Accessories for the Natural Man - IV


Art Deco Black Mother-of-Pearl Cufflinks with Floral Etching and Seed Pearl Centers (LEO Design)


We're spending a few days showcasing some accessories "for the Natural Man"—cufflinks in the subtle, low-key shades of brown, rust, cream, black and white.  You'll find them (and many others) for sale on the LEO Design website.

Every now and then, a customer will want to buy a pair of cufflinks for a young man. Sometimes he's about to graduate from high school or university.  Or, perhaps, he's been invited to his first dressy function.  This will be the young man's first pair of cufflinks—and the shopper asks for a little advice.

White mother-of-pearl cufflinks are the most neutral and one can never go wrong wearing them with black tie or a dinner jacket.  But white (dressy) mother-of-pearl cufflinks always exude a formal disposition—and a man with his first (and only) pair of cufflinks may want to be able to wear them with other shirts, on other occasions.  In this case, I always recommend black mother-or-pearl.

Black mother-of-pearl, sometimes confused with abalone, is from an oyster found in the South Seas.  The best quality comes from Tahiti or the Cook Islands, though shells from other sources are also used.  Black mother-or-pearl has a dark (black or purple) background and a soft, multi-color iridescence: blue, green, pink, yellow and silver. Abalone shell, on the other hand, is more obviously multi-colored and ultra-iridescent.

Because of this light iridescence, black mother-of-pearl is highly adaptable to a wide range of shirt (or shirt stripe) colors.  For a young man with only a few pairs (or only one pair) of cufflinks, this flexibility allows him to get good use out of his first pair of cufflinks. Additionally, black mother-of-pearl is also adaptable in formal or professional or casual usage—worn with either a tuxedo or a business shirt or a chambray shirt with equal suitability.

This pair of Art Deco black mother-of-pearl cufflinks are set into gold-plated settings and punctuated with a central seed pearl.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about them.

More "Cufflinks for the Natural Man" tomorrow and in days to come.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (

We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques ( or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248