suvival strap is a practical accessory made of 16
ft of paracord to use in emergency situations.
Pa. — It’s no longer taboo for males to bling it up.
But even the man who won’t wear anything bolder than a
watch knows that jewelry sends a message.
the past, stereotypes weighed men down. Hippies of the
1960s were all about leather. Braided necklaces and
thick cuffs were popular accessories for a generation of
individualists sporting pony tails, mustaches and
tunics. In the ’70s, the heavy gold ID bracelet was a
favorite of wise guys and wannabes while ’80s rock
musicians added metal studs to leather armbands for a
more menacing look. In the ’90s, rappers were all in
when it came to thick gold chains, and professional
athletes began sporting diamond earrings the size of
baubles often are a way of saying, "I am
"(b)racelets are probably the most popular choice
in men’s jewelry next to a watch," says Amie
Guarino of Louis Anthony Jewelers in Pittsburgh.
"Men are often hesitant to accessorize with jewelry
simply because they are not used to wearing it. Believe
me, men want to express themselves, too!"
Colbert of Comedy Central’s "Colbert Report"
would agree. After injuring his wrist during a pre-show
warm-up, he created the red rubber "Wrist
Strong" bracelet. The Colbert bump pushed male
bracelet wearing into the mainstream.
started wearing a silver cuff Lord’s Prayer bracelet
on my right wrist two months ago and I never take it
off," notes John Henne of Pittsburgh’s Henne
Jewelers. "I get as many compliments on it as I do
for my best watch."
bracelet as masculine ornamentation is a trend that has
been growing since Lance Armstrong’s yellow Live
Strong bands. Bracelets that stand for something other
than personal success seem to have opened the door to
wrist wear that doesn’t just tell time or warn of a
think wanting to accentuate their look with fine jewelry
and watches is the natural progression in men’s
fashion," said David Gordon of local Orr’s
Jewelers, which carries the John Hardy beaded bracelet
guys who are still struggling with the image thing,
there are stepping stones. Jawbone and Fitbit are
basically pedometers that track your every step. Then
there is the Survival Strap, which winds 16 to 24 feet
of paracord into a patterned bracelet. Besides coming in
many color combinations, it can be unwound to help snare
a rabbit for dinner in the event of a sudden apocalypse.
Seriously, if you need a length of cord, it is right
that help others are also popular. Rachel’s Cure by
Design is the brainchild of Rachel Tobin, a Pittsburgh
native. She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she
was 12 and started beading bracelets to raise money for
the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She is now 20
with ambitions to go to medical school.
of her merchandise is available online. A portion of
every purchase benefits diabetes research and is donated
to the Western Pennsylvania chapter of JDRF. She has
raised more than $65,000 toward her immediate goal of
accessorize. They might not describe it like that, but
something as small as a bracelet can say a lot about a
man," says Tobin.
David Yurman believes that men in the creative arts have
helped make bracelets cool.
notice it in the music industry the most," he says.
"I know a couple of auto mechanics out in Brooklyn
who do great work and they wear bracelets. All the
hipsters have them — baseball players, Wall Streeters.
Buddhist beads and strings. Basically it’s a little
peacocking. It says, ‘I look good.’
think we are in the Cole Porter era now (with jewelry)
— anything goes."