And the Wrist is History

By Elle

I can’t even imagine the history I carry with me when I wear this funky bracelet made from vintage trouser buttons. Each one is different, and I bet each one has a story.

Trouser button bracelet

Trouser button bracelet from Button Down Designs in Rocky River.

Trouser Button Bracelet

The bracelet is made by Emilie Collens Illson from Button Down Designs, whom I discovered at Tower City this year, during the Cleveland International Film Festival. She makes bracelets from all sorts of buttons, from bone and etched shell to Bakelite and porcelain.

While all her designs are phenomenal, I was particularly attracted to the trouser button bracelets for three reasons: they’re largely metal, each is unique and the buttons are from the late 1800s/early 1900s. Pretty cool! Most of the buttons boast the name of the clothier that fashioned the trousers.

The bracelet I finally settled on (I nearly missed my film trying to decide) includes buttons that read Boy Scouts of America, Fine Quality, W. Bawden N.Y., Big Yank, Depose Paris, A. Shuman Boston, Mode de Paris, and U.S.A. (from a U.S. airman’s uniform!), among others.

Trouser button bracelet

I love pairing the bracelet with clothing in metallic colors, like these plaid slacks from Talbots I found at a thrift store, beige cami, black cardigan and beige scarf that was a recent Goodwill find! And a glass of Pinot Grigio doesn’t hurt either — seems to go with all my outfits!

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