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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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Ask the MB: Novelty Cufflinks

Ask the MB: Novelty Cufflinks

Q: Hi, MB! What do you think of novelty cufflinks?

Your fan,

Deb

A: We're not unconditionally opposed to novelty cufflinks. But we are somewhat baffled by the current state of the market. The last time we posted about this — in 2007 — we advised a reader to steer clear of skulls. Seven years later, that prohibition still stands. And from what we can see, you are going to have to do an awful lot of steering — the cufflinks sections on the websites of most major retailers look like the Crypt of the Sepulchral Lamp remixed by Hot Topic. (Seriously, when did skulls start accessorizing so heavily?)

Skulls with crowns
Skulls with ballcaps
Skulls with sunglasses
Skulls with bow ties
Skulls w/ headphones
Skulls with blackface
Skulls with mustaches
Skulls with mohawks

Has the Day of the Dead introduced a more formal dress code? While we understand that cufflinks offer a man a chance to signal his sense of style in a understated over-the-top way, and even encourage that, we're a little alarmed by this massive proliferation of skulls. A cufflink is not as permanent as a tattoo, but that shouldn't give you license to turn your sleeve into a black metal album cover from 1993.

Our advice: Stick with novelty cufflinks that allude to an interest in MB-approved pastimes like golf, tennis, sailing, skiing, or eating lobster. And even with those we have some caveats:

MB-Approved Novelty Cufflink Novelty Cufflink Caveat

Golf-related

Must have a USGA handicap index of 5.0 or lower.


Tennis-related

Must have a USTA rating of 5.0 or higher.


Skiing-related

Must have a ski level of 8 or higher.


Sailboat-related

Must own one of at least 28 feet.


Lobster-related

You're hungry, but you don't eat like a toolbag.

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