Tricounty News

That's no briefcase, that's my murse



Good news from the experts who predict the economic forecast. The outlook for the financial horizon may be on the upswing, in large part because of men's bracelets.

The New York Times recently reported men are accessorizing more than ever, and all this shopping (and spending) may indicate an end to the recession, and a start to men wearing assorted bling, including, but not limited to: fancy caps, scarves, bags, showy belts, fur neckware and bracelets.

Except we don't call them bracelets. No, no, no. They are wrist apparel, wrist attire or even wristbands, but never, ever, bracelets.

Bracelets are for girls.

According to the Times, in order to make traditional women's accessories appealing to men, designers are renaming said items using only the manliest of terms. It's all about semantics. My guy doesn't want a bracelet. He wants wrist wear. See, doesn't that just sound better?

Often, this creative name changing involves adding the letter M to the beginning of a word to make it more masculine, because we all understand the letter M is inherently manly. Take a purse; it becomes a murse. Or perhaps a handbag becomes a manbag. An umbrella might be a manbrella, a necklace a mecklace. (What guy wouldn't fall for such ingenious wordsmithing?)

There's no telling how far this manipulation of the language might go. It could manifest itself in any number of maneuvers. We might wind up with word derivatives like mankini, manssiere, mencil skirt, mani skirt and even a little black cocktail mess, no pun intended, of course.

I try to be as open-minded as the next gal. I'll take a guy with a new-fangled bag (doesn't matter what he wants to call it), a bracelet (wristband) and scarf, but I'm not sure I can support a total reformation. There are some lines that perhaps are best left uncrossed.

The black cocktail dress might be one. Pearls another. I'm not ready for a guy to substitute a silk necktie for a string of pearls. Call me crazy. Call me traditional. Just don't let me hear you call them mearls.

Beyond that, however, I view this new trend in trendsetting as a positive step toward allowing men more leeway and inspiration when garnishing their regular clothing. Inspiration is almost always a good thing.

Bottom line for 2012: the newest manned-up styles and fashion adornments are helping to push the economic recovery along. The Times reports retail sales growth of men's fashion accessories is at a 20-year high. Bracelets are the new cuff link. Ascots and berets are making their way into the boardroom. Hip guys are toting bags on their hips, and don't you dare refer to them as briefcases. Men are binging on accessories, pass me a second helping of a manbag. Bring on the bling, baby!

So says the New York Times.

I tend to disagree. When it comes to a man's bracelet, I guess wrist apparel is the preferred description, I'm not buying it, or at least I don't believe my husband will. His idea of excess bling is carrying a mini photo of our kids on the chain with his car keys. He doesn't even wear his wedding ring. It's safe to say a bracelet, however manly, is out of the question.

That's okay with me.

I support his lack of mancessories. In fact, I'm not ashamed to admit I wear the pearls in the family. Always have. Always will. I guess you could say we're a little old-fashioned that way. What can I say? It works for us.

Follow Slices of Life on Facebook. Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist and author of "The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication." E-mail her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; or visit her website at http://marketing-by-design.home.mchsi.com/.