Need Jewelry Storage? Try A Tackle Box.

Once you accept the possibility you might wear cuff links, a tie clip, a stickpin, a silk flower in your lapel or some other not-strictly-necessary little adornment, you quickly run into the question of where to keep it. When you outgrow a little pile on your nightstand, a tackle box is a good-looking and affordable option.

Of course, most tackle boxes these days are plastic and ugly as sin, but not all that long ago, they were as lovely as the one above, which my wife picked out for her own jewelry. They can also be kept under a sink or in a coat closet without attracting the attention of thieves, if you so choose.

My own jewelry is in a box slightly larger than the above. It’s wooden, and was made locally here in Southern California, presumably in the 1940s or so. It set me back twenty dollars at a flea market. There are tons of options on Etsy and eBay for those who don’t like to get up early - have at it.

Emergency Wedding Cufflinks, submitted by a PTO reader.

Emergency Wedding Cufflinks, submitted by a PTO reader.

Happened upon this mother-of-pearl dress set for $40 at an estate sale over the weekend. I chipped the links I travel with not long ago, so it was nice to find a replacement. Always keep your eyes open.

Happened upon this mother-of-pearl dress set for $40 at an estate sale over the weekend. I chipped the links I travel with not long ago, so it was nice to find a replacement. Always keep your eyes open.

Emergency Travel Supplies: Cuff Links and Collar Stays
I’m not the kind of guy who travels with a lot of crap. My dopp kit has some shaving oil, a cartridge razor, a bit of facial moisturizer. And two emergency provisions: some collar stays and a pair of cuff links.
The collar stays ended up in the kit when I found myself at my in-laws house, 600 miles from home, the day before my wedding, and realized I had left home without anything to keep my collar from curling on the most important day of my life. I raced out to a store I usually avoid like the plague, Jos. A. Bank, and bought a little box of plastic stays. They’ve been in my kit ever since, and I’ve never had to worry about forgetting stays again.
Something similar happened to me at a public radio programming conference a year or two later. I’m not a regular suit wearer, but when I’m at a business function, I’ll wear a suit, and with it a double-cuff shirt. I almost always remember to bring a set of cufflinks, but this time, I didn’t, and found myself getting dressed the first day, forced to leave my cuffs unattached.
A few weeks later, I found the above links on eBay for $20 or $30, and leave them in my dopp kit. They’re simple, go with anything, and anytime I forget to bring the perfect links, I’ve got something on hand. Or perhaps I should say on wrist.
By the way - if you watch season two of Put This On, take a look at my shirt cuffs, and you’ll see what prompted me two write this post.

Emergency Travel Supplies: Cuff Links and Collar Stays

I’m not the kind of guy who travels with a lot of crap. My dopp kit has some shaving oil, a cartridge razor, a bit of facial moisturizer. And two emergency provisions: some collar stays and a pair of cuff links.

The collar stays ended up in the kit when I found myself at my in-laws house, 600 miles from home, the day before my wedding, and realized I had left home without anything to keep my collar from curling on the most important day of my life. I raced out to a store I usually avoid like the plague, Jos. A. Bank, and bought a little box of plastic stays. They’ve been in my kit ever since, and I’ve never had to worry about forgetting stays again.

Something similar happened to me at a public radio programming conference a year or two later. I’m not a regular suit wearer, but when I’m at a business function, I’ll wear a suit, and with it a double-cuff shirt. I almost always remember to bring a set of cufflinks, but this time, I didn’t, and found myself getting dressed the first day, forced to leave my cuffs unattached.

A few weeks later, I found the above links on eBay for $20 or $30, and leave them in my dopp kit. They’re simple, go with anything, and anytime I forget to bring the perfect links, I’ve got something on hand. Or perhaps I should say on wrist.

By the way - if you watch season two of Put This On, take a look at my shirt cuffs, and you’ll see what prompted me two write this post.

A visit to the cuff links convention at Gentleman’s Gazette.
Q and Answer: The Law School Gift
Claire writes: My little brother is graduating from law school next month  and I’d like to get him something practical to commemorate the occasion  and show him how proud I am of him, but I’m not sure what would be a  good option.  I bought him a Jack Spade bag once for Christmas which he  promptly returned (to my chagrin) and he has the handwriting of a  4th-grade serial killer, so the ol’ engraved Cross pen is probably out  too. Do you have any classic suggestions other than good old cashola?  My budget is about $200.
For an occasion as important as this, and a relationship as close as brother and sister, you want a gift that is classic and will last.  For men, the usual suspects are pens, watches, bags or jewelry.
Watches are out - $200 can certainly buy a wearable watch, but not one so nice you’d want to have it for the rest of your life.  I think the low end for that sort of watch, even vintage, is three or four hundred dollars.
Bags are out, too.  For one thing, you already struck out once in this department, and for another thing, the kind of bag you’d want to give would likely cost more than $200.  You’d probably want to give him a briefcase, given the nature of the occasion, and something wonderful that would last him his career would cost more than your budget allows.  (When my wife graduated from law school, I got her a briefcase.  And other, more romantic stuff.)
You’ve removed pens from the list, as well.  You could find a wonderful pen for that amount of money, but if he isn’t going to use it, then it isn’t worth buying.
That leaves jewelry, which for men means cuff links.  Here, there are many wonderful options.  I’d suggest heading to the vintage fine jewelry section of eBay and looking at the cufflinks therein.  You’ll want something simple, that is clearly not a novelty piece.  I’d say you should go for solid gold or silver; that budget will accommodate precious metal.

Q and Answer: The Law School Gift

Claire writes: My little brother is graduating from law school next month and I’d like to get him something practical to commemorate the occasion and show him how proud I am of him, but I’m not sure what would be a good option.  I bought him a Jack Spade bag once for Christmas which he promptly returned (to my chagrin) and he has the handwriting of a 4th-grade serial killer, so the ol’ engraved Cross pen is probably out too. Do you have any classic suggestions other than good old cashola?  My budget is about $200.

For an occasion as important as this, and a relationship as close as brother and sister, you want a gift that is classic and will last.  For men, the usual suspects are pens, watches, bags or jewelry.

Watches are out - $200 can certainly buy a wearable watch, but not one so nice you’d want to have it for the rest of your life.  I think the low end for that sort of watch, even vintage, is three or four hundred dollars.

Bags are out, too.  For one thing, you already struck out once in this department, and for another thing, the kind of bag you’d want to give would likely cost more than $200.  You’d probably want to give him a briefcase, given the nature of the occasion, and something wonderful that would last him his career would cost more than your budget allows.  (When my wife graduated from law school, I got her a briefcase.  And other, more romantic stuff.)

You’ve removed pens from the list, as well.  You could find a wonderful pen for that amount of money, but if he isn’t going to use it, then it isn’t worth buying.

That leaves jewelry, which for men means cuff links.  Here, there are many wonderful options.  I’d suggest heading to the vintage fine jewelry section of eBay and looking at the cufflinks therein.  You’ll want something simple, that is clearly not a novelty piece.  I’d say you should go for solid gold or silver; that budget will accommodate precious metal.