Essentials cuffed feature image

Published on November 8th, 2012 | by Cooper Nolan



In the past year or so, there has been a surge in mens accessories, and no, I will not refer to it as “Mewelry.” Recently the wrists that were once reserved solely for watches have begun to become crowded with straps of leather, old tied shoelaces, colorful beads, tiny skull pendants and stones only found off the coast of southern Jamaica. To put it in much fewer words: Men are wearing bracelets now.
It started off with Kanye rocking Burkman Bros. at Coachella…and that was that, there was no turning back. Soon high-end fashion brands were offering their own take on the colorful “friendship bracelets.” Streetwear began to look like it was being orchestrated by both Mick Jagger and Johnny Depp. All the cool kids were stepping out with their sleeves rolled up to expose multiple bracelets on each wrist, stacked nearly to the elbow. Now, I will admit that I got caught up in the wave of bracelets, at my lowest (or highest) point I had a combined 10 bracelets between my two wrists, including my watch. Looking back, I can admit that the numeric count of one’s bracelets should probably stay under five, and anything over that is dangerously close to peacocking.

kanye stacking Cuffed

As I sit and write this out, I have a thin leather strap that wraps around my left wrist three times, a nantucket, a strap and my watch on the right wrist. As you can see, I am still in the process of slowly easing out of the bracelet game. Part of my reason for tailing away from friendship bracelets and the like is simply because the look is less than professional. Sure, sitting on the beach rocking a tank and some trunks, bracelets fit right in – and I can promise you that, come summer, I’ll once again have tan lines on my wrists thanks to stacking bracelets. But in a suit? No, that isn’t allowed. I understand that a part of fashion is about expressing yourself and breaking the rules, but when it comes to black tie events – or even simply formal events – there should be a certain amount of respect that you hold for other guests, your hosts and even yourself, meaning that the bracelets should come off. A drop of irony may work, but a shower of it makes you look more ridiculous than creative. Don’t fear though, your wrists won’t be light for long. Switch out your throngs of bracelets for a simple and elegant alternative: the cuff.

The cuff is a simple piece that ups the real estate on any guy’s wrist tenfold. But be warned: There is a line between elegant and gaudy that has become muddled in the past. If you feel the urge to buy anything that looks like it might be accompanied by a rhinestone T-shirt and an E-Cig, run the other way. Your cuff should be minimal and effortless – something that looks like it belongs on your wrist. Those old guys you see walking around the city in suits carrying a briefcase, with just a sliver of gold hanging out of their shirt sleeve – that’s what you are aiming for.

miansai copper cuff Cuffed
This one from Cause and Effect is straightforward with a bit of a twist (had to) and pretty affordable too, and it’s available at Need Supply Co.

chiseled cuff Cuffed
This cuff is a staple; the style has been around for centuries, and it’s a safe bet that it will look good on any wrist. The balls on the end are plated in 18k gold for a little bit of street cred, too. Available via Gemologica.

miansai screw cuff Cuffed
The boys over at Miansai are geniuses when it comes to any type of accessory, and cuffs are no exception. Rose gold? Damn homie, that’s shiny. Cop one – or all three – at the Miansai site.

There you go, your entrance into the cuff show. Wear them with pride – so much pride that you forget it’s even on your wrist.

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About the Author

A purveyor of American style, from the greats like McQueen, to the new school of stacked bracelets and cuffed jeans. American style is all about imperfections and hard work. Don't calculate it, do what feels right.

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