Secret Southern Couture: The Man’s Guide to Wearing Jewelry   

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Man’s Guide to Wearing Jewelry

Wearing jewelry isn’t just for women. In fact, more and more men are embracing a little bling. There are a few key guidelines to follow to make sure your jewelry is tasteful and conveys the right image. From men’s necklaces to earrings to watches, here are some do’s and don’ts to finding the right pieces.

1.       Less Is More

Women layer multiple necklaces and no one thinks twice. It looks good on them. Men, however, should be weary of piling on the jewelry. Are you really trying to project the same image as Mr. T? Probably not. Follow the rule of one: one ring, one bracelet, one necklace. And try to avoid wearing all your pieces at once.

2.       Meaningful Bling

Most men follow the rule that jewelry should have a purpose: function, sentiment or status. For example, a nice watch provides a function, much like a tie clip or cufflinks. A wedding ring has sentimental value, a really nice bracelet can show status. In other words, if you are putting on jewelry, make sure there is more reason behind it than just “for the look.”

3.       Trust Your Gut

Looking at jewelry but not sure what look suits you? If you don’t feel comfortable wearing a certain style, then don’t. Match your current style with the jewelry you pick out. If you feel like you are playing “dress up” and think you can pull off a stylish leather bracelet, then go for something that allows you to stay in your comfort zone.

4.       Keep It Classy

Trying for an upscale look? Think tie clips and cufflinks. These are practical pieces that also convey a sense of class so long as you pick the right pieces. Typically, simple and subtle designs help you achieve the look you want without drawing too much attention to the jewelry.

5.       Earrings and Other Piercings

If you have your eyebrow pierced, pretty much no rules apply to you because you clearly want to wear jewelry any way you want. For the rest of the male population contemplating ear metal, consider that a few factors can determine if you should love it or leave it:

·         Job: If you have an office job with a dress code, avoid piercings. People with more artsy professions can pull off the look with ease.
·         Age: Generally, the older you are, the less people will take you seriously with an earring, or they will immediately think “mid-life crisis.”
·         Type of earring: Stud or a small hoop. Period. Nothing else.

6.       Necklaces

When it comes to men’s necklaces and bracelets, go for tradition or sentiment. A thin chain with a cross or Star of David, for example, are always fitting for the right person. The key is to make sure the chain isn’t too short or long. In general, the pendant should fall just an inch or two below your collarbone. A caveat, of course, comes into play with military dog tags, which are inherently long.

7.       Play It Safe

The easiest transition into jewelry for most men is a watch. You can start with a nice leather strap and quality face, or jump right into a platinum piece. You can even play with a few gems around the face – one of the few places men can get away with wearing diamonds. Go for a designer watch if you want to convey wealth or status; opt for a simpler choice if you are trying to match your existing style.