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A couple centuries ago, wealthy, aristocratic men used adorn themselves in jewelry that we’d see nowadays on Hollywood starlets. Since the days of Beau Brummel popularizing dark colors and simplicity, jewelry for men has taken a backseat. We’d like to talk about four key pieces of jewelry for men that we think work for any situation. We’ll also discuss other types of jewelry that are acceptable, but perhaps not great with tailored clothing.
Four Types Of Jewelry For Every Guy
The world of timepieces is just as rich and storied as the world of tailored clothing. There are elements of luxury and exclusivity, industry jargon, and prices ranging from dirt cheap to heirloom quality. We go over how to select a watch for your style and personality in another post, so we won’t get into that deeply here.
From an image perspective, it’s important to know that timepiece enthusiasts take a lot of pride in their passion. A basic minimum knowledge of watches – not to mention, wearing a good one yourself and being able to talk about it – will set you apart from those who lack it. Aficionados respect it when someone notices the nitty-gritty details on a watch they’re wearing, and you’ll garner that same respect if you can play the game just as well.
To be brief: a slim watch with a metal bracelet can be easily dressed up with a suit or dressed down with jeans and a polo shirt.
Custom shirts with French cuffs afford a man the opportunity to don cufflinks. Typically made with a (potentially precious) metal backing of silver, gold, rose gold, and others, cufflinks keep your cuffs closed while giving an outfit an additional dose of accessorization. No wonder cufflinks are one of our four key pieces of jewelry for men.
Plain links will work with anything, but cufflinks are designed with all sorts of special interests in mind: medicine, law, comics, religion, city/state/country affiliations, club memberships, and more. We carry plenty of these accessories at our shop, and you can always do a quick Google search for whatever you can dream up.
There are some men who believe that you should be careful who you wear cufflinks in front of. The logic is that while it’s not likely, some older men view accessories like cufflinks and suspenders as things they’ve earned the right to wear after decades of experience.
We look at this another way. Older men may respect younger men for wearing them and stepping up their game. Too many people “don’t want to be bothered” with having to do this extra step, so those that do set themselves apart. It’s probably best to not wear flashy ones in front of older guys if you’re too young, but don’t close yourself off from cufflinks. They can always be appropriate if the design is simple and elegant. More men should wear them as it’s a stronger, more professional look and one that sets you apart, similar to a pocket square setting apart the wearers and non-wearers.
Married guys, rejoice: you’ve got some jewelry built into your everyday attire. Standard gold is always classic, but modern men have a ton of options in this arena. Two-tone rings, rings with wood in them, rings made of materials like Tungsten and embedded with precious gemstones are all available for anyone who wants to look.
A wedding band goes with any outfit on any occasion.
Class or Signet Ring
Though rarer, class rings and signet rings are in the pantheon of “acceptable” men’s jewelry. If you’re a cheerleader for your alma mater (literally or figuratively, we don’t judge), a class ring is a fine way to show it. We just don’t advise wearing it on a job interview unless you’re 100% sure the interviewer is a graduate of the same institution.
Signet rings – pinky rings that have the wearer’s initials engraved in them – tend to be worn by older men. Back when official documents were sealed in wax, signet rings were the tool with which they were sealed.
When worn tastefully, they lend gravitas to your look. When worn gaudily, they scream Prohibition-era gangster. Tread carefully.
Other Jewelry For Men
Plenty of other jewelry exists for men. The following items can be worn if they fit your personality, but be judicious about when you wear them so as to keep your image as impactful as possible.
Lapel pins aren’t new on the menswear scene by any stretch. They’ve been around for years, typically denoting membership in exclusive clubs and societies. Outside of that context, you have to be careful when you wear them: they live close to the face and can distract from as much as add to an outfit if you’re not careful.
Available in various metals and designs, boutonnieres also fall under this category. It’s best to color-coordinate lapel accessories with your pocket square, and leave them to nights out or other casual environments.
Again, bracelets for men aren’t new. Plenty of millennials have childhood pictures in which their fathers are wearing figaro or ID bracelets. In the past few years, leather and beaded bracelets have been seen on more and more wrists, typically layered at least three at a time. Are these some of the four key pieces of jewelry for men? If the past few years are any indication, the answer is “yes.”
We like dressing the wrist just as much as anyone and encourage you to do so. We do advise that you leave your bracelets on your dresser for job interviews, big meetings, or semi-formal events – that is, those that require a tuxedo.
Piercings (Earrings, Nose Rings, & More)
Those of us who were young adults in the nineties remember that ear piercings for men were ubiquitous. This is making its way back into what we see on the streets on very young men. Even outside of this particular trend, piercings have been popular with plenty of men for years.
The thing about piercings is that it’s not just the jewelry itself that sends a message; the fact that you have piercings is itself a statement. Though they’ve become more-or-less mainstream in recent years, piercings originated as a counter-culture style, intentionally eschewing the aesthetic standards of society at large.
With that in mind, we advise that piercings visible when wearing business attire should be removed when interviewing or in front of new people (what you do with piercings hidden under clothing is entirely up to you).
On the other hand, if you’re in an industry where piercings are both common and accepted (night life, bars/restaurants, etc.), then by all means, show off your piercings. Remember: people like to do business with people like themselves. If your boss is a nose ring guy, chances are your lip ring will fly.
Accessories often serve as focal points for our outfits, so it’s best to be smart about what you wear, and when. The right ones can start conversations that lead to good things for you in business or your personal life. The wrong ones can shut those conversations down before they’ve had a chance to start.
Curious to learn more? Send us a note at email@example.com or call us at 215-253-5905.