Male Pattern Boldness is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!

Apr 13, 2013

MPB EXCLUSIVE: Peter on Men's Accessories!

Friends, except for a wallet, a watch, a pair of sunglasses, and occasionally a hat, I don't wear many accessories.

That said, I do care about them and own my fair share.

Men's accessories fall into a few broad categories, not very different from women's:


I've written about jewelry for men before.  I'm not into it these days.  I do own a few nice things I've accumulated over the decades.  Others are like, What was I thinking, and should be sold on eBay or somewhere.


Like many men today, I own more watches than I know what to do with.  The one I wear most is the $20 Casio I bought from a street vendor.  The rest were purchased eons ago or were gifts.


I really only use one wallet at a time.  I own a couple.

Key rings

Strictly hardware store.

Neckties and scarves

I own quite a few ties but I rarely wear them.  They're all second-hand.  I wear scarves mostly in the winter.



I generally don't like to lug a bag around unless I need to tote a camera or books.  There are some nice Made in the USA men's bags out there but they are costly (more than $100).  I should sew my own.

This must be a collector's item by now!

Hats and sunglasses

The balder and more wrinkled I get, the more I appreciate sunglasses and hats.


An iPod, a yo yo...what have I missed folks?

Personally, I would recommend never buying accessories for a man.  The ones who don't care about them won't use them and the ones who do care will want to buy them for themselves.  Am I right?

Readers, if you're a man or male-identified, do you care a lot about your accessories?  Which do you use most and which haven't seen the light of day in years?

Have I skipped any accessories you wouldn't be without?

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. I agree with you. Let the men buy their own accessories. When they are used well, they look good. Otherwise it looks like a bad Jersey Shore reunion.

  2. I think there are a few things that are generally safe bets, depending on the person (plain-ish cufflinks for my dad, marvel-branded anything for pretty much every other man I buy presents for), but I find buying accessories for men quite tricky because I can never find as much choice as there is for women. Mostly though, I'm just commenting to say how awesome that sheriff's badge is!

  3. hmmm... yes. Hats. My mom hated them until she lost her hair from chemo... then she found that they were necessary if she didn't want a sunburned head.

    Belts. Aren't those necessary accessories to hold up your pants? Or are you a suspenders guy?

  4. I don't usually wear accessories. I'd like to own a couple of sunglasses but alas, my head is too big and finding sunglasses for my size head would be a long journey.

  5. I used to give scarves to my father because he just wouldn't get them for himself. I've made (knitted and sewn) hats for one of my brothers. He's liked them all as they actually fit him. (He's got a big melon, and those one-size-fits-most never work for him.) The only things my husband has ever liked were the leather key case and the billfold I bought for him. Actually, buying/giving accessories to anyone is kind of a crap-shoot. Accessories seem to have a sigificance way beyond their size.

  6. I was puzzled by one of the accessories in your photo, so I googled 'Altoids'. I found an article on a website called "the art of manliness" about repurposing Altoids boxes into 22 different manly accessories. First aid kit! Fishing kit! poison dart gun! etc

    1. They're fantastic for clearing your sinuses. Only don't try more than three at a time, 'cause those suckers are strong!

  7. SeamsterEast@aol.comApril 13, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    An Altoids box makes a great case for a vintage double edge razor, complete with gold plated blade case. Stuff with some foam from a craft store and your precious gold-plated Gillette won't get banged around. DE razors shave much closer even if they require a deft touch.

    When I was wearing ties in the work-a-day world (which included customer contact) I bought high end Dunhill ties for effect. These could not be gift items as effect was everything.

    Watches? In the corp world I wore for customer effect gold watches with leather straps. These were outside the price range of a gift. For play, a cheap Casio worked fine. I'd wear them until the battery went dead, then threw them away because it was more a pain to find a battery than to find a new watch.

    Wallets? My daughter has given me three wallets over time to replace the self-sewn kevlar sailcloth credit card size wallet I carry because it fits easily in my jeans pocket. In the business world I used a bifold wallet to fit the inside breast pocket of my suit coat. There was a certain effect needed in customer facing contact. These are not priced well as easy gifts.

