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.

The Cheap Cufflink
Are you the kind of irresponsible person who always misplaces things? If you find yourself frequently in a panic to locate an item before heading out or kicking yourself after forgetting to pack a small item before leaving on a trip, then the simple lifehack solution is to buy extras. 
I used to travel weekly at my old job, so I eventually learned to buy doubles of everything I’d normally pack and keep them stowed away in my travel bags. And if you’re the type of person who wears cufflinks with your shirts, then it’s probably a good idea to buy a few extra pairs of cufflinks and put them in your dopp kit. 
As much as I like wearing my vintage pair of double-sided mother-of-pearl links, I know it’s just a matter of time before I lose one or break them. Plus, there are times when such jewelry is perhaps a bit too showy. 
So, I went on Amazon and bought a five-pack of silk knot cufflinks for $12.99, which has pairs in black, white, red, navy and black/white. Put two pairs in the dopp kit and the rest in a drawer and never worry about needing an emergency pair.
At $2.60 a pair, you can live with the idea of losing one — or giving a pair to a friend who needs a set. One less thing to worry about.
-Kiyoshi

The Cheap Cufflink

Are you the kind of irresponsible person who always misplaces things? If you find yourself frequently in a panic to locate an item before heading out or kicking yourself after forgetting to pack a small item before leaving on a trip, then the simple lifehack solution is to buy extras. 

I used to travel weekly at my old job, so I eventually learned to buy doubles of everything I’d normally pack and keep them stowed away in my travel bags. And if you’re the type of person who wears cufflinks with your shirts, then it’s probably a good idea to buy a few extra pairs of cufflinks and put them in your dopp kit. 

As much as I like wearing my vintage pair of double-sided mother-of-pearl links, I know it’s just a matter of time before I lose one or break them. Plus, there are times when such jewelry is perhaps a bit too showy. 

So, I went on Amazon and bought a five-pack of silk knot cufflinks for $12.99, which has pairs in black, white, red, navy and black/white. Put two pairs in the dopp kit and the rest in a drawer and never worry about needing an emergency pair.

At $2.60 a pair, you can live with the idea of losing one — or giving a pair to a friend who needs a set. One less thing to worry about.

-Kiyoshi

Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget: A Black Tie Guide
Yes, men wear jewelry, too. Our next Black Tie Guide installment looks at the precious metals used to fasten your shirt’s chest and cuffs — and what maybe shouldn’t be on your wrist.
Part 7: Cufflinks, Studs and Timepieces
Rarely do men wear jewelry items and like all jewelry items the price can go as astronomically high as your wallet wants to spend. Cufflinks, shirt studs and timepieces are no exception. 
The standard for black tie is gold and black onyx cufflinks and studs. It seems, however, gold is falling out of favor and silver is becoming an alternative and mother-of-pearl is sometimes used instead of black onyx. Regardless of what you pick, it’s important to also point out that your metals and stones should match. 
The best cufflinks are those which are double-sided, linked in between by a chain or bar. This allows the cufflink to be seen from either side without one looking like the “back” like you see on most modern cufflinks, a.k.a.: the swivel bar. 
A great place to look for cufflinks and stud sets are both eBay and Etsy. If you would rather purchase brand new, I’d suggest Kent Wang, which has a stud set for $75 and dual-sided cufflinks for $25 to $55, depending on the model. 
In regards to timepieces, the tradition is to either wear a pocket watch, but to avoid wearing a wristwatch. Wearing a watch signals to the host that you’re more concerned with the time than the occasion. 
Still, modern “tuxedo” watches exist as an alternative for those who want them. Typically they have a black face with no hour or minute markings and no second hand and a simple jewel at the 12-o’clock position. 
-Kiyoshi

Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget: A Black Tie Guide

Yes, men wear jewelry, too. Our next Black Tie Guide installment looks at the precious metals used to fasten your shirt’s chest and cuffs — and what maybe shouldn’t be on your wrist.

Part 7: Cufflinks, Studs and Timepieces

Rarely do men wear jewelry items and like all jewelry items the price can go as astronomically high as your wallet wants to spend. Cufflinks, shirt studs and timepieces are no exception. 

The standard for black tie is gold and black onyx cufflinks and studs. It seems, however, gold is falling out of favor and silver is becoming an alternative and mother-of-pearl is sometimes used instead of black onyx. Regardless of what you pick, it’s important to also point out that your metals and stones should match. 

The best cufflinks are those which are double-sided, linked in between by a chain or bar. This allows the cufflink to be seen from either side without one looking like the “back” like you see on most modern cufflinks, a.k.a.: the swivel bar. 

A great place to look for cufflinks and stud sets are both eBay and Etsy. If you would rather purchase brand new, I’d suggest Kent Wang, which has a stud set for $75 and dual-sided cufflinks for $25 to $55, depending on the model. 

In regards to timepieces, the tradition is to either wear a pocket watch, but to avoid wearing a wristwatch. Wearing a watch signals to the host that you’re more concerned with the time than the occasion. 

Still, modern “tuxedo” watches exist as an alternative for those who want them. Typically they have a black face with no hour or minute markings and no second hand and a simple jewel at the 12-o’clock position. 

-Kiyoshi

It’s On Sale: Men’s Accessories

Linkson Jack, a relatively new online purveyor of high-quality men’s accessories, is having a sale from now until Sunday. Until then, you can take 20% off any order over $80 with the coupon code TWENTY. This is on top of the 20% discount for non-EU customers, since they don’t have to pay European taxes.

The code works on everything except fountain pens and bespoke boxes. Particularly nice are Linkson’s enamel cufflinks and oxhorn accessories. This ox horn comb, for example, comes in at just under $20 with the discount. Ox horn is a great material for combs not just because it looks better, but also because it’s less likely to snag your hair.

