Are you considering stepping into the men’s jewelry arena and not quite sure how? In this post we will discuss not just how to wear jewelry, but how to wear it with confidence.
Let’s get one thing straight; jewelry is not only for women. Ornamental pieces like jewelry are symbols of wealth, status and power. Not simply ornamentation.
(Image courtesy of theadventurine.com)
Throughout history men have always donned elaborate jewelry. Though, in modern culture, it has become a bit taboo. Of course, there have always been the simple staple pieces like watches and wedding bands – but other than that, jewelry for men has been considered a bit gaudy.
Misconceptions About Jewelry
You see it often and hip-hop videos and other subcultures but you don’t see it on Wall Street and that’s the hard part. Aren’t pieces of jewelry supposed to show status and power? Isn’t that what those Wall Street guys are after?
It seems to me that things have gotten a little out of touch. History (as it always does) has repeated itself and now we’re back to the age of men wearing jewelry.
There are a lot of misconceptions about how to wear jewelry, or if men even should. A nice piece of jewelry can complement any outfit for any occasion. These days it is not uncommon to see well-dressed men wearing earrings in both ears, wearing stacked necklaces, or donning a few bracelets.
However, since wearing jewelry has been swept under the rug for so long, the confusion can be high.
Chances are, that if you are the first in generations to don jewelry, the older men in your family may be confused and a bit misguided in the beginning. Some of them could still be living in the old ways of only wearing a wedding band and watch, considering anything else a bit over the line.
Will Smith is always seen wearing two diamond studs with his suiting. (Image courtesy of ullushop.com)
Jewelry and the Modern Man
In our modern society, we see jewelry everywhere – and while not all pieces are acceptable for the office, each piece tells a little about who we are. Whether you are adorning yourself for religious reasons or showing off your hard work, adding these small details is a great way to set yourself apart.
So how do you choose which piece is the most appropriate for you?
We have outlined some of our favorite pieces and the best way to wear them below- making your transition into jewelry easy and seamless.
It is now not uncommon to see well-dressed men wearing earrings. In years past we have seen it but mainly one earring at a time. Now you are seeing men sport earrings in both ears. More and more men have also been spotted wearing simple necklaces, large chains and sometime even multiple stacked together.
If you are in the market for earrings, here are some styles that you might consider:
- Diamond studs – A timeless classic.
- Small metal studs – For the minimalist who wants to add a touch of flair.
- The stud and dangle – This style was brought to fame in the 80's by names like Boy George and Elton John. Not for the faint of heart, but if done correctly, can transform a look from bland to grand.
Watches and Bracelets
If you are having doubts and want to just keep it simple, start with a classic watch. Nothing fancy, just a solid band. Slowly build up your style. Often considered as functional jewelry, watches are safe and can be worn in all circumstances. As a rule of thumb, the simpler the watch, the safer of an option it is! A plain black leather strap with roman numerals is classic and timeless. While metal watches can work with suits and sports jackets, cloth bands should be best reserved for more casual occasions.
Courtesy of www.mvmtwatches.com
Ready to take it up a notch? Add a bracelet, or two. Bracelets can be appropriate for every look from suits to casual T-shirts with jeans.
Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's exquisite range of leather bracelets.
Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's extensive range of beaded bracelets
Bracelet offerings courtesy of www.thedarkknot.com
Men’s bracelets come in all types of sizes and shapes and materials. The most common are beaded and leather. These pieces look really great paired with a nice watch and even stacked together. Bracelets are going to be the most versatile pieces for all of the clothing in your wardrobe. Having three or four options in different materials can be the simple update that your style needs.
Stacked Bracelets make for a great look. Courtesy of www.realmenrealstyle.com
If you are planning to dress up for a special occasion, throw on your nice beaded, or stone bracelet with your watch and your suit. Looking for a beachy relaxed look? Don on your watch and then throw on the casual leather braided band. Going for a utility work look? Skip the watch and just throw on a couple of braided bands - this look also pairs well with rings.
Why stop with just your wedding band? Lately more and more men have been piling on rings. If you like the look of mixed metals this could be a good way to do it tastefully. Are you a pinky ring kind of guy? You can be. Maybe you have an old class or fraternal ring sitting around? Bring them out!
Courtesy of www.hundreddollarsuits.com
Necklaces are another easy way to vamp up your style but are regarded as one of the hardest to wear. Worn for many reasons, necklaces can be decorative, functional or symbols of religious affiliation. A simple gold chain could be a great way to accentuate your tan on the beach, while a dog tag could be used to save your life.