    In the business world, a gold Cross Pen was standard, and even today go for less than $40. One will last a lifetime.

    Tote bags are certainly easy to make on a snowy winter Sunday afternoon. I am about to do a kevlar/Sunbrella duffle bag. Duffle bags small or gym size have a certain cultural ambience associated with comfortable availability. Messenger bags make a statement of commercial availability I have no desire to make.

    On men, clothing makes a far greater statement than accessories do.

  8. I'm a bit of a jewelry fan, and I have to wear a tie five days a week; in general, I find I spend more time thinking of accessories than I do of actual clothing, which just seems to fall in to place, at least for business.

    My business uniform these days, for example, is a conservative dark suit, a crips white or pale blue shirt (increasingly with cufflinks), and then a tie one or shades more extravagant than I was raised to think quite correct. They add a shot of color and dash that, since I'm "creative" (as opposed to finance or something serious), I can get away with. I'm not into brands and labels too much (and they must never, ever actually appear on any piece of clothing, visibly), but in the last couple of years my go-tos always seem to be Ted Baker or Ike Behar.

    Living in Arabia, sunglasses are a must; I tend to like either plain black or brown tortoishell (I have a pair of $2 "Roy Bans" bought on the street in Madrid that have gotten me more compliments than any $150 pair I've ever owned). You'd think we'd wear hats, out here in the land of 120-degree sun, but since you're rarely outdoors in the hot weather, somehow rarely do.

    As for the bijoux, my Mister likes buying me watches, so I go with his generally excellent taste. Muslim men don't wear yellow gold, so pretty much everything for both of us is either silver or white gold, including the very handsome rings he designed for us and my one or two other evening/weekend rings for my non-spousal hand. I have a trove of silver bangles for weekends as well, from African and Egypt and other places we've lived or traveled. For cufflinks, mostly classic, simple designs, although I enjoy the extravagant pair of pearl ones that were a Christmas prezzie a couple of years ago (have I mentioned that I married a keeper?).

  9. I love your cufflinks with the cars. It's hard to find cufflinks here in Sweden that's unique and in the same time workappropriate. And I dont think cufflinks decorated with the Playboy-symbol falls into that category. I better mention that I'm not the one wearing the cufflinks, I'm just my brothers "personalshopper" when it comes to that.

  10. I'm milking a black wallet from Bonwit-Teller for a few more years of service. Otherwise, no accessories here.

  11. I love and collect vintage neckties from the 40s and 50s, mostly the wider, shorter styles with bold patterns. The rayon used during that era was incredibly beautiful and durable. I would love to wear skinny ties-- I still find them in thrift shops-- but I don't look well in them (too broad shouldered, I think). I'm also very fond of suspenders, especially Trafalgar or any using the old Calvin Curtiss patterns. I don't often remove my jacket, but when the need arises, beautiful suspenders always elicit compliments. When I was visiting Northern California about ten years ago, ran across an a going-out-of business sale at an antique shop and made an offer on two trays of vintage cuff links. I wound up paying about $25 for 30 pairs of cuff links, which formed the basis for a still growing collection. One of the advantages of wearing them is that it alerts others to my interest-- it seems they are bought for me more frequently than I buy them myself! One of the nice things about men's accessories is that no one really need know about them other than the wearer, and that introduces an element of surprise and fun into an otherwise staid wardrobe. A flash of an unusual cuff link, a glimpse of an interestingly patterned sock, a pop of color from a handkerchief lends a nice note of individuality if not overdone, and it makes dressing and working more fun. Load up on the accessories by all means.

  12. Seth is so not an accessory kind of guy. He wears a watch. He used to wear his wedding ring until we had a burglary and he had left it on the dresser. Ah well. I periodically buy him a new wallet. That's it for him.

  13. I LOVE watches, and yours are awesome (the one with off-set dual faces?! I DIE!). Also, if you want to unload that crazy silver "cuff" ring, I'll take it! Seriously.

    I think understated, classic men's accessories are great, if they align with the wearer's style. :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails