2017 is our 30th year in business, but I haven’t always been proprietor of The Great American Leather Company. Those of you who are familiar with the Col. Littleton story know that the first thing I sold under the Col. Littleton brand was vintage cuff links and accessories.
To celebrate our 30th year in business, I’m going right back where we started from by pulling a substantial selection of vintage and vintage-inspired (I designed some myself) cuff links, tie bars and formal sets from my private stock and making them available for purchase . . . just like in 1987.
I have always loved things with history, and the pre-owned vintage items that are part of this special offering have some history. They go back in time to the Victorian, Edwardian, Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods right on down to the Mid-Century Modern era. When I wear vintage jewelry pieces, I always think about the time in which they were worn and the people who wore them. That makes them special to me.
Fashion has been all over the place in my lifetime, and some of it has not been pretty. No matter what’s the current trend, there are always those who transcend fashion and have a sense of personal style and elegance. These vintage cuff links were worn through the years by likeminded people, and I think it’s great that people in our time can put them back on and continue the tradition.
As I like to say, “Fashion comes and goes, but elegance is always in style.”
THIS SPECIAL OFFERING COVERS THREE CATEGORIES
I’ve always admired cuff links and consider them to be perhaps the most elegant of wardrobe accessories. In fact, I liked them so much I started the Col. Littleton Company selling vintage cuff links to upscale men’s stores on the east coast, west coast, in the south and in many other areas of the United States.
Cuff links have been around in some form since the 1600s, but only became popular in the mid-1800s. Prior to that time men, for the most part, didn’t wear jewelry; but cuff links became acceptable and fashionable for men in Britain and the United States due, in part, to the influence of British royalty and the aristocracy.
Although cuff links tend to go up and down in popularity on today’s fashion trend scale, there are many men who always have and always will wear cuff links no matter what the current trend. If you like cuff links, you’re in good company. They have been worn by giants of industry such as John D. Rockefeller, legends of the glamour days of Hollywood such as Clark Gable and Fred Astaire and they are a mainstay in the wardrobe of the well-dressed traditional business and professional man the world over.
I’ve chosen vintage cuff links from a variety of styles and time periods for this special offering. Maybe you’ll see a pair that speaks to you.
In the late 1990s I designed a line of cuff links and formal sets from old cuff link dies that were used to make jewelry in the first quarter of the 20th Century and had them made in the northeastern United States. I always loved the romance and style of the Art Deco period and the jewelry of that time. My favorites were enameled cuff links; however vintage ones in good shape were hard to find. So, I made my own and sold them for several years. I’ve pulled a number of pairs from my collection and am making them available as long as they last.
These are approximately 20-year-old, never-worn links that are vintage in style, character and feel. They are enamel with either gold plated, silver plated or sterling silver trim.
If I’m wearing a necktie, you can pretty much be sure I’m wearing a tie bar. Not only does it add a touch of class; but it’s downright practical if you don’t want your necktie blowing in the wind or landing in your dinner. Having your necktie firmly fastened to your shirt eliminates a lot of unsightly problems.
Over the years tie bars have grown wider or narrower with the width of neckties in the world of fashion. If you’re bothered by fashion faux pas, wearing a tie bar wider than your necktie is probably one of them . . . kind of like overshooting the runway I guess, though definitely not as dangerous.
I’m making 25 or so vintage tie bars from my Private Stock Collection available to Col. Littleton customers. These range in age from the Art Deco era (1920s and 1930s) to the Mid-Century Modern era (1940s – 1960s) and in style from very dressy to more casual. You’ll find an assortment of widths, materials and designers in the selection. These are pre-owned tie bars; and I think, very special. Take a look and see what you think.