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On the Street...Almost Perfect or The Case For Wearing Your Watch Over Your Cuff, Milan


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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

On the Street...Almost Perfect or The Case For Wearing Your Watch Over Your Cuff, Milan

Recently I did a post about Luciano Barbera and his watch over his shirt cuff.

Several of the commenters thought it was just silly and affected but this is an example of why wearing a big watch over your cuff can be very practical.

I'm sure this gentleman's shirt sleeve length is perfect (this is the same gentleman, a tailor, that I posted recently looking supercool wearing a cream vest with his suit) but he will always look a little off when is sleeve is caught on watch.

Now, I'm not trying to get guys to start wearing their watches differently but I'm just saying it might not be as affected and maybe even more practical than not doing it.

Comments on "On the Street...Almost Perfect or The Case For Wearing Your Watch Over Your Cuff, Milan"


Blogger will anderson said ... (8:46 AM) : 

this also makes the case for how a pinstriped suit can make a man of medium stature appear to be a bit taller. it works perfectly for this guy. i think the vest only works for taller guys, though. it truncates his mid section and eliminates another opportunity for the lapel to lengthen his torso.

good call on the watch...i think the watch i'm looking for is going to be very slim. although, with as much effort as it takes to keep your cuffs 1/4" below the sleeve of your jacket, untucking the watch isn't that big of a deal.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:55 AM) : 

I don't think wearing the watch on the sleeve is affected, but I do hesitate following Agnelli's style simply because it belongs to a big personality. If you hesitate, then it looks 'off'. I think we're starting to see that with Lapo Elkan, the grandson; it seems like he's trying too hard sometimes.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:09 AM) : 

It's not the watch holding back the shirt sleeve that makes this outfit aesthetically displeasing to me. It's the near-iridescent brown shoes with the navy blue pinstripe suit. Feh.

Slim - and often more expensive -watches normally don't catch the sleeve. A large Rolex or Panerai will catch, but a Concord or Patek Philippe generally won't.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:28 AM) : 

he looks amazing. his outfit is great, but the character and confidence he gives off over-shadows a watch in or on a sleeve. he has an unflapable supiority about him. an asthetically pleasing exterior such as his is only complimented by what he is wearing, it comes from the wrinkles on his face and the stregnth seen in his hands.


Blogger The Spicers said ... (9:58 AM) : 

I've always liked that Agnelli look!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:15 AM) : 

The watch-over-the-cuff looks nice, but I think I love that classic action of raising your wrist, and pushing aside your sleeve a little. Is that weird?


Blogger me said ... (10:27 AM) : 

those shoes are such an amazing color.


Blogger Robert said ... (10:55 AM) : 

That light brown colour on leather is so hot, makes the shoes work not only as wonderful shoes in all their glory but as a really heavy accessory to the whole outfit.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:43 AM) : 

Not a fan of the length of his trousers


Blogger Butch said ... (11:52 AM) : 

We don't see three-piece suits very often, and here's a nice example of the breed. The watch, I believe, is neither here nor there--but the trouser length, and the shoe color are something else again.

Everything about the suit, until we get to the bottom of the pants, is nicely traditional. But their shorter length (which I'm assuming was thought through) ISN'T and in discordant way. Actually, the shortness looks like a tailoring goof.

The shoe color is a real problem--the eye is immediately drawn to the guy's feet, the line is broken, and he appears shorter than he would otherwise.


Blogger siongc said ... (12:18 PM) : 

I don't really understand much about cuffs and watches. Isn't the watch (unless it is paper thin, not like the ones I see most people wear) going to be too uncomfortable under the shirt cuff? The same would go for it being over the cuff. Also, isn't the cuff going to just sort of sit above it once you stretch your arms out and the watch moves? We should go back to pocketwatches I say!


Blogger whyioughtta said ... (12:24 PM) : 

This might also be a good argument for the reintroduction of the pocket watch...very "Age of Innocence." If anyone could pull it off, it would be New Yorkers.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:29 PM) : 

Practical is wearing a watch that fits your shirt. That's not to say that fashion has to be practical, but if you're going to wear a watch that doesn't fit in your shirt sleeve, whether over or in front of your sleeve, then arguments to practicality go out the window.


Blogger Min said ... (12:55 PM) : 

i agree. the trousers could be just a bit longer. their length makes him look somewhat disproportionate.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:00 PM) : 

wearing your watch over your shirtsleeve is like tucking your shirttails into your underpants.


Blogger Jennifer said ... (1:11 PM) : 

in the cooler months, i LOVE having my watch or bracelet OVER a thin, long-sleeve sweater. one of my favorite sartorial things about fall.


Blogger Unknown said ... (1:16 PM) : 

The big watch made the sleeve ride up because Italian men wear their shirt cuffs very very snug.


Blogger Asi Mod said ... (1:43 PM) : 

I enlarged the photo and still could not see whether he wore his watch over his cuff or not. But I trust you if you say so.

The thing about doing something off kilter, be it wearing your watch over the cuff of your shirt or tugging your jeans into the boots (men), it has to be done with flair and style. Otherwise, it just looks kooky.

This gentleman is SO POLISHED that when he does something eccentric, it will be looked upon as cool and chic.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:01 PM) : 

Perhaps this started for him as practical solution to do with craft of tailoring? Easier to take the watch on and off?

Form following function?

-- desertwind

PS - He. is. so. cool.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:03 PM) : 

Watch on the cuff is affected in my opinion. Wear a smaller watch if you care about what it does to your sleeve.

This gent's shoes are too light... brown is fine but maybe slightly darker.

He looks great though.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:25 PM) : 

Large man wearing great clothes and eye-catching watch - not clothes and watch wearing the man. Such a man could probably wear a watch on his face and get away with it ... but it's good on his cuff. And I LIKE the shoes!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:29 PM) : 

I have started wearing my watch around my ankle. Do you think it will catch on?


