Foundational truths for men about the suitable wearing of jewelry
Do you, a man, wonder how best to round out your ensemble with jewelry?
Is all that just for women?
Read on, and find out how to express yourself through manly adornment.
A Man and Jewelry
A man’s jewelry is a very important part of his ensemble.
If he wears too much, he looks pretentious and artificial. If he wears it correctly, the ornamentation can significantly increase the quality of his look.
The following men’s jewelry items will hereafter be examined: cufflinks, rings, timepieces, and tie bars. These four are the most basic and therefore most easily incorrectly worn. Bear also in mind the umbrella rule for matching: metal goes with the same metal.
This means that any metal on you should all be the same material, whether gold, silver, platinum, or another. In addition, a traditional social guideline is to wear gold during the day and silver at night.
A Gentleman’s Cufflinks
A must-wear for French-cuffed shirts, cufflinks are both functional and expressive. Whatever the style cufflink (hinged back, push through, snap on, double face, or chain), simplicity is always appropriate.
Because cufflinks can be purchased in such a variety of looks, discretion must be exercised when choosing a cufflink for a particular occasion.
Simple black, gold, silver, or onyx ovals are always tasteful; gold dice with diamonds in the spots are not, though would be interesting and appropriate under certain circumstances.
Remember that this small accessory should not be the highlight of your outfit, and that those around you will take notice of your cufflinks and will suppose things about you based on them – so choose carefully.
- Hinged back. One of the most common styles of cufflink, one side is the decoration, and the other side has a hinged bar that lines up with the cufflink to install it to the shirt, and once through, hinges ninety degrees to keep the cufflink in place.
- Push through. These cufflinks, like the hinged back, have one decorative side. The other is a rigid ball, “T,” or other cap to prevent the cufflink from slipping back through the holes in the cuff.
- Chain. Chain cufflinks have a small chain, rather than a stiff bar, that connects the two sides, and can have one or two decorative sides. If you prefer chain cufflinks, be sure to mention this when ordering custom shirts, as these cufflinks don’t hold the cuff as tightly together as the others.
- Snap on. These are either two separate pieces per cufflink or one piece that wraps around the cuff near the holes.
- Double-sided. A push through, chain, or snap cufflink that has decoration on both sides.
A Man and Rings
There is little to be said about rings that has not been said already: simplicity and discretion. As for wedding rings, a simple band will always be proper, though a flashier ring will not be frowned upon.
Other rings, however, need not be so simple, but one must not try to distinguish oneself through them.
A class or fraternal ring could nicely round out one’s look, or even another ring which holds some personal meaning that does not portray one as vain or swanky.
Above: three rings, a class ring, fraternal ring, and tiger’s eye ring, that could convey a man’s personality and style without looking ostentatious.
Timepieces – The Two Types
Whether by a wristwatch or pocket watch, keeping time is gentlemanly (unless at a black- or white tie event, when typically no timepiece is worn) and, for the businessman, necessary. A wristwatch should have a quality leather band or a band of a nice metal.
Buy the nicest watch that you are willing to afford – maybe that’s not platinum, but we can all afford to do a little shopping around to find a watch that’s within our budget, is simple and elegant, and expresses our own individuality and style well.
Analog watches are more formal than digital and more accurate; additionally, a digital watch may not be suitable in business settings.
A nice digital watch made by a recognized quality watchmaker, however, worn with a tweed jacket, khakis and loafers could fit better than a gold banded analog watch. Do not wear that watch in the boardroom – wear the nice analog watch.
Pocket watches are an interesting item on the gentleman because they are rarely seen today. If wearing a vest, the watch goes into the pocket on one side, the chain loops through the button hole of the same height, and the fob end rests in the other pocket.
If there is no fob, only a hook, use a small piece of cardboard inside the pocket onto which the hook hangs. This will give it the necessary substance to keep the hook from falling off.
If your trousers have a fob pocket, the watch can rest in the side pocket and the fob in the fob pocket. The same rules regarding style apply to pocket watches as wrist watches.
Tie Bars and Tie Chains
The tie bar is the preferred accessory for holding down a necktie. A simple line of gold or silver is adequate to the purpose and in its class lies in its simplicity. Tie tacks involve poking a hole through the center of the tie and are therefore not recommended; however, one can use a tie tack through the rear lapel of the tie for function, thus not putting a hole in the visible part of the tie while gaining the same objective.
Tie tacks involve poking a hole through the center of the tie and are therefore not recommended; however, one can use a tie tack through the rear lapel of the tie for function, thus not putting a hole in the visible part of the tie while gaining the same objective.
Tie chains are also an alternative, but are often considered more formal. If using one, make it a simple silver or gold chain to be useful and not pronounced.
Shiny and Satisfying
A well-dressed gentleman will set himself apart in the best way by following these jewelry guidelines. While clothes, like a custom suit, make the man, jewelry can distinguish him as smart, manly, and confident.
In remembering these rules the next time he gets ready for a formal affair, a man will go far in presenting himself as this kind of man.