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Every so often, men's magazines and lifestyle publications try to convince America's men that they need to strap shiny pieces of metal, leather, or nylon to their wrist. And shell out hundreds of dollars for the privilege.
Mostly recently, Bloomberg Pursuit's Stephen Pulvirent has laid out his do's and don'ts for making bracelets work for men.
Unfortunately, this entire idea of manly bracelets is folly. Bracelets can't ever work for today's man.
There are fundamental differences with the way men dress and the way menswear has evolved. Jewelry is frilly, shiny, and trivial, whereas most menswear is focused on durability, practicality, and muted colors.
No matter how much jewelry sellers wish they could sell gold, diamond, and nylon for insane markups to the masculine half of the population, that dream will never become reality. Jewelry can never be practical, it's rarely muted, and you'd have to pay a bundle for something durable.
Everything in menswear has — or had — a purpose. A watch is for telling time. Sunglasses are for eye protection. Cufflinks are for sealing your cuffs. Tie bars are for making your tie doesn't dip into anything when bending down. Wedding rings are symbolic (and are useful for warding off any unwanted flirting).
Bracelets just don't serve any purpose at all. There's no historical or practical reason to strap a shiny piece of metal or a colorful piece of nylon on your wrist. And at some of the prices of the bracelets Pulvirent suggests, you could get a very decent and useful watch to wear instead.
Bracelets are not creative. They're not useful. And above all, they give off the impression you're trying too hard to impress people. Leave them to the rock stars.
There is one exception here: The only reason why a man should wear a bracelet is his daughter, significant other, or mother gave it to him.
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