Call us old-fashioned or Southern, (or in Justin’s case, personally, both), but as far as we are concerned, the only pieces of jewelry acceptable for men are college rings, wedding bands and medically necessary identification bracelets. But that guideline hasn’t stopped some style-obsessed young guns from covering their wrists in colorful bracelets made of leather, stone and string — and The New York Times is endorsing this trend and encouraging it with what it must believe are cute little nicknames like “man-acle” and “macho-bangle.”
In a story published yesterday, the Great Gray Lady interviewed some of New York’s most fashionable male bracelet-wearing bloggers, designers and denizens outside the style world who still favor a little extra embellishment where their hands meet their forearms.
Each New York style tribe has its own man-acle, said Brad Bennett, who runs the men’s fashion blog Well Spent. Preppy types favor nautical Turk’s head rope bracelets; Italophiles tend toward wood bead bracelets or Tateossian braided leather; and heritage-loving urban woodsmen opt for rugged leather wraps or cuffs.
“Many guys have begun to view bracelets as a way to separate themselves from the herd,” Mr. Bennett said. “It’s the same reason men have started wearing pocket squares and wacky socks; accessories are a way to feel unique, without abandoning the uniform.”
But given how new the trend is, if we’re already categorizing preppy guys to nautical rope and hipsters to leather cuffs, how unique can they be? Let’s face facts: Just like the repp tie and the tassled loafer and the featherweight summer v-neck wool blend sweater, man-acles, or whatever we’re going to call them, are just a fad. We wonder what’s coming next.