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It is a flirting accessory, a piece of jewelry that appears and disappears like a tide.  The raise of a hand, the pull of a jacket, and a secret treasure is revealed, telling much about its’ owner in the cufflinks’ style, utility, and sense of whimsy.

The original concept of cufflinks dates back to the 1600s, however it was Edward VII who made them popular, including it into his opulent playboy lifestyle.

Cuffinks can be made of most any material.  There are many different modes of operation, as well.  There are double knots, ones that operate on toggles, or chains, the old-fashioned snaps, and one very talented watchmaker, Richard Mille, even created a mechanized closure.  They can be double-faced or single, though single, as it has been pointed out, sometimes leaves it seeming like you couldn’t afford the other side.  They are worn either with french or barrel cuffs. by richard

Some consider the cufflink to be rather….well, foppish.  But let the Bond men assure you, this is hardly so.  It represents a kind of old world discretion and elegance rarely found these, and a type to be savored when it is found.

It may seem an excessive style statement to some, but even the sartorially terse Cary Grant treasured his cufflinks, to the extent of personally insuring that they were returned whenever they were loaned out.

And as Carole Morin said in Dead Glamorous, “God, for all anyone knows, could be Cary Grant.”  Ooooh, I hope so….


The Swiss Army Knife Ring

Okay, everybody and their mother’s brother (no, literally) have asked me where to buy this ring, so I’m posting the info.

It’s listed as: The Man Ring: Titanium Utility Ring on boonerings at, listing in at $385.00.

Other options from the shop include:

D squared Spring/Summer 2014, Menswear, Spring Summer, 2014, Milanthefashionisto.comfustany.comallure.com


Chunky jewels with tiki flair?  Next time you’re going to a barbecue, bring some oomph with the potato salad.

Throw Me Somethin’, Mister!

So I’m from New Orleans.  Today is Mardi Gras.  In the rest of the country, that means….well, absolutely nothing.  But in parts of the Gulf South, it means drinking, eating, drinking, and catching beads (and coconuts, shoes, stuffed animals, plastic flowers, posters, doubloons…you get the picture). Oh, and it means drinking.  You might have heard.

Today the beads that are thrown are plastic and are shaped into brightly colored designs in clear, opaque, or “pearl”.  There are long and shorts versions.  There are LED versions.  And the goal is to catch enough beads so that you look roughly like a Maasai:


Once upon a time, though, before the proliferation of plastic, the beads thrown were beautiful Czech glass.

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They fell out of favor in the 60’s as plastic became the cheaper option and the wisdom of throwing something made of glass out in the streets was called into question.

Literally truckloads of beads are thrown onto the streets of New Orleans every year at Carnival.

Since it is considered rather gauche to wear these beads at any time outside of Carnival, one might wonder: What do you do with all those beads?  Well, a lot of them are recycled for future years, or kept in attics, or melted into paper weights or faux stained glass windows as kids’ school art projects.  (One might also call into question the wisdom of melting plastic in the oven, but…) Your other options are:

to decorate trees

or fences

or your car….



The other famous bead-related Mardi Gras tradition is that of the tribes of Mardi Gras Indians.  To honor the Native American tribes that took in runaway slaves and sheltered them from bounty hunters, members of the African-American community decided to dress in war regalia and parade, staging “battles” for whose tribe was foremost.  Each outfit is hand-crafted, including the very intricate beading, and each one is made afresh each year, with a rich of history of men passing down the crafting knowledge from father to son, from uncle to nephew.



Happy Mardi Gras!




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