Tuxedo Stud Sets: How to Choose, How to Wear (A Definitive Guide)
Formal events carry a certain gravity, and the standards of formal dress match the weight of the moments we celebrate: weddings, awards, graduations, retirements, and other noteworthy events. It’s often easy enough to know what kind of suit or tuxedo to wear for these occasions, but how does a modern man bring his own personality to these moments with dignity and honor?
Through choosing the right accessories. Men’s jewelry expands beyond rings and watches, but we often neglect the importance of dress shirt studs and cufflinks—the hallmarks of men’s formal wear accessories. There are thousands of options for tuxedo stud sets available today, but for the most important moments in life, how do you choose the right ones?
What Are Tuxedo Stud Sets?
Formal dress conventions still stand today, despite great changes in men’s fashion in casual and informal settings. But these conventions maintain a link to the past: they bring the masculinity and legacy of tradition into the present. Stud sets are an important component of black- and white-tie events, and their origins rest in the strict dress codes of the 18th and 19th centuries.
The studs are designed to fasten the shirt front properly, especially when the popular style was heavily starched dress shirts. Likewise, cufflinks were designed to fasten the cuff around the wrist. Both cufflinks and studs were originally functional, but they became a fashion statement in and of themselves in the centuries after their invention.
Today’s tuxedo stud sets include both the studs and cufflinks required as part of black-tie or white-tie formal dress. With four studs and a pair of cufflinks, these sets can help complete any formal look, no matter the occasion. A few sets even come with five studs for more open jacket styles, including some of our own sets.
Why Upgrade Rental Studs?
When renting formal wear for special events, most tuxedos or suits come with basic studs for keeping dress attire packaged properly. But these same accessories are not intended for actual formal occasions. Yes, they’ll work in a pinch, but plastic studs and cloth-knot cufflinks say nothing of the wearer other than their lack of preparation or style.
A proper tuxedo stud set instead speaks of elegance, sophistication, a keen eye for detail, and an appreciation for the finer things of life. And if you anticipate several events of honor in your future, or if you want an heirloom to pass on to the next generation, a high-quality stud set is a perfect investment for several reasons.
Upgrading tuxedo stud sets, even to inexpensive options from quality brands, will mean outlasting rental-standard sets by years, if not decades. From weddings to retirements, a quality set of studs and cufflinks will offer reliable style and distinction for every important moment.
The durability of a stud set is important, but the quality of its design is even more essential to looking your best. Upgraded stud sets offer more detailed, intricate, and artistic design elements than basic cufflinks and studs.
From fine finishes to personalized engraved faces, high-quality stud sets make it effortless to present an air of dignity, confidence, and strength.
Purchase your own set here.
Tuxedo stud sets can be more than just functional, and they often should be. Black-tie tradition is designed to place all men on a level field, so everyone looks roughly the same in terms of attire. This is where custom stud sets play a role in giving your suit or tuxedo a subtle pop of interest to stand out around your fellow men.
For centuries, studs and cufflinks have represented a man’s place in his world with subtlety and honor. Today, a formal stud set should do the same. A high-quality set is a symbol of your legacy, and you should be able to pass these pieces down for generations to come. Cheap tuxedo stud sets can function for a single event, but having pieces that can be passed down to your sons and their sons means having something that keeps a family legacy alive in a powerful way.
How to Choose Stud Sets
When looking to upgrade your tuxedo stud sets, the available options can be overwhelming. There are many different factors that go into choosing a set that will best suit your needs. From understated to opulent, you can find shirt studs and cufflinks for almost any event, style, and personality.
Though they can be made of just about any material, high-quality stud sets typically use precious metals for their natural luster and elegant appearance. Gold, silver, and platinum are the standards of quality sets. Gold is a softer metal, so most cufflinks and studs are made of a gold alloy or use gold-plated 925 sterling silver. Platinum is a much harder metal, so it allows for more intricate designs and a longer-lasting piece than other metals.
If cost is a concern, or if you want something that can be worn more casually, stainless steel is a solid alternative to precious metals. Its satin finish and durable quality make it perfect for informal parties and gatherings, as well as everyday wear.
Studs most commonly use a one-piece design that simply slips through the buttonhole and fastens the shirt fronts together. This simple design means the studs will last longer, while other fastener styles with moving parts see wear and tear with repeated use.
Cufflinks also come in a variety of styles. Chain link cufflinks look rich and sophisticated, but leave the cuff a bit looser. Whaleback and bulletback T-bars are by far the easiest to use, and the most common, as the shaft can be pushed through the buttonholes with ease before the toggle is turned to fasten the cuffs. Fixed shaft cufflinks are also popular, especially since they often provide an interesting appearance on both the top and bottom of the cuff with dual faces.
The right choice is the one that fits and looks best to you, so it’s important to experiment with the look you’re working to achieve.
There is no end to design options for tuxedo stud sets. Really, this is where you can showcase your personality. You can find a stud set that’s classic and sophisticated, but you can also find whimsical and intricate designs to suit your own style and attitude.
Onyx, abalone, and mother of pearl are the most popular inlays, but semi-precious stones can add a brilliant pop of color to formal wear. Diamonds and crystals tend to be a bit loud for some events, but they will always catch the attention of those who appreciate quality and beauty.
For example, we’ve designed a dark Pave Crystal set with a deep black color against black stainless steel for a brilliant update to a classic feel. Beyond classic inlays and designs, there is a whole world of pop culture and whimsical designs to explore, but because they are so specific in their design, they tend to be more novelty than investment.
How to Wear Tuxedo Stud Sets
Now, knowing what’s possible, let’s look at the occasions you might encounter and what the conventions are for each. It’s true that almost any design is possible, but not every design is right for every occasion. Each dress style will demand a specific look and feel, but there is room to make a statement if done right.
Black Tie Occasions
Most formal occasions, including some weddings, many award ceremonies, and formal parties, are black-tie dress code. Black jackets and pants, a pleated white shirt, and black bow tie are the standard expectations. It’s a tight dress code, and men’s jewelry has little room for garish or loud design.
The best choice for all black-tie events is simplicity and elegance, as a simple design will offer the most versatility. While gold is a classic choice, silver studs and cufflinks provide a brilliant contrast against the black coat.
White Tie Occasions
With a stiffer shirt and more stringent dress code, white-tie occasions are the most formal events. The dress code is strict, but when the events include presidential dinners and royal balls, this comes as no surprise
Gold and Mother of Pearl are standard, but onyx is acceptable as well. There may be some room for different colors, but white tie is not an invitation to announce your personal taste. It’s an opportunity to show honor for the hosts and the occasion.
Now, informal events, including more casual parties, grand openings, and red carpet events, leave much more room for unique pieces. Novelty and niche cufflink designs, bright and brilliant studs, or vintage jewelry can all make a statement for these occasions.
Here you can bring in bright colors, vintage pieces, and unique combinations of materials. It’s an opportunity to speak boldly about your interests and passions. So long as quality and craftsmanship are at the center of the pieces, you can bring sophisticated style into these moments.
Elevate Your Style with Ox & Bull
Whatever event you find yourself a part of, the key to choosing tuxedo stud sets is prioritizing quality, attention to detail, and elegance. At Ox & Bull, our goal is to offer beautiful pieces that create moments and sustain memories. From simple and understated designs to conversation pieces of exquisite beauty, our men’s accessories are opportunities to build traditions, establish legacies, and empower men to be confident. When you’re preparing for the most significant events of your life, it’s worth investing in pieces that are made to last.