Blogger Matty said ... (5:06 PM) : 

Very sharp. The caramel shoes give it just the right amount zing. He is so handsome too.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:32 PM) : 

I loved the watch over his sleeve! Such an exquisite detail


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:46 PM) : 

A magnificent suit, and such a stylish tie-knot. Close to perfection.....(I would have pick mid- brown or dark-brown shoes)


Blogger GuyInnuendo said ... (7:03 PM) : 

One great thing about your site is getting inspired about new ideas. And your audience is such a help given its generally very positive response. I was a terrible critic before seeing your pictures and commentary, but now am exploring everyday!

So, last week I took my close-fitting black sweater, with simple gray t-shirt and slacks, and wore my orange-faced watch with the gray band on top of the sweater. No one every noticed it before. But now it was all about the watch.

Funny thing though, all day long I kept using my right hand to pull up the sweater cuff. So I could see my watch!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:37 PM) : 

wearing a watch on outside of the sleeve comes from long distance motorcycle racing -- look at old pics of Steve McQueen racing in European time trials in 1964; if you wear the watch on bare skin the vibrations cause band to cut into your wrist like an electric carving knife. The IItalians probably noticed it and affected the look.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:54 PM) : 

in my opinion the trouser lenght is perfect and the trousers should have no break at all. when this guy walks he will definitely show his socks. if you compare this man from the man from hamburg wearing that double breasted pinstripe notch lapel suit this man from milano wins hands down. he looks very dapper where as the man from hamburg look very sloppy. once you start wearing your trousers with no break you'll never go back to the sloppy look. need i say more about trouser lenght.

as far as wearing watch over the shirt cuff it makes it really easy to tell time without adjusting your jacket or any garment over your shirt. the other plus is you preserve your leather band from wear and tear from your own sweat.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:04 PM) : 

I have worn my rather chunky watch over my cuff from time to time, with mixed results.

I've found two solutions to the problem: (1) I have my shirts tailored so that my left cuff (wrist I wear my watch on) is slightly larger to accommodate the watch and (2) I've found that shirts that come with 2 buttons on the cuff (Burberry, Boss, etc) allow me to fasten the right wrist tight, the way I like it, and the left wrist loose enough to accommodate the big watch.

Re: the photo, I thought you aren't supposed to button the jacket if you're wearing a vest. No?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:21 PM) : 

I agree with those who have stated that his poise bolsters the eccentric look of the timepiece on the cuff--a look very few can genuinely pull off.

I notice many men wear their trousers with a very slight or no break in Italy. Sometimes it works and others not; Here I think not. Shorter trousers look better with more monochromatic shoe/sock/trouser combinations. This gentlemen could use some visual lengthening as william d. anderson wrote. Losing the vest and darker shoes would definitely help.

One deviation per outfit?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:36 AM) : 

I like to wear the watch over the sleeve just because it makes my wrist sweat less.


Blogger Diana said ... (5:50 AM) : 

I have just checked the april-photo of him in the creme-west.
On that photo, he is wearing darker brown shoes, anyway. Either way, he embodies MILAN Style for me. He is perfect. It would be very interesting to see him once in a casual outfit.
Is this watch issue really that big problem? I mean, on that level?


Blogger The Sartorialist said ... (6:32 AM) : 

To Diana
no, the watch issue is not that big a deal
i think that this guy looks fantastic
but i visually notice the watch issue in this shot

I go back to Milan in June - I should look him up and get his take - I'm sure he has one


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:15 AM) : 

Large watches can destroy cuffs, that may be a reason for not wearing the watch underneath. Or: the cuffs are too tight to fit a watch underneath. I have some italian shirts for which this is the case.


Blogger rslkly said ... (8:20 AM) : 

I work in the luxury watch industry, for Vacheron Constantin, and as much as I like to see a nice watch on display, a gentleman as well tailored as this should have his bespoke shirts made to fit over his watch.


Blogger Unknown said ... (10:21 AM) : 

This man is confident, stylish, and elegant. That said, this looks more like his shirt sleeve is too short as opposed to the watch over the sleeve. Don't get me wrong, I love the way Milanese men wear color. However, their obsession with copying all aspects of Agnelli's signature style is the opposite of personal style. Agnelli wrote the book on Italian style for men and it's time the next generation write their own.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:24 AM) : 

I've said it before, I'll say it again, this bloke is tops ! But I have to add that the shoes don't really suit him.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:24 PM) : 

He always looks good and makes everything work because he's so polishd.



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:11 PM) : 

1. Why on earth does anyone aspiring to sartorial elegance wear a watch so large it must go over shirt cuff? Agnelli's signature eccentricity aside, it's unnecessary and dumb -- get a good, thin-enough Patek, etc., and wear your Panerai with your scuba gear where it belongs.
2. IMHO, the break and slight billowing at bottom of pants legs lends some elegant curves that improve one's look, in the same way that a terrific DRAPE suit has some similar shaping up above. While I hesitate to be critical of this fine gent, I would suggest a little drape in the jacket and a little break in the trousers as improvements.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:56 AM) : 

Watches on or under cuff?

Don't get me wrong, I'm a frequent visitor of your blog and am very interested in fashion myself, but, with due respect to the fashion community and yourself, is it really necessary to contemplate such trivialities? Surely there are more important, if not more interesting (!!) things to occupy our thoughts with!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:08 PM) : 

I'm so freaked out over the shoes. I love brown shoes, and am totally bored with the standard business formal black shoe thing, but what's going on with this? Is this an Italian thing? Is it sort of a shoe fetish? Is this going to last? Is this guy just an extreme manifestation of a trend to slightly bolder shoe colors that we should welcome? Help me understand!


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