Style | Updated August 20, 2021 7:00 am
Originally Published July 11, 2019 1:31 pm

A Guide to Wearing Men’s Jewelry, By a Real, Live Woman

Rule 1: Less is more

A Guide to Wearing Men’s Jewelry, By a Real, Live Woman
Alex and Ani

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The jewelry a man wears is a subtle way of identifying his character. 

The cross necklace tells me you’re pious and probably haven’t taken that thing off since your First Holy Communion. That single, obnoxious, diamond stud earring tells me you took your recreational basketball league a little too seriously. And the gleaming wedding ring says that you probably should not be in this bar, and you definitely should not be talking to me. 

But this doesn’t mean you should lock away all your jewelry, or that if you don’t own any, that you should keep it that way. Properly deployed, jewelry tells us that you’re detail-oriented, considerate of your appearance and that you’ve got some depth (or a secret, everyone loves a secret). And even if none of those things are true, jewelry is an excellent way of tricking people. It’s also a super simple and easy way to enhance your look and highlight certain features — if done correctly.

And lucky for you, in the year 2021, there is an endless supply of jewelry geared specifically toward to men. Brands like Miansai offer an array of refined classics from leather bracelets to chain necklaces, while women’s brands like Mejuri and Missoma have recently entered into the male accessory space with jewelry lines featuring simple and affordable pieces. Even Tiffany is making luxurious staples for the “modern man.”

So I, a woman, stand here before you to tell you that investing in a couple of solid pieces and making it a point to wear them with purpose, is worth it. 

And so that you don’t completely fuck this up, we’re going to lay down some ground rules.

Don’t Go Overboard

The first and probably most important rule is to keep it simple. We are anti-layering, so please put down the five gold chains and those stacked bracelets you all seem to love so much. You don’t want the jewelry to overpower and distract from the rest of your look. So items like leather bracelets, slim chain necklaces, and small rings are ideal. This doesn’t mean you can’t branch out to some more exciting pieces, like items with gemstones or geometric shapes — just stick to one or the other. Use your common sense, and if you start feeling like Flavor Flav, maybe take it down a notch. 

Miansai

Miansai 1.3mm Cuban Chain Necklace, Gold Vermeil

Merjuri

Mejuri Onyx Beaded Bracelet

Show Us You Care 

I know I roasted you for wearing a cross necklace from grade school, but symbolic jewelry, whether it’s religious, an heirloom, or anything of significance to you, should be shown off and not left sitting in a box collecting dust. I speak on behalf of all women when I say that wearing something with personal meaning is fucking hot — er, I mean is something we have great respect for.

Miansai

Miansai Saint Christopher Surf Necklace

Alex and Ani Path of Life Men’s Necklace

Don’t Mix Metals (For Now)

Mixing metals isn’t the faux pas that it used to be, but since we’re just starting out, a good rule of thumb when wearing multiple pieces of metal jewelry is to match them. Luckily most male jewelry is comprised of two metals: yellow gold and silver.

Missoma

Missoma Fused Ridge Dog Tag Pendant Necklace

Tom Wood

Tom Wood Drop Ring 

Keep It Balanced and Proportionate

There’s a way to wear more than one piece of jewelry at a time without looking like a human chandelier: it’s all about balance, baby — and numbers. Two items per wrist, and that’s including your watch. One necklace per neck, unless you’re confident in your ability to double-up, anything more than two necklaces though, you’re basically wearing a turtleneck. The same goes for rings, two max per hand (unless you’re really feelin’ yourself.)

You also don’t want your jewelry to wear you, so go for items that are proportionate to your body. Bulkier bracelets won’t do your tiny wrists any good, and let’s not draw attention to your weird little fingers by wearing huge rings. When in doubt, stick to minimal pieces that don’t weigh you down or overwhelm your look.

Maria Black

Maria Black Gemma Ring

Mr Porter

Le Gramme Le 15 Brushed Sterling Silver Cuff

Leather, Leather, Leather

After surveying my friends who are also ladies on their opinions of male jewelry, the leather bracelet was a top contender for sexiest accessory. Which is funny because leather isn’t generally regarded as sophisticated jewelry material. Well, I’m debunking that. A single, simple, quality leather bracelet, or even a necklace, is the perfect beginner piece, and it’s something you can wear every day, and on any occasion. It’s comfortable and attractive — so why not?

Miansai

Miansai Bare Wrap, Silver

Mr Porter

Hugo Boss Silver-Tone and Woven Leather Bracelet