Leather strap from lapel to breast pocket

Watching a few episodes of the Jeeves and Wooster TV series, I noticed Bertie Wooster often has some kind of leather strap or brown ribbon running from the label buttonhole of his sports coat, into the breast pocket.

What is it? A watch strap or something like that? My google-fu fails.

It’s set in the 1930’s, and presumably has authentic period clothing. If my description makes no sense I’ll try to grab a screen shot.

Probably his watch fob. More common would be to attach them to the button/button holes of a waistcoat, but attaching to the lapel isn’t unknown.

Monocle cord. The monocle would be stored in the breast pocket, the cord tied to the lapel would keep it from falling to the ground if it fell out of the eye socket.

Some people would only use the monocle for close up work.

Thanks! Watch fob sounds most plausible.

I couldn’t take a screenshot but I did find this:

Hugh Laurie most definitely has a monocle cord. Note Stephen Fry has a chain watch fob lower down. Contrast the location of the two. There is no reason to have a watch fob so high up.

The strap is way too short to be a monocle, it would never come anywhere near his eye.

Watch - which some people, do, in fact, put in their breast pocket, attached to the lapel - is far more plausible.

Telling is the other image, where Wooster is wearing a watch on a chain on his waistcoat - he does not have the leather strap.

Here is a pic with Laurie wearing a chain watch fob in a standard location.

I disagree. You don’t know how much of the monocle cord is in the pocket with the monocle.


I’d have to say it’s his pocket watch. Anyone that wanted to protect the watch from scratching kept it in the inner garment watch pocket.

If it were a monocle, it would certainly have featured in a joke. There’s a running gag where Jeeves disapproves of a fashionable new accessory that Bertie is sporting.

What ho!

Dash it all, it’s a thingamadoo, what do you call it?

I’d bet a jillion dollars it’s a monocle cord. Do you know how effin awkward a pocket watch in the breast pocket is?? Watches go in the vest pocket, or, for the hoi polloi, in the trouser pocket.

I sometimes wear a pocket watch, in a variety of locations, depending on what I’m wearing . . . and yeah, sometimes in the breast pocket.

Well, isn’t someone going to send a tweet to Stephen Fry and ask him?

I have the entire series on DVD. Damn you all; now I’m going to have to watch them again.

It’s a steal on iTunes, only a few dollars per season for the later ones.


A pince nez would be more typical, but Wooster does seem like a monocle kind of guy.

It really isn’t. I’d expect a watch to be on a chain, however.

You just hook your thumb under the chain and pull. Hey presto, the watch is in your hand at a convenient reading distance (since the pocket’s on the left, an open-face watch works better than a hunter, obviously).

It’s a pocket watch. You can see him take it out from the breast pocket in at least one of the episodes. He also never wears a monocle.

I was thinking last night that a pince-nez was a better idea.

Wodehouse regularly had characters that used them. E.g., here’s a description of a character that even mentions the button loop.

Read the Wikipedia article on them, the section on retention methods.

Here’s some quotes and writings by Wodehouse that mention them: