There’s a certain power of jewelry–for better or worse it sends signals about who we are, what goals we have made, and our status amongst others.
The purpose of this article is to help you understand some rules to wearing jewelry so you can better control the signals you send. Let’s be honest, these tiny pieces of metal and stone can have a big effect on the opinions of people we’re trying to work with or get to know, and you want to make sure you’re sending the right visual message.
You can step outside the norm and people notice. Depending on your goals, this may be a good thing or a bad thing.
Please note – this is one man’s perspective. I am aware that different cultures around the world view the wearing of jewelry differently.
Four Rules All Men Should Follow
- Keep It Simple
When in doubt, keep it simple. Start with a classic leather-strapped silver watch; if you regularly wear a watch and can afford it, consider a sportier watch with a stainless steel band. Next branch out to tie accessories and cufflinks.
- Match Metals
Most men’s jewelry is metallic. Gold and silver tones are the most common. Your outfits should only feature one metal tone at a time.
- Gold goes well with browns and other earth tones, as well as royal blue or hunter green. Watch for differing tones if you’re buying multiple pieces of gold jewelry–gold comes in a broad range of darkness/lightness, and you don’t want to end up with pieces that don’t match if the difference is extreme.
- Silver and polished stainless steel are more neutral. That means they don’t clash, but also don’t provide the contrasts that gold can. Wear silver jewelry with black or dark gray clothing, or you can wear it with lighter colors in the summer without it taking charge over your soft clothing colors.
- Turquoise is becoming something of a Southwestern gentleman’s stone. A bit on a ring, bracelet, or belt buckle goes great with jeans and a collared shirt. Just be aware that it is eye-catching so wear small amounts, and only want to draw attention to wherever the turquoise is located.
- Understand Jewelry’s Meaning
A man has to be careful when wearing jewelry pieces outside the norm. It’s easy to appear flashy when you start wearing different jewelry regularly. However, jewelry can add a helpful bit of color and uniqueness to an outfit. So how does a well-dressed man balance it?
- Avoid Outlandish Styles. It’s hard to repeat this point often enough. Don’t go overboard on jewelry.
- Wear Meaningful Jewelry. We’ve talked about wedding rings already. Other examples that have meaning include class rings, a fraternal ring, a military service pin, or an athletic ring or necklace. These can be “door openers” and conversation starters.
- Know When to Wear It. Save your best for the big occasions in life. Bringing specific pieces out for specific events–instead of everyday wear–makes them less status pieces and more festive statements.
- Jewelry and Dress Codes
In the business world, company dress codes can severely restrict male jewelry. So if you’re hired at a corporate office, you shouldn’t wear as many necklaces as Mr. T.
You can express yourself after work. Jewelry is small enough to slip into a jacket pocket after all.
Wearing jewelry is something anyone can pull off. There are several ways to wear jewelry. Some people wear zero jewelry, and some wear a lot. Lenny Kravitz shows off jewelry in ways only Lenny can do. Not everyone would pull off The Crown Jewels as Queen Elizabeth II does. Being able to express yourself is something that you should take great pride in and have the confidence that no matter what you wear, or if you wear any at all, does not define who you are.