Updated: Mar 21
We analyze men’s jewelry - namely, rings, bracelets, and necklaces - that can be perfect complementary pieces to a custom capsule wardrobe.
In our previous post about accessories, we covered what to keep in mind when finishing your look. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at men’s jewelry - namely, rings, bracelets, and necklaces - that can be perfect complementary pieces to your custom capsule wardrobe.
It is rarely seen as such, but a strong jewelry collection can be a reliable cornerstone for your wardrobe and, if you select carefully, the right ring or necklace can provide gravitas to an outfit that would otherwise not have it. Perhaps the best aspect of jewelry is its ability to last a long time. From a necklace you can wear every day to a signet ring you can pass down to your children and their children, a good piece of jewelry can become an enduring component of your style in a way that an article of clothing rarely can.
Tips for Selecting Fashionable Rings
Let’s kick it off with rings. When you’re accessorizing with rings, it is important to keep the following essential styling tips in mind.
1. Be Ambidextrous
Just as with any accessory, less can often be more. Alice Walsh, director of accessories label Alice Made This, points out that “you should balance your jewelry. If you have a wedding band and watch on one hand, then one or two rings would work nicely on the other hand, for example.”
2. Nail Your Scales
Just as with your clothes, fit matters for a ring. Don’t attempt to wear rings that are the wrong size for your body shape. For example, a big ring can look good for a man with large hands, but can feel rather awkward for a guy with smaller hands.
3. Match Your Metals (Or Don’t)
Traditionally, clashing metals demonstrated a lack of fashion sense - in the past, it was thought that all jewelry should be either gold or silver, but never both. However, evolving fashion trends has resulted in more mixing and matching in today’s day and age, but it’s still important to be deliberate about how you are choosing to wear your metals. For example, Michael Saiger, who founded men’s jewelry brand Miansai, suggests that “when done right,” mixing metals in a single piece of jewelry “can add a more stylized aesthetic to the overall look.”
4. Think About Your Lifestyle
When choosing a ring, you want to avoid something that can fall out of style, so select something that’s timeless - you want this to be a piece you can wear every day. Saiger adds that since because of this, it’s an excellent choice to go with something not too flashy or gaudy.
You need to own the choice that you make. It is apparent when you make a choice to wear jewelry that you don’t feel fully comfortable in, so you want to be sure it’s a piece that you’ll love. And rings may feel a bit odd if it’s your first time trying one out, so make sure you get used to it a bit and make sure you’ll feel confident in it.
Go-To Ring Styles
If you’re in the market for a new ring, there are a few signature styles you should know.
Wedding Band: Designs are inward-facing, rather than outward-facing - an engraving against the skin is more personal than is a very large jewel.
Signet Ring: Ancient Egyptians originally wore signet Ring: The ‘OG’ men’s ring, and they generally have a flat face for engravings and tend to be chunkier than a wedding band. Signet rings are often handed down from generation to generation within families.
Fashion Ring: These are rings that are called so because they’re worn solely for the look, not for any tradition or more significant meaning.
Up next, we’ve got bracelets. If you’re looking to upgrade your style and show off some flare, stylish bracelets are an excellent choice. Wearing bracelets is becoming a trend more and more common among men to stand out and express their personality. Here are some styles you can explore as you try to determine what would be the best fit for you to wear.
Metal Chains & Cuffs
These bulky, silver bracelets are popular for their simplicity and ruggedness. You should wear metallic bracelets on your right hand wrist, opposite the watch (if you’ve got one). And if you do have a watch, it’s best to match the tone of your metal bracelet to that of your watch to ensure a clean and stylish look.
Leather Band Bracelets
Similar to metal, leather is masculine can come in many styles. We generally view wider cuffs as more casual, while finer, we consider thinner bracelet types to be more elegant. And unlike metallic bracelets, you can wear leather bracelets on the same arm as your watch.
Fabric Woven Bracelets
Fabric woven bracelets are another popular selection, and far cheaper than leather bracelets. These colorful accessories are also designed to be stacked with a watch or complemented with a ring, and can pair with a leather or metal bracelet if you’re looking to diversify.
These bracelets are quite popular because there are so many styles to choose from. There’s wooden, crystal, bone and glass, and even plastic. These can be used in versatile ways, from going well with a suit to matching a summer look.
And finally, we have arrived at necklaces. Another accessory that has seen a rise of usage in men in recent years, necklaces come in many shapes and sizes. If you’re interested in tactfully adding necklace pieces to your wardrobe, here are five styles to consider that go well with classic styles.
1. Dog Tags
Basic dog tags comprise a pair of tabs (with text on them) that are on a ball chain. Upscale versions often maintain the oval shape, but replace the text with an image or the ball chain with a flashier look. But if you’re trying to keep it simple, no need to get too fancy.
Plain, undecorated metal chains are a vintage male piece. They can fit well with and lead a wide variety of looks, depending on the metal used, the chain’s length, and the type of links / what they’re fastened by. Simplicity is the key here. Wear it with modesty and keep the chain underneath your shirt - the small amount that is visible will be more than enough. Keep in mind that the metal quality is important, so it’s worthwhile to invest in high quality.
3. Religious Emblems
Like with chains, it’s best to keep these simple. Of course, the motivation for wearing religious emblems often is more significant than simply doing so for fashion, but keeping the look subtle can go a long way, especially if you want it to be a nice complementary piece to your outfit.
This is a rather broad term, but this style of necklace implies a single, small ornament on a fairly lengthy chain or cord, fashioned in a way so that the ornament lies below your neck. These are quite popular and cross-functional pieces. And the ornament itself can be an infinite number of things, as long as it’s small enough to rest against your breastbone causing no discomfort.
These are essentially the polar opposite of a pendant - a solid band around thee neck that does not hang down. It’s frequently broken with designs (or ornaments) at regular intervals.
Keep Chain Length in Mind
Given that the part of your necklace that will be most noticeable is often the chain or cord (unless you’re wearing a deep V-neck), length is of the utmost importance to keep in mind.
Most men’s chains typically feature an average length of 50 cm (20”). Here are some good lengths to be familiar with:
35-45 cm (14-18”): Form-fitting; will be visible above your shirt
50-55 cm (20-22”): Falls at the collarbone and is the most common size for men’s necklaces; can be worn both inside or outside the shirt
55-61 cm (22-24”): Falls in the middle of the chest and looks great with a medallion, pendant, or dog tags; can also be worn inside or outside the shirt
61-76 cm (24-30”): Designed to be worn on the outside of the shirt; looks best with a larger pendant or a thicker chain, and be wary that this will probably garner lots of attention
The Bottom line
As you can see, men’s jewelry is a versatile trend that is continuing to expand in the fashion industry. Its cross-functional capability combined with its stylish appearance make it a great accessory to adopt as part of your custom capsule wardrobe. In the next post, we’ll go over another key accessory piece - the pocket square.
Curious to know about the latest trends that are shaping the fashion industry? We cover the most pertinent topics in detail and break down the impacts of innovations like Big Data, e-commerce, and virtual fashion in our wide-ranging series on fashion trends.
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