Illustrations by JAKOB SMEDHAGEN
You could imagine the Marlboro Man wearing one on his horse, a bright flash of color peeking from the cuff of his jean jacket as he lights up. Maybe it was woven from the lock of the mane of his favorite mare, or maybe it was a string keepsake from his sweetheart. Either way, the small accent suggests a sensitive heart inside the rugged exterior — something complex brewing behind the thousand-mile stare.
Call them what you like, but men’s bracelets, or jewelry or wristwear have seen a huge surge in popularity over the last year. In recent memory it’s hard to recall when so many men — outside those ID’d by the military — have taken to wearing them, but it’s true that in one form or another the bracelet has had its cameo across the decades as cultural marker. Think of the friendship bracelet of the 60’s, or the braided bands on the arms of consummate surfers, or the red strands popular with celebrity kabbalists.
Today though, wristwear, like the bandana pocket-square, or the camo sport coat, is becoming an acceptable accent in even the most staid environments. When paired with a well-tailored suit they have a slightly subversive quality. They also add something off-beat to more rugged looks.
Here, Man of the World considers what they add to the cuff of some classic images.