The rules on when to wear cuff links to class up your shirt have evolved.
In the old days, I’d have said cuff links are only for business suits and tuxes, because with those looks you’d wear a shirt with French cuffs [extra-long, folded back cuffs], which lack sleeve buttons.
But fashion is changing, and more and more people are becoming nonconformists, so I don’t see any reason not to wear cuff links with jeans or khakis. (I draw the line at shorts, though!)
And you don’t even need to have French cuffs. Just wear a regular shirt, and use cuff links instead of the sleeve buttons.
As for me, I typically have few shirts that require cuff links—I find they protract the process of getting dressed, and I’m usually in a hurry. But my brother-in-law is driven by an affection for novelty cuff links, like cars or Monopoly pieces.
I say, if you’re cuff link–inclined, by all means, wear them!
Tim Gunn is a fashion expert and consultant. Follow him on Twitter.