A few necklace types to consider:
- Chains – The simplest and most classic approach. Unornamented, with a length to fall just below your collarbone. Choose the metal that works best for your skin tone.
- Dog tags – Mostly worn for identification and medical purposes.
- Chokers – A snug fitting band worn mostly in alternative subcultures.
- Religious medallions – Worn on a simple chain, these are worn by many as a testament to their faith. More often than not, they are worn tucked inside of clothing.
Whether you are putting it on display as part of your personality, or tucking it away under your shirt – necklaces are always a great conversation starter.
You may not immediately consider tie clips and cufflinks jewelry, but they absolutely are. These small details can finish off a look in the most sophisticated way – showing (you guessed it) wealth, status and power. Keeping this in mind becomes especially important when you start to consider the notion of over accessorizing.
Cufflinks are a great way to add detailing to your attire!
Cufflinks are typically reserved for the most formal of occasions. They require a shirt with French cuffs, and are therefore used with discretion! Like with other metal accessories, these are best worn when matched to other metals that you’re strutting. Cufflinks are an easy way to stand out from the crowd.
Cufflinks can be made from metal, precious metal glass, stone, leather, wood, enamel, gemstone and more. Additionally, cufflink fastenings can also come in a range of fastenings, including bullet back, whale back, chain link and more.
Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's extensive cufflinks collection.
A Tie Bar serves dual purposes of being both fashionable and functional. In addition to being a fantastic complementary piece, a tie bar will keep your tie firmly in place. Ideally, a tie bar should be approximately two thirds to three quarters the width of your tie, and should be placed roughly between your third and fourth buttons.
Courtesy of www.tie-a-tie.net
Gold & Silver are commonly used tie bar colors, and will look smartest with a matching watch.
A tie bar can be worn across a spectrum of occasions, barring the most formal (black tie!) and least formal (think complete casual). Situations such as weddings, formal dinners and semi-formal parties lend themselves towards the use of a tie bar.
Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's range of Tie Bars.
Courtesy of The Gentlemanual
Are you already wearing a tie bar and cufflinks? A flashy belt buckle? Maybe it is best to avoid a clump of necklaces. There is a fine line between looking sophisticated and looking gaudy and we want to make sure that you are not teetering.
You want to keep your look balanced and avoid over mixing metals throughout your outfit. Be mindful of the small details, like the color of your belt buckle (which, in itself can be a loud statement). Be sure to consider the color of your tie clip, your belt buckle and any other metals that you may be wearing in your outfit before you start adding on jewelry.
There is an exception to mixing metals, however, your wedding band. Your wedding band is a symbol of commitment to another person and is always an appropriate accessory. No one is going to bat an eye if this piece does not match your other accessories. Leave it behind? Eh, good luck.
Confidence is Key
One of the most important things to remember and keep in mind when you don your jewelry, especially for the first time, is to stay confident. You have decided that this is something that you wanted to do and this was something that you wanted to wear- be sure to show that confidence.
Confidence is the most important accessory. Also, note how he has matched his bracelet perfectly to his belt buckle. (Image courtesy of irreverentgent.com)
It can be hard to introduce something new to your wardrobe, especially if it is something that you have never considered wearing before. Someone is undoubtedly going to make a remark about your new piece. Show it off with confidence and be proud.
One mistake that men often make when it comes to jewelry, is failing to take care of their nice pieces. When you love your jewelry you can be compelled to keep it on all of the time- while you’re working out, showering, etc. Bracelets and small pieces can be easy to forget about.
Jewelry can easily become damaged in harsh conditions. For example, if there is elastic in your bracelets it can wear out overtime. Leather can stretch. The bands of metals can tarnish and stones can fall out. Keep an eye on how your jewelry is standing up over time. If not, you could end up wasting a lot of money replacing damage that could have easily been avoided.
Am I Doing this Right?
It can be hard to decide which pieces are right for you. Take a step back and really think about the person that you are. Consider your daily routine, would anything be limiting your mobility? For example, if you are a mechanic you might not find it smart to don multiple necklaces. Just as a doctor would not find it very useful to wear a handful of rings.
Not all of these pieces are going to be for everyone but if you have never tried jewelry it might be a great time to try it out. Everyone should always be evolving, especially in his or her style. Jewelry is a slow and sure way to get that process started.
The transition to wearing jewelry can be easy and seamless. Follow the guidelines above and everyone will just think that you have been wearing jewelry forever. Just remember- avoid over accessorizing, keep your look balanced, avoid over mixing metals and be confident in your approach. It’s that simple. Oh, and never let anyone talk you into a toe ring or an anklet – they will always be a bad call.