Easy Shopping for Men’s Jewelry
That is the power of jewelry–for better or worse it sends signals about who we are, what commitments we have made, and our status in society.
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 diving watch with a stainless steel band as well. Next branch out to tie accessories and cufflinks.
Once you’re comfortable wearing these generally accepted pieces, then you can start to introduce other jewelry pieces like necklaces if you choose. Make sure you chose the suitable metal too.
Gold is a warmer color and reads, predictably, like a yellow accent in terms of the color wheel. It goes well with browns and other earth tones, as well as with deep hues like 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 may end up with pieces that don’t match if the difference is extreme.
Silver and silver-tone metals like polished stainless steel or chrome are neutral. They read as grays, functionally outside the color wheel, falling instead on the black-to-white gradient. That means they don’t clash too sharply with anything, but also don’t provide the same eye-catching contrasts that well-worn gold can. Pair silver jewelry with black or dark gray clothing for a sleek, timeless look, or you can wear it with lighter colors in the summer without the fear of it overwhelming your clothing’s soft colors.
Copper and bronze are orange-hued metals and should be treated as such. They’re bolder than gold or silver and need to be worn with restraint. You’ll see copper-tone jewelry in more casual outfits, and an heirloom copper ring or shirt buttons/rivets can add to a plain trouser and shirt.
Precious stones need to be kept to a minimum. They’re like purses–no matter how egalitarian you want to get about it, they’re still feminine to most. A single color of stone on a ring or a single colored ear stud is the max. Anything beyond that is either flaunting your wealth in an obnoxious way or just plain gaudy.
In the business world, company dress codes can severely restrict male jewelry. Often phrased in a politically correct tone such as, “Men should only wear tasteful pieces of jewelry,” you’ll find in practice that this means not rocking the boat and conforming to the status quo. So if you’re hired at AT&T corporate, be careful about trying to wear as many necklaces as Mr. T.Businesses that request “modest” or “tasteful” or “appropriate” jewelry, or other words along those lines, prefer things be limited to the traditional “masculine” styles of jewelry. This includes tie accents, watches, cuff-links, wedding bands, and lapel pins. Over the last decade most companies have expanded this to include bracelets, earrings, and ethnic jewelry as well.