Because I’m a man or perhaps because I’m a simple one, I dislike the word “accessory.” Looking sharp is essential, but that particular word conjures images of garish metal brackets hanging heavy on my wrists, restrictive as handcuffs. I’ve also long been under the impression that any adornments distract potential friends and lovers from what’s really important: me.
For this reason I’m not prone to wearing jewelry. I thought this position was firmly held. It’s hard for me to admit this, and maybe that’s because I’m a man, but I was wrong.
I have fallen madly in love with my Catherine M. Zadeh bracelet; its appeal is unlike anything else I’ve worn. Previously, the only wrist-wear I’d ever lusted for belonged to James Bond, and it shot lasers at Russians (or something). But my Zadeh fits sleek and chic, a quiet nod to my own sartorial sensibilities. Its simple design consists of woven strands of water buffalo horn, which some beast-slaying part of my caveman-self duly appreciates, and a white gold clasp, which proves elegant without seeming overbearing. And, while it’s a cinch to put on, I find myself shamelessly asking women I’ve just met (who often ask to see it more closely) to help me fasten it.
My go-to attire is a plain t-shirt and blue jeans, which is safe look, but also a dull one. Instead of overcorrecting with something elaborate and flashy, my Zadeh smoothly sews the ensemble together. And whether I don my typical garb or some button-down business attire, the man still makes the clothes, but my bracelet completes the look.
Everything you wear says something and sometimes it’s easy for men to just say less. But this bracelet speaks volumes. So, rather than avoid Manhattan’s fashion tête-à-tête, I’ve found an accent that punctuates my wardrobe. It’s uncomplicated yet discerning, unfussy yet sophisticated. Most important though, I now feel better with it on—less like a bashful boy and more like a secure man.
And maybe a little more like James Bond.
John Marshall Katheder
Drawing by Marina Loeb