We all know that fashion trends change, mold, and morph due to cultural mores or whatever dictates the aesthetics of the day. The placement and number of studs have morphed as much as dress shirts and dresses have, further accommodating the drapery they adorn. These precious accessories are for more than special days such as weddings, proms, and the red carpet: a well-fitted adornment adds a subtle charm to an already handsome look. If you do a quick search online, you’ll find that there are variations between three to four shirt studs in a set. Have you ever asked yourself why?
Well, it depends on what other suit or tuxedo accessories you’re including, as well as the type of shirt you’ve chosen. Fashion has changed significantly throughout the 20th century and what was once considered a must in evening wear, such as the length of a lady’s dress, has shifted. Waistcoats, vests, and cumberbuns were an absolute requirement for the majority of the 1900’s but then began to drop in the 1970’s. This loosening on male fashion created the need for four shirt studs, since now the button was exposed to the world.
The prime motivator in fashion trends in the 20th century seems to center around what could and could not be shown in polite society. For example, when women were able to show their upper arms, the jewelry industry responded with upper arm bracelets; the same happened with studs. Double-breasted jackets and blazers, cumberbuns, and waistcoats, all covering parts of a typical suit, became flexible or optional. With new parts of an outfit available to the eyes come new opportunities to express one’s style.
While most antique sets include only 3 shirt studs, due to the standard of the day, at the Missing Link you can find antique sets that accommodate the modern dress shirt:
This stunning set even includes studs for one’s waistcoat or vest, further refining the bygone aesthetic to a higher level of chic. The 1920’s were well within the timeframe of 3 stud sets, reflecting the standard of men’s fashion in that day. This is a hyper-rare find, especially since it comes with vest studs.
These shirt studs come from the 1960’s, where the fashion trends were thrown through a loop by the Hippie Movement. Although they weren’t typically welcome in polite society, the change in fashion was apparent there as well. While most dress shirts in this day still called for 3 studs, the addition of another was entering the mainstream dress code.
These 1930’s antique sets follow suit with the 4-stud set rarity line. Beautiful examples of the trending platinum inlays and mother of pearl.
Fashion is always adapting to the changing customs, sometimes responding to the new model or creating it. We now live in an era where we are free to choose how we express ourselves via dress, even in the upper echelon of society, and can remain inspired by trends of the past. With or without a vest, waistcoat, blazer, or any other material that would block the placement of a 4th stud, you’re free to move between 3 and 4 at your leisure.
Welcome to where the missing link is unearthed.