Wear Your Cuff on Your Sleeve

By Cynthia Sliwa — February 19, 2015

Wearing bracelets with long-sleeve shirts, blouses, sweaters or jackets can present a challenge, as the various items compete for visible space on the wrist.

2015 over sleeve 1114 Vogue end of sleeves REV

In some cases, the sleeves can be pulled up to show the jewelry, as in this photo form the November 2014 issue of Vogue, which features silver bracelets from Barbara Trujillo Antiques worn with a Louis Vuitton blouse and sweater vest and Lanvin skirt.

2015 over sleeve 0315 T&C Chanel REV

The March 2015 issue of Town & Country pictures a model in head-to-toe Chanel, including multiple strands of pearls around her wrist under her blouse cuff.

The long sleeve-bracelet combination creates styling dilemmas. A sleeve pushed up a bit may not stay in place, requiring repeated adjustments. Moreover, sleeves on garments with give when pushed up higher on the arm may stretch out and lose their shape. A solution to the issue of limited space on a wrist is to place the bracelet over a long sleeve on a blouse or sweater.

2015 over sleeve 1214 MC Eddie Borgo over Celine REV

The December 2014 issue of Marie Claire pictures an Eddie Borgo cuff bracelet worn over a sweater from Celine.

2015 over sleeve 1214 Elle Munnu Omega REV

Both a wristwatch by Omega and a bangle bracelet from Munnu the Gem Palace are worn over a sweater sleeve in this photo from the December 2014 issue of Elle.  The model also wears rings from Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari and Cartier. The turtleneck is from Salvatore Ferragamo.

2015 over sleeve 1114 Vogue Saint Laurent multi 72dpi REV

The November 2014 issue of Vogue pictures a collection of silver bracelets worn over both sleeves of a Marc Jacobs sweater. The bracelet and rings are from Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane. The model also wears Isabel Marant buffalo-horn earrings (obscured). The model’s skirt is from Valentino.

2015 over sleeve 1014 Glamour Paco Rabanne 72dpi REV

An Omega wristwatch and bracelet from Paco Rabanne are pictured worn over a Banana Republic turtleneck in this photo from the October 2014 issue of Glamour. The model also wears an Altuzarra skirt, North Face jacket, Dior sunglasses, and Anthony Vaccarello belt.

2015 over sleeve 1014 HB Saint Laurent white pantsuit REV

The October 2014 issue of Harper’s Bazaar pictures a model wearing an Equipment blazer with a turtleneck sweater and pants from Boss. Along with a choker by Jennifer Fisher, she wears a cuff bracelet from Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane over her sweater sleeve with the jacket sleeve pushed up.

2015 over sleeve 0914 LA Chanel watch over blazer REV

The September 2014 issue of Los Angeles Magazine pictures a model in a Saint Laurent blouse and blazer, with a Chanel watch worn over the jacket sleeve. The model also wears a ring by David Yurman.

2015 over sleeve 0315 Glamour glove REV

In an intriguing variation, the March 2015 issue of Glamour places a watch over a cutout-style glove. Pictured with a Marc Jacobs jumpsuit, the Ralph Lauren Fine Watchmaking timepiece is worn on top of the base of the Gaspar Gloves glove.

2015 over sleeve 0914 T&C Gianni Agnelli REV

The September 2014 issue of Town & Country includes an instructive vignette describing “One of the most recognizable style tics of the 20th century, Gianni Agnelli’s bold habit of wearing his watch over his shirt cuff.” Agnelli was an Italian industrialist, the head of Fiat. This style tic “is said to have been less fashion statement than practical solution.” Agnelli “claimed he was too busy to shift his sleeve to see what time it was; that signature visibility saved precious seconds.” Town & Country that wearing a wristwatch or cuff over a sweater or coat is “still an achievable goal. Plus, who has the time to lift the sleeve of a tweed jacket to show off a bracelet anymore?”

I’ll mention one more advantage to the style: warmth. With temperatures hovering below zero in much of the U.S. as I write this post, there’s something cozy about having the beautiful metal bracelet or watch resting on a layer of wool or cashmere rather than directly on the wrist.

Price Check:

  • Barbara Trujillo Antiques:  silver bracelets (11/14 Vogue), prices upon request
  • Bulgari:  rose gold, diamond and mother-of-pearl ring (12/14 Elle), price upon request
  • Cartier:  rose gold ring (12/14 Elle), price upon request
  • Chanel:  pearl jewelry (3/15 Town & Country), “from $1,750″; wristwatch (9/14 Los Angeles), $16,000
  • David Yurman:  ring (9/14 Los Angeles), price upon request
  • Eddie Borgo:  cuff bracelet (12/14 Marie Claire), $350
  • Isabel Marant buffalo-horn earrings (11/14 Vogue), prices upon request
  • Jennifer Fisher:  gold-plated brass Knot Choker (10/14 Harper’s Bazaar), $495
  • Munnu the Gem Palace:  gold and diamond bangle (12/14 Elle), price upon request
  • Omega:  gold wristwatch (12/14 Elle), price upon request; wristwatch (10/14 Glamour), $5,500
  • Paco Rabanne:  bracelet (10/14 Glamour), $470
  • Ralph Lauren Fine Watchmaking:  wristwatch (3/15 Glamour), $7,100
  • Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane: (11/14 Vogue), bracelets, prices upon request; brass Monogram Cuff (10/14 Harper’s Bazaar), $795
  • Van Cleef & Arpels: rose gold, diamond and mother-of-pearl rings (12/14 Elle), each, price upon request


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