I’m probably most excited about the stock of E&G Cappelli ties, however. Lightly lined and beautifully handcrafted, E&G Cappelli ties are some of the best in the world. These usually retail north of $115, but are on sale for about $80 with the discount. A wonderful way to get score some basic grenadines, repp ties, and wool ties at an excellent price for this level of quality. I particularly like the navy grenadine and wool grey tie you see above. 

Seven Things Better Bought Used

It’s sometimes easier to buy new, but there are some things that are pretty much always better bought used. Here’s our list of seven.

  1. Peacoats Every designer in the world has “riffed” on the pea coat, but the original is still the best. The heavy melton wool has protected sailors from the elements on-ship for decades, and it’ll protect you from pretty much anything. Best of all, vintage pea coats are freely available both from local vintage shops and online vendors. I love the ones from the 1940s-1960s, but it’s hard to go wrong. Remember that they’re sized to fit over heavy sweaters, and expect to pay $50-100.
  2. Cufflinks  There was a time when men wore suits, and with them, double-cuff shirts. So just about every man had cufflinks. That time has mostly passed.
    The result is a market glut of links. Go on eBay any day of the week and you’ll find literally thousands of pairs, from costume to fine jewelry… 1970s to 1890s. We prefer double-sided links here at PTO, and you’ll find plenty at any estate jeweler or vintage seller. Try Edwardian eight-carat gold, or enamel from the Art Deco era. Or grab yourself a cheap pair of Swank novelty links from the 1960s. Get some shirt studs while you’re at it. They’ll all be much cheaper on the second-hand market than new.
  3. Formal Wear  Unlike most men’s styles, formal wear has remained largely static since it was codified at the beginning of the 20th century. That means that if you can find a conservatively-styled tuxedo from almost any era, it will be right at home today. The bonus: it’ll probably be better-made than all but the finest new equivalents. With a bit of diligence, you can find a great tuxedo for a hundred dollars or less.
  4. Knock-Around Ties  Once you have a basic wardrobe of ties - a few solids, a few basics - you’ll find yourself wishing for novelty. Unless you’re shopping the highest end of the market, you’ll find plenty of functional ties at your local consignment or thrift stores for pennies on the dollar. Get a sense of the difference between a fine tie and a poor one, and don’t settle for less than decent… but once you’ve done that, go wild. There’s no shame in a necktie wardrobe filled out at $10 each, rather than $100.
  5. Watches A fine watch is a status symbol these days, when most men just wear a thirty-dollar quartz model on their wrist. Luckily, there’s a vintage option for almost any budget. Handsome mechanical watches from lesser-known brands are easily available for $50 or so second-hand. You can buy a beautiful Longines or Hamilton for a hundred or two. Kick it up to five hundred and there’s a pile of gorgeous Omegas within your grasp. And of course if you bump it into the thousands, there are many more choices, almost all for less than new.
    Try paging through the buy-and-sell forums of watch enthusiast communities like WatchUSeek and TimeZone, or visit a reputable jeweler in your town. Heck - if you’re buying something cheap, just take a flier on eBay. No matter what, you’ll get a more distinctive piece at a better price.
  6. Cashmere Sweaters  For a variety of reasons, cashmere’s gone downhill in the last twenty years or so. The good stuff has a smoother, tighter, denser finish… and you’ll only find it second-hand. The good news is that second-hand cashmere knits rarely go for more than $50-100 each. If it’s in good shape (be diligent), it can literally last a lifetime.
  7. Hats Men’s hats have declined precipitously not just in popularity, but also in quality. Low-end hats from the middle of the last century are as good as the high-end hats you’ll buy in a department store today. There are a few fine makers left, mostly making custom hats, but even once-fine brands like Borsalino and Stetson now make mediocre, expensive products. Vintage hats, though, are inexpensive, freely available (another supply/demand thing) and often of very fine quality. Great hats effortlessly hold their shape without being stiff, and feel fine to the hand. Expect to pay between $50 and $200 for something really good.

(Thanks to PTO twitter followers @D_Lippy, @frivmo, @voxsartoria, @platypusjones, @prairie_oysters, @SkySwartout, @HoffM, @TheMikeSwartz, @TheS_P500 and more for your ideas!)

Photos: Peacoat by Resheie54 , Cufflinks Simon James, Tux Stephen Depolo, Watch Guy Sie, Ties Brian Johnson, Cashmere Stolte-Sawa Hat David D

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.

mostexerent:

keep it simple..
Ladies - stay away from men that have novelty links or anything..

Nobody keeps it simple better than GW.

mostexerent:

keep it simple..

Ladies - stay away from men that have novelty links or anything..

Nobody keeps it simple better than GW.

Andrew emailed us about this Etsy seller. She’ll make you cuff links using maps of any two towns in the world. I’m not nuts about toggle-backed cuff links (I prefer double-sided), and I’m ambivalent about non-precious metal jewelry, but the product looks really lovely. They’re made to order, so I’m guessing if you had a finer jewel in mind, the seller might accommodate.

Andrew emailed us about this Etsy seller. She’ll make you cuff links using maps of any two towns in the world. I’m not nuts about toggle-backed cuff links (I prefer double-sided), and I’m ambivalent about non-precious metal jewelry, but the product looks really lovely. They’re made to order, so I’m guessing if you had a finer jewel in mind, the seller might accommodate.

It’s On eBay
Modernist Sterling Cufflinks
Start at $49.99, end Sunday

It’s On eBay

Modernist Sterling Cufflinks

Start at $49.99, end Sunday