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.


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  1. william d. anderson

    May 15, 2007 at 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.

  2. Anonymous

    May 15, 2007 at 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.

  3. Anonymous

    May 15, 2007 at 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.

  4. Anonymous

    May 15, 2007 at 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.

  5. Iheartfashion

    May 15, 2007 at 9:58 am

    I’ve always liked that Agnelli look!

  6. Anonymous

    May 15, 2007 at 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?

  7. el presidente

    May 15, 2007 at 10:27 am

    those shoes are such an amazing color.

  8. SubjectiveFashion

    May 15, 2007 at 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.

  9. Anonymous

    May 15, 2007 at 11:43 am

    Not a fan of the length of his trousers

  10. Butch

    May 15, 2007 at 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.

  11. siongc

    May 15, 2007 at 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!

  12. whyioughtta

    May 15, 2007 at 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.

  13. Anonymous

    May 15, 2007 at 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.

  14. Min

    May 15, 2007 at 12:55 pm

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

  15. Anonymous

    May 15, 2007 at 1:00 pm

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

  16. editor

    May 15, 2007 at 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.

  17. Walter

    May 15, 2007 at 1:16 pm

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

  18. Asian Models Blogger

    May 15, 2007 at 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.

  19. Anonymous

    May 15, 2007 at 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.

  20. Anonymous

    May 15, 2007 at 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.

  21. Anonymous

    May 15, 2007 at 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!

  22. Anonymous

    May 15, 2007 at 3:29 pm

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

  23. Matthew

    May 15, 2007 at 5:06 pm

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

  24. Anna H

    May 15, 2007 at 5:32 pm

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

  25. Paristrash

    May 15, 2007 at 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)

  26. GuyInnuendo

    May 15, 2007 at 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!

  27. Anonymous

    May 15, 2007 at 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.

  28. Anonymous

    May 15, 2007 at 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.

  29. gregory_fb

    May 15, 2007 at 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?

  30. stefano g.

    May 15, 2007 at 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?

  31. Anonymous

    May 16, 2007 at 12:36 am

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

  32. Diana

    May 16, 2007 at 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?

  33. The Sartorialist

    May 16, 2007 at 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

  34. Anonymous

    May 16, 2007 at 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.

  35. Russell Kelly

    May 16, 2007 at 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.

  36. John

    May 16, 2007 at 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.

  37. Mark, LONDON

    May 16, 2007 at 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.

  38. cigalechanta

    May 16, 2007 at 5:24 pm

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


  39. Anonymous

    May 16, 2007 at 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.

  40. Anonymous

    May 17, 2007 at 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!

  41. Luke

    May 25, 2007 at 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!

  42. Elegante Brummell

    September 22, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    This guy looks great.
    Clasic = elegance.
    Love from Buenos Aires!

  43. Aman Tailors

    December 1, 2016 at 6:28 am

    The pinstripe pattern of his 3 piece suit makes him taller. We love the fact that his sleeves are not wrinkled & fits well in his arms. We also love the length of his trousers & it compliments the length of his jacket, too. Perhaps if he had a version of a removed vest, his tie won’t look imperfect. Yet, he still looks amazing. We love seeing men aging sharply.


  44. hyundai grand i10 hatchback

    August 19, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    Old cool… I’m just saying it might not be as affected and maybe even more practical than not doing it.

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