A Man’s Guide to Wearing Jewelry

by Antonio on March 20, 2012 · 196 comments

in Accessories, Dress & Grooming

I wear my wedding ring on my right hand.

The reason? I married my wife in a Ukrainian Orthodox church and have never felt the need to move it even though we live in a country where 99.99% of people wear it on the left hand.

My ring is a small silver metal band that maybe cost $20.  Nothing to brag about.  Yet it has been the subject of hundreds of conversations over the last 8 years because of its placement.

That’s 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.   

Step outside the norm and people notice.  Depending on your goals, this may be a good thing or a bad thing.

The goal of this article is to help you understand the guidelines to wearing jewelry so you can better control the signals you send.  Because 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, you want to make sure you’re sending the right visual message.

Please note – this is one man’s perspective.  I am aware that different cultures around the world view the wearing of jewelry differently.  I would love it if in the comments below you expand on your view of male jewelry and its role in your environment. 

4 Rules for Men When Wearing Jewelry

1.  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 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.  For a quick visual guide, visit Joe’s awesome chart over at Dappered.

2.  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 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.
  • Turquoise gets a little bit of an exception for any man who wears deliberately Western styles.  It’s become something of a Southwestern gentleman’s stone.  A bit on a ring, bolo tie, or belt buckle goes great with jeans and a collared shirt.  Just be aware that it is a bright color and tends to be eye-catching–wear small amounts, and only when you want to draw attention to wherever the stone is located.
  • Leather is touchy for anyone who isn’t in high school or a rebel.  If you’re going to wear it, make sure it’s in natural earth-tones, not dyed black, and never with ostentatious metal studs.  Unless you ride a motorcycle, and even then, only when you’re actually riding the motorcycle.
  • Wood and bone are starting to show up more and more in men’s jewelry, often in reference to various ethnic traditions.  They’re usually on the paler end of the earth tones–take them case by case, and just be sure that you’re not wearing the jewelry right up against something that’s similar in color but not an exact match.  If you’re going to wear an unusual material like that, it needs to stand out a bit to really work.

The exception to issues of color matching are wedding bands and heirloom pieces. A man can always wear his wedding band; if it doesn’t go with your other metal pieces, don’t sweat it.  It’ll just draw a bit of attention, and there’s nothing wrong with having people notice the visible symbol of your commitment. As for heirloom pieces, try to match but assuming the piece is non-attention grabbing (such as a small ring or watch), the clash of metals is acceptable.

If you’re going to be buying jewelry soon–make sure to first read my primer here on buying male jewelry where I explain metal and stone details in further depth.

3.  Understand Jewelry’s Symbolism

Jewelry has meaning.

You can’t get away from this.  Despite it taking up only a tiny percent of your visual presentation, people zero in on jewelry thanks to its flash and uncommon usage by men.

To further complicate the matter, people can interpret the meaning of the same piece of jewelry very differently.  To some, ornamental rings symbolize success and wealth; to others they signal organized crime affiliation.  Here’s a great discussion about this in the Art of Manliness’ community forum.

That means a man has to be careful when wearing jewelry pieces outside the norm.  It’s easy to appear flashy when you start including nondescript jewelry in your daily getup.  However, jewelry can add a helpful bit of color and uniqueness to an outfit. So how does a well-dressed man balance it?

  • Avoid Ostentatious Styles.  It’s hard to repeat this point often enough.  Keep anything metallic small and sleek.
  • Wear Meaningful Jewelry.  We’ve talked about wedding rings already.  Other accents that have meaning might include a class ring, a fraternal insignia, a military service pin, or an athletic ring or necklace.  These can be “door openers and conversation starters;” if you’re talking to prospective business partners in Houston, it makes sense to wear your A&M class ring if you know they went to school in College Station.  If you’re interviewing artists for a gallery show in New York, perhaps heirloom cufflinks your uncle made can help display you care about art because you come from a family of artisans.  Choose jewelry that’s going to be meaningful within the situation.
  • Know When to Wear It.  Save your best for the big occasions in life.  Personally I rarely wear any jewelry–despite being in the clothing industry I prefer simple pieces.  But when I have an important event to attend, I pull out my watch and cufflinks.  Bringing specific pieces out for specific events–instead of everyday wear–makes them less status pieces and more festive statements.

4.  Jewelry and Dress Codes

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.

Seriously–the burden of appropriateness is always on the man who chooses to wear jewelry.  Know this and be restrained when you’re in any kind of professional setting.  You can express yourself after work.  Jewelry is, by its nature, small enough to slip into a jacket pocket after all.

