Should I wear jewellery? It’s a question many gentlemen have found themselves pondering. Will I look stylish and sophisticated, or will I look like a gaudy, modern-day Mr. T? Our guide below will ensure the former. We pity the fool that doesn’t follow it.
Pick Your Metal
First things first, you need to figure out your preferred material. After all, matching your metals is a small but significant detail that separates the sartorial men from the boys. Here are the three most common options.
Gold is the confident man’s choice, and one that oozes opulence, but done incorrectly it can look tacky. It can also come across brash and/or ostentatious, so it’s best to keep it to a minimum if you decide to go for it.
It’s ideal for smaller, inconspicuous pieces such as wedding rings and cufflinks, but also works well on watches, particularly when combined with steel or silver to help take the edge off. Leave the chunky, solid gold necklaces to the likes of Conor McGregor.
Sterling silver is a classic, affordable and versatile metal that is loved by many men. Its wearability and understated nature make it a go-to option for those who want to subtly accent their outfit, rather than make a bold statement.
That said, it doesn’t mean you should pile the stuff on – it can still look too much if done incorrectly. A good rule of thumb is no more than two pieces on any wrist (including your watch), no more than three pieces on any arm (including your fingers), and no more than five pieces overall.
Something many men would have only heard of if they were considering buying an engagement ring, platinum is a precious metal that combines the luxurious, eye-catching nature of gold with the durability and sophistication of silver. Therefore, it comes with a hefty price tag and is often saved for high-end jewellery such as wedding bands, or luxury watches.
The only real down side is that is can be a bit too shiny for some people’s tastes.
Jewellery Options All Men Can Pull Off
Gone are the days where the only accessories men wore served a specific function. After all, even though we live in a time where smartphones have rendered watches obsolete, men are still choosing to adorn their wrists with a timepiece. Jewellery should be considered a form of self-expression; a way of individualising your look. Here are the 6 pieces you should consider adding to your collection.
The majority of men continue to shy away from necklaces as they can, admittedly, be a bit of a minefield. Too dainty and it comes across feminine, too chunky and you’re suddenly Rick Ross.
To get it right, try a mid-weight chain with a small pendant, which will add interest to your outfits and create a talking point when on show.
Still widely associated with marriage or family, rings have long been a staple in a man’s jewellery arsenal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment a little.
No longer just for toffs and gangsters, the signet ring is back in fashion and makes an excellent option for those that want to wear something other than a plain band. They look particularly good if engraved with a family crest, your initials, or something of significance to the wearer.
Otherwise, the best advice is to keep it simple and timeless. A sterling silver ring will never go out of style and can even be worn with a wedding band (on a different finger, of course) in the same material, should the day arrive.
As a stylish gent, you likely already wear a watch on your wrist, so why not consider adding a bracelet into the mix? Opt for a minimal cuff or ID design, always worn on your strong hand, for an easy way to introduce a point of interest to your pared-back jeans and T-shirt combinations.
Cufflinks are a must for many formal occasions, such as black tie, when a French (double) cuff shirt is often required. But they can also add a bit of interest to your bog-standard suit and tie combinations during the working week.
Don’t be afraid to have a little fun with your cufflinks – they’re a minimal part of your look and will go unnoticed by the majority of people. Again, metal choice should be dictated by other jewellery you currently wear (your wedding ring or watch, for example) but there is the opportunity to introduce a contrast material like onyx or mother of pearl, or even a diamond, here.
When it comes to design, quirkier options such as animals or skulls can add personality to your look, but the best styles are those that mean something to the wearer and serve as a conversation starter – for example, you may choose plane cufflinks because you’re currently learning to fly, or vintage racing cars because you’re an enthusiast.
If you’re struggling or prefer to keep things simple, why not consider a subtle, monogrammed pair – whether you have your own initials or those of a loved one? They’re an ideal purchase for special occasions such as weddings, but will maintain their sentimental value for years to come.
A Tie Clip
Typically reserved for those of us who still work in corporate or business casual environments, a tie clip is primarily there to serve a purpose: keep your tie in place and out of the way while you’re going about your business.
As they’re designed to be worn at work or formal occasions, tie clips traditionally come in plain, unassuming designs – typically crafted from solid or plated metals, with or without an engraved pattern.
There’s no need to overthink this one – simply choose an understated style that matches the existing metals in your jewellery collection. What’s far more important is buying the correct size for the ties you already have in your rotation: your tie clip should never be wider or overhang the tie you are wearing it with – it’s a rookie error.
It’s true what they say, the classics never die – and there’s nothing more classic or revered in a man’s wardrobe than his timepiece. Which is strange, considering men seem to have a natural aversion to bracelets and a watch is basically the same thing.
If you’re lucky, your watch will have been handed down over generations and will have amassed true sentimental value to you. For the rest of us, there’s a lot to consider when purchasing a new watch; everything from budget to lifestyle to wrist size should be assessed before taking the plunge.
In the end, whether you opt for quartz or mechanical, military or diver, gold or silver, your watch needs to tick off the same boxes laid out previously for other pieces of jewellery: is it classic? Is it high quality? Will it remain stylish in 20 years’ time? If the answer is yes, yes and yes – you’re onto a winner.