faberge, Cartier and Tiffany & Co. began creating cuff links as well. When fashion became more casual around the 1930s and the use of starch decreased, the use of cuff links decreased. According to a 1991 New York Times article “cuff links became associated largely with formal wear, both for evening and business.” Cuff links experienced a revival in the late 90s. Now they’re worn by both men and women, in all different types of metal, gemstone and enamel, reflecting the personal style of the person wearing them.