While watches are still most blokes’ go-to option for an accessory but rings, men’s jewellery is no longer reserved for wedding rings and bare-chested fast bowlers with gold chains tangled in their chest hair.
As old stereotypes around masculinity tumble, young men are becoming more comfortable with expressing their sense of style through jewellery.
So as ear studs, bracelets, and necklaces enjoy a surge in popularity, what are the golden rules of pulling of jewellery like a man?
Keep it simple
Designers are producing pieces with a more restrained aesthetic to convince more men to invest in jewellery, knowing that anything falling in the ‘Mr T’ or ‘Boy George’ categories is an instant turn-off. A subtle ear stud and a leather bracelet? Great. A thick gold chain and more rings than Michael Jordan? Probably not. Keep your pieces discreet, and your styling tasteful.
As well as more subdued designs, jewellers are also using more muted materials — black diamonds, titanium, woody textures, brass, and burnished or oxidised metal for that worn-in look — as well as classic metals like rose gold and silver. Geometric designs using neutral-coloured stones, if any gems at all, appear less delicate and therefore less feminine.
Trust the classics
Don’t ditch time-honoured accessories like wristwatches, cufflinks, and wedding bands for some flashy studded bracelet, and lean towards pieces with that manly, minimalist aesthetic. Vintage pieces — such as rugged military-style metal chains, and even an ageless pocket watch if you’re wearing a three-piece suit — are also classic and unmistakably masculine options.
One of the key trends in men’s jewellery this year is leather bracelets — either woven or simply a single strap; thicker with casual wear and thinner for formal occasions. A braided leather bracelet goes nicely with a suit and tie and enhances the overall cohesion of an outfit if it echoes the leather used in the shoes and belt, and also complements the metallic dial of a wristwatch, unlike metal bracelets that clash with timepieces.
Avoid the cliches
Sharks teeth, yin-and-yang symbols, spiky studs, dog tags . . . if it looks like something the douchebag ‘cool dude’ wore in a 1990s high school comedy, then you don’t want anything to do with it. You won’t to keep things classic, simple, and restrained — donning jewellery in the first place is enough of a statement.