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.

Piercings (other than earrings) are dicey even in casual outfits.  If your office and social circles are comfortable with nose or lip piercings, that’s great, but it’s still going to seem off-putting to some strangers that you interact with–clerks at stores, taxi drivers, what have you.

Unfair?  Absolutely, but that’s reality unless you live in a counter-culture friendly city like Austin, Boulder, or Portland.  If your goal is to appear well-dressed and trustworthy to most, look to stay within the bounds of accepted male styles.

Types of Male Jewelry

The following is a condensed list of every piece of male jewelry I could think of; here’s a more in-depth look at the core pieces of male jewelry if you’re looking for more info.

Wedding bands – A common piece of jewelry for over half a century, wedding rings are normally made from gold, silver, and platinum and are simple in design.

Watches – A functional piece of jewelry, watches are as safe as wedding rings and acceptable to wear in all circumstances except black tie events (although this is an old rule followed by few).  In general the simpler the watch, the dressier it is.  A plain black leather strap and simple silver timepiece with Arabic or Roman numerals is versatile and classic.  Metal watches are fine for suits and sport jackets, while cloth bands and plastic watches should be reserved for casual wear.

Blazer Buttons – When a man buys a blazer it normally comes with simple brass buttons.  He then has the option to upgrade them to gold or silver buttons.  Horn and mother of pearl are options here as well, but the key is the blazer jacket is clearly distinguished by the ornamentation of the buttons.

Companies such as Ben Silver have built a strong reputation thanks to their wide selection of quality blazer buttons.

Cufflinks & shirt studs – Cufflinks and shirt studs are functional jewelry pieces that hold the cuffs and front of a dress shirt in place, normally where buttons would have been.  Shirt studs are most commonly associated with black tie attire, while cufflinks only require French or double cuffs.  Metallic cufflinks made from precious metals in simple designs are the most formal, while any cufflink using a novelty design is more for fun around the office.  Silk knots are a simple alternative to metals, and are a favorite with younger men.

Tie accents – a tie accent serves the practical purpose of keeping your tie in place.  This is commonly accomplished in three ways: with a tie pin, a tie bar, or a tie chain.  Tie bars are simple strips of gold, silver, or other metal that clip onto the tie horizontally and hold it in place using the shirt as the anchor. Tie chains serve the same purpose as the tie clip but remain unseen, while the tie tack accent is best avoided as it sticks a pin through the tie.

Rings – Rings come in a wide variety of forms: class rings, fraternal rings, championship rings, and decorative rings.  As mentioned previously, wedding rings are always acceptable, but other rings should be worn with more caution in the US.  Class and fraternal rings are in most cases acceptable, while championship rings are best left for celebrations with old teammates or fights in a back alley.   I have many European friends that wear decorative rings; within their ethnic circles in cities like Chicago and New York this is normal.

How many rings can a man wear?  My answer is as many as he can confidently pull off.  For most of us this is one or two rings–our wedding ring and perhaps a university or fraternal ring.  We’ve been raised in a society that frowns on showing off success and wealth in this manner.  But there are many men–especially travelers and immigrants–who can confidently wear 3 to 5 rings and not come off as a sleazy used car salesmen.

Lapel pins – They can be ornamental, collectable, or reveal a group affiliation.  Lapel pins have been around for half a century, although the recent headlines would make you think they originated from American politicians looking to display their patriotism.  Their history actually lies with the USSR and China where portraits of communist leaders were worn to display loyalty.  Nowadays pin designs come in all shapes, colors, and meanings.

Belt Buckles – In the American West, trophy belt buckles have been around since the 1920s, handed out to rodeo and other contest winners.  Not practical for normal work wear (although some wear them when dressing up), they became more common in the 1950s as Hollywood influenced their demand and acceptance.  The rules on wearing a western buckle are this: if it’s a prize buckle, you or a descendant should have won it.  Otherwise leave them on the shelf.  As for western buckles in general–wear them if they fit your personality and meet your needs.

Bracelets – Decorative, functional, cause-related, and medical alert.  Men of royalty have worn ornamental bracelets for thousands of years, but more common today are cause-related bracelets such as Livestrong, functional ones such as parachute cord bracelets, or medical alert bracelets with a man’s vitals in case he loses consciousness.

I personally feel a man should be very careful with decorative bracelets; cause bracelets are another story.  Despite their recent overuse, I think if a man is a true advocate of the cause, they are great conversation starters that can lead to greater awareness.  As for survival bracelets–well, I have yet to hear a true story of a man surviving on account of his paracord bracelet.  But feel free to enlighten me in the comments.

Necklaces – Decorative, functional, medical, or religious.  As a military man I wore my dog tags for 6 years–never really got used to it though as I’m not a necklace wearer.  I know other men who love their gold chains, and wear them 24/7 even on the beach.  Necklaces are an easy piece of jewelry to wear because they can be hidden under the clothing. Since only a sliver can be seen by others, they create a feeling of curiosity and can thus be a great conversation starter.  As for length and number to be worn–less is more.  Two is about the most I recommend. For length, at least six to eight inches above your navel is a good standard.

Earrings – The most accepted piercing for men.  They have gained wider appeal over the last 30 years and nowadays do not garner much interest in large cities, although in smaller communities and conservative businesses they are still frowned upon by many.  Ear piercings’ main advantage is that the earring can be easily removed if required for work.

Other Piercings – Nose, brow, and other.  Facial piercing and the jewelry associated with it have not reached mainstream acceptance.  There are cities (and cultures) where this type of ornamentation is normal; however, it is perceived by many in the US as a sign of rebellion.

Ethnic jewelry – As varied as the people of this planet, the key with wearing ethnic pieces is to remember your surroundings.  What works in northern Thailand won’t necessarily fly in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  However, tasteful pieces such as tribal bracelets can help you stand out from the masses and help tell the story of your family’s journey.

Military Jewelry – Warriors have adorned their uniforms with pieces of medal and ribbon for thousands of years.  If this doesn’t dispel the myth that jewelry is feminine, I don’t know what will.

Religious Jewelry – Prayer beads, rosary beads, Japa mala, medallion necklaces, and scapulars.  Wear them in accordance with your faith’s teachings.  And be respectful of the importance others place on these items even if you are not of their religion.

Jewelry to Avoid – Grills, anklets, toe rings, belly piercings, engagement rings, armlets………no,no,no, never, no, and no.

So what are your thoughts on jewelry?  I know we have readers from all over the world, so let’s hear from you below in the comments!

 

Written by Antonio Centeno
Founder, Real Men Real Style
Click Here To Grab My Free 47-Page Men’s Style eBook

 

{ 196 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brian Fox March 20, 2012 at 7:03 pm

No mention of the pocket watch?

2 mike March 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and I do not necessarily agree with any of Antonio’s opinions, and I don’t expect he will agree with mine.

I wear a Rolex watch. To me, it is a sign of achievement – I bought the watch with my first corporate bonus about 30 years ago. And believe it or not, people still notice the watch and comment on it. I wear it every day, no matter what I am doing.

I also wear a diamond wedding band on my left hand. I wear a custom made diamond “texas long horn” ring on my right hand.

I have a hand made 18 Karat gold around my neck – it is about 20 inches long and approximately 1/4 inch thick. It is not flashy – but elegant – and heavy.

These accoutrements are part of my image – an image that I am very comfortable with.

I am a successful executive and I dress like a successful executive – why not?

If a man is unsure of what he is wearing – he shouldn’t wear it. What I wear says a lot about me – and you can take it or leave it.

All the best,

Mike

3 Robert March 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm

I wear A LOT of jewelry myself. It catches a lot of people’s attention. I have rings on every finger except my thumbs, anywhere from two to 4 necklaces and I wear a leather wristband on each wrist.

But I know the importance of wearing things in certain situations. At church, weddings, job interviews and dinners with other families I limit what I wear to a silver ring on my right middle finger, a class ring on my ring finger on my right hand or a ring with a cross I got while on a trip to Israel on my left ring finger.

I’m not ashamed of my appearance I just understand that there is a time and place for everything and sometimes the occasion calls for me to take off my jewelry.

4 Andrew Sharp March 20, 2012 at 7:29 pm

I have to agree with Brian F. The pocket watch is one of my favorite pieces of jewelery. It adds a touch of class and a mix of old school.

5 Jim Herold March 20, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Regarding men’s jewelry:
1. Crucifix – check.
2. Dog tags – I ride a bike, they have my name and blood type in case of accident.
3. Medals – miniatures that have been professionally mounted. Don’t forget miniature qualification badges if earned. They look good on a tux.

6 Terry March 20, 2012 at 7:38 pm

My normal jewelry consists of my wedding ring and a wrist watch. When wearing a suit I use cuff links and a matching tie bar or tie tack, and sometimes replace the wrist watch with a pocket watch. On occasion I will wear a stainless steel ID bracelet, but then I don’t wear a wrist watch. If I wear a necklace it is either a simple white gold chain or a cross.

7 Jon March 20, 2012 at 7:39 pm

I agree with Mike’s last words, if you aren’t comfortable wearing something. Don’t wear it.

8 Vladislav March 20, 2012 at 7:45 pm

I disagree about copper/bronze jewelry. I bought a rose gold wedding band and have thus purchased two watches that match. One is out and out rose gold with a brown leather band for when I’m wearing brown leather or anything but black suits/shoes. I have a black watch with rose gold hands for when I’m wearing black leather/suit/shoes, etc. Rose gold (alloy of copper and gold) is very understated and classic. Was once very popular.

9 Nick March 20, 2012 at 7:53 pm

I don’t see many people (anyone, actually) wearing armlets, but I don’t see why they are no-nos.

As for the engagement ring, I think it’s a little sexist. It used to mean the woman was “claimed” (owned). Now it’s a symbol of a promise. I don’t see why both persons can’t choose to wear an engagement ring (or neither to wear one at all).

10 Philip March 20, 2012 at 7:53 pm

I wear my paracord bracelet for the same reason I wear my gun or carry my knife and lighter…just in case. However, if I’m even remotely close to dressed up, the cord stays behind.

11 Jared March 20, 2012 at 8:03 pm

I too disagree with the “no” about the engagement ring. My wife gave me an engagement ring that’s basically a simple band, but has stones set into the band. Yes, “engagement ring” has the feminine connotation, but it doesn’t have to. There’s nothing feminine about my ring!

12 Andrew March 20, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Maybe not survived, but my paracord bracelets have come in damn handy a few times.

13 Beth March 20, 2012 at 8:36 pm

In response to the comments on engagement rings: I wouldn’t call the “no to engagement rings” sexist. I think it’s rather harsh terminology.

Granted, male wedding rings were not the norm until about 50 years ago. But wedding rings did not symbolize “ownership;” at least not in any research I’ve done on the subject. For wealthier families, a gold band symbolized the marriage contract, which included providing for the wife. The man would give several “good faith” gifts (not a technical term, but roll with me) to the woman leading up to their marriage. The ring was the culmination of these gifts. Of course, after the marriage, he got the dowry and all that came with that. Marriage was more of a business transaction than anything else, for both the man and the woman. Engagement rings (diamond rings, in particular) became quite popular in the 1920s when advertisers began selling the idea of proposing using a ring. It became a cultural phenomenon, and as traditionally the male proposes, the rings were bought for the women, et voila, a tradition was born. And now “diamonds are a girl’s best friend.”

Personally, I’d rather a guy spent that extra however much on a vacation and skip the engagement ring. A simple gold wedding band would do just fine, too, but that’s just me. As for guys wearing engagement rings, personally, there’s no history for the tradition, and not much sense in it to my mind. As a woman, I would find it a bit strange. But I’m also somewhat old-fashioned. I found this article through a friend’s facebook link, so please don’t judge me, but if I have any advice to give men on jewelry (from a female perspective), less is always more!

14 spencer March 20, 2012 at 8:36 pm

the only jewelry i have are three necklaces and i usually switch them off every once in a while. they all have a meaning to me and i also like how i can hide or show depending on the situation and what i’m trying to convey

15 Rawb March 20, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Hate to tell you, Antonio, but you’re wearing an engagement ring every day, LoL.

In Orthodox Churches the ring symoblizes the Engagement, the Crowns symbolize the Wedding. That ring on your right hand, while effectively acting as your wedding ring in a society where that symbol is more prevalent, is, in fact, an engagement ring. You exchanged them during the Rite of Betrothal, which didn’t marry you, just engaged you officially, even if it took place right before the actual wedding.

But I wear my engagement/wedding ring on my right hand as well, and my Chrismation Cross is never taken off (though it’s under my clothing). S’all the jewelry I wear.

16 Ryan March 20, 2012 at 8:44 pm

I wear a sterling silver chain I bought in Israel, sometimes a leather band watch, and always my 550 cord bracelet. I’m military and I didn’t take it off the entire time I was deployed.

17 Jeff March 20, 2012 at 8:50 pm

I used to wear a watch but because of equipment I use at school it became too cumbersome. Now I only wear a sterling silver ring with a chain motif. I wear it to remind myself of the importance of self-discipline.

18 Matt March 20, 2012 at 8:55 pm

First off, I love the advise. I personally wear my A&M ring, 11th ACR ring our company had made for us in Baquba Iraq 2004 a para cord bracelet (sans the guts and no use) buddy made em’ for our squad a dive watch and the ocassional necklace under the shirt. I am a mess of colors and some things I just can’t let go, ties to brothers, blood and times past.

19 Alex Devlin March 20, 2012 at 9:05 pm

I agree with Mike from comment #2. If you feel comfortable wearing it, then you should wear it. Not everyone will like it as we all have different tastes. But then they are not wearing it, you are. So it’s your decision.

Remember Mr T wears a LOT of chains and can pull it off easily. So as long as you can do it… DO IT!

20 JS March 20, 2012 at 9:07 pm

In the UK, there isn’t really a tradition of class rings. By far the most common ways of showing university pride in a business context are things like cufflinks with university/college crests, or ties in college colours.

21 Antonio Centeno March 20, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Thanks for all the really great comments! I especially like the additions and disagreements with my thoughts on engagement rings. Although as @Rawb points out I apparently have been wearing one for 8 years:)

Again – thanks guys for making the article even better. I appreciate your stories and personal views.

R/S

Antonio

22 JBu92 March 20, 2012 at 10:00 pm

I think a bit more needs to be said about heirloom pieces in the breakdown at the end of the article. As a young man (currently 19), I wear my great grandfather’s ring on my pinky (apparently I’m a fair bit porkier than he was). Generally I wouldn’t think an heirloom piece would necessarily need to go with anything, and in fact I think the color clash with my watch makes it stand out more.
And of course, something not really mentioned at all in the article would be handmade pieces that still carry personal significance- they can also make for conversation starters. For instance, on my right fhand, I wear an old guitar string coiled around one finger. Of course for formal occasions I almost certainly leave it off, but for every day wear, and even businesswear, I wear it, because it’s special to me and it has a good story behind it.

23 Zack March 20, 2012 at 10:04 pm

I agree with everything except for the part about precious stones. Done right, they are very good looking on a man. Although, I do think this is largely reserved for more classic jewelry. I have a Kentucky cluster diamond ring that was my Great Great Grandfathers and I have gotten several comments both from classmates and from friends about how good it looks. If you wear a ruby or a emerald, yeah that is feminine but diamonds I think are an exception to precious stones appearing feminine for men.

24 Brew March 20, 2012 at 10:19 pm

Less is more.

25 Mike M March 20, 2012 at 10:31 pm

I wear a watch with a white face and a two-tone band so that it can match gold or silver. I usually wear my plain gold college ring on my right hand, and I wear a small Crucifix medallion under my shirt (which people rarely notice.) I’m not married, so no wedding band, but I suppose that’ll be added to the mix at some point down the road.

My rule for men’s jewelry is that it should have a function or a special personal meaning. A watch, a tie clip, etc., serve a purpose in addition to being decorative. A wedding ring, a school ring, or religious medallion serves a personal purpose. I have a friend who wears a ring with his initials… his grandmother bought one for each member of his family before she died… that, too, counts as personal meaning.

I think it’s entirely manly to confidently wear items of function or personal significance, and to make those compliment your appearance. I think going too far beyond that gets tacky, though.

26 Sean March 20, 2012 at 11:26 pm

In Canada, Engineers wear an iron pinkie ring. It’s given to us in a ceremony just before graduation. The tradition is that it is made from a failed engineering project and it is worn on our working hand to serve as a constant reminder that our work is cold and unforgiving, just like the steel.

27 Harry March 21, 2012 at 12:44 am

@Sean- that’s really interesting. I’m an American engineer, I think that’s great symbolism. Doesn’t it rust and get all nasty though?

28 sokuna March 21, 2012 at 12:49 am

I have a wooden case pocket watch I finished from a kit. I’m proud to use it because I made it myself but I rarely use it for everyday use because it doesn’t match most of my clothes well and its less convenient to use then a wristwatch.

29 jaklumen March 21, 2012 at 1:17 am

I regard metals more the way that women have stated them, but that you have alluded to, Antonio. The guideline is this: skin tone. If blue veins show prominently under the skin, then silver tones match better. Those with “warmer” skin tones should lean to gold; copper and bronze would be doubly so with their orange hues.

I am more comfortable with silver tones but have worn gold in the past; my wedding band, currently in need of repair is in regular yellow gold.

I wear less jewelry than I used to; most of it was all dress-clothes related with tie chains, cufflinks and buttonