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Jul-02-2015 13:47printcomments

Men Are Getting the Sparkle They Deserve

Fashion dictates that it's okay for men to let go and show their inner bling!

John Brevard ring
Black Stellated Diamond Ring by John Brevard.
Photo courtesy: Tinkertailor.com

(SALEM, Ore.) - For a long time, fashion and accessorizing has primarily been a woman’s world. Bracelets, necklaces, pins, brooches, hats, etc. They were all designed with feminine style in mind, while men’s accessories were mostly utilitarian in nature and meant to be as subtle as possible.

Those days are over, friends. These days, men are sporting as much bling (are we still calling it bling?) as their female friends and partners.

Feeling skeptical? Here are just some of the ways in which men’s accessories have advanced in style and quality.

Your Neck isn’t Just for Neckties Anymore

It used to be that men’s neckwear was limited to neckties and bowties...and puka-shell necklaces if you were around in the 90s and enjoyed sporting boy band fashion.

Today there are a lot more options out there. As they say on Real Men Real Style, men’s necklaces are never going to be as prominently featured or designed to be focal points like women’s necklaces are. Instead, they are designed to blend in; they are supposed to look like something you’ve been wearing for years. They are more subtle and mean to complement a look.

Simple gold chains, fibers that have been knotted together, religious symbols (like crosses, saints medals, etc)--that is most of what you’ll find.

PRO TIP: If you want to wear a necklace on the same day you wear a tie, wear the necklace under your shirt. Draping the necklace over the tie is tacky.

Your Wrists Look a Little Bare

Once upon a time, every man wore a watch (or, at least, it seemed that way). These watches were large, with cumbersome bands. In that respect, not a lot has changed. What’s different now is that many men are skipping the watch altogether because they have clocks on their phones.

In place of the watch is often a FitBit or something similar, to show off one’s commitment to his health or, sadly, just bare skin.

Here’s some good news: the watch is coming back. Apple Watches are one attempt to bridge the divide between function and style.

Even if you don’t have any desire for an apple watch, wearing a “regular” watch will add a touch of class to your look. Leather bands are best, but if you like shiny things, gold or silver bands are also acceptable.

A quick word about bracelets. Bracelets started coming into fashion for men a couple of years ago and now, many designers advocate vociferously for their adoption into a man’s wardrobe.

Men’s bracelets are usually worn on the non-watch wrist and are simple leather or a series of metal pieces strung together. They’re subtle and not meant to dangle, sparkle (much) or make noise.

Ring Bling

Jokes about pinky rings aside, wearing non-wedding based rings is nothing new for many men. Lots of guys sport a thumb ring or an index finger ring.

In spite of what you might have read, there are no hard and fast rules about what kind of ring you can wear or on what finger it should be placed. And, unlike other types of jewelry, most men’s rings are meant to be big and chunky and noticeable.

The one exception to those rules has traditionally been the wedding ring. A single and simple gold band worn on the left ring finger was the only option. Today, though, things are changing. Front Jewelers, for example, offers a wide array of diamond-centric wedding rings for men.

That’s right: a man’s wedding ring can be just as big and sparkly as a ring designed for a woman!

Other Spots of Style

One area in which men have always been particularly concerned with accessorizing is their cufflinks and tie pins.

These are small points of style that, though women are perfectly capable of looking awesome in suits and ties, seem to be specifically masculine in nature and attention. The style of a man’s cufflinks and tie pins can say a lot about you and this is one place where going for subtlety and simple isn’t always the most fun or best course of action.

Why not get a “little jazzy” with these pieces and show off some of your personality?

Blazer buttons are another area where men have more variety than they might have previously thought. According to the Art of Manliness, blazer buttons can and should be changed out for something beyond their basic brass defaults.

There you go, fellas. There’s your guide to accessorizing properly this summer. Remember: jewelry isn’t just for women! It looks great and guys too! Go and gussy yourselves up!

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