A New Spin on Vintage: Classics with a Twist from Jan Leslie

“Fashion is architecture. It is a matter of proportions.” Coco Chanel

vintage cufflinks graphic

Classic style. You’ve heard it said, but what does it really mean? To some, the phrase instantly draws connections with vintage looks such as classic metals, smooth textures and muted colors. That’s certainly one definition of classic. But this is the year 2014 Classic can be updated to include bold elements like heavier hardware and brighter colors.


Designer Jan Leslie updates classic vintage style with each new collection she launches with cuff links described as Classics with a Twist. That doesn’t mean that you still won’t have your desired classic style. What makes a cuff link look and feel classic and vintage is a design aesthetic. What modernizes it is an awareness of current trends and styles. You don’t have to choose. You can have both.


What’s the Aesthetic of a Vintage or Classic Cuff Link?

The most important element of a classic or vintage style cuff link is that it’s got clean, smooth lines. For the most part, vintage cuff links were round in shape, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll look futuristic with a square cuff link. Vintage or classic cuff links also often had rounded or dome shapes. What you didn’t see would be a lot of sharp angles or overt hard corners.


You could also expect that traditional classic or vintage cuff links might be made from warmer or more muted metals. Expect to see darker oxidized silver as well as gold and in some cases even copper.


What you wouldn’t see from a classic or vintage cuff link would be an overdose of accessories or boldness. And, certainly, you wouldn’t see a whimsical or novelty themed design!


How to Update Vintage: Classic Designs Take a Curve

So what are the best ways to add some modernity to a classic or vintage cuff link design? Here are our best ideas.


English Enamel CufflinksAdd a Splash of Color. You can keep the smooth, sleek lines and shapes of a classic cuff link while adding a touch of enamel or gemstone color. Consider button-style cuff links that are fashioned from brighter gemstones.


Go Bold with Hardware. Most classic cuff links and vintage designs used thinner settings and less metal. Keep the muted colors or sleek lines and add extra weight or width to the cuff link with a thicker metal edge.


Go Square. Traditionally, vintage cuff links weren’t cut in square designs. That doesn’t mean that yours can’t be. Add a new shape to the classics with a square cuff link.


You can embrace and look amazing in a traditional, vintage or classic style while still incorporating today’s modern trends. Take a chance, get out of the box and add some distinctive flair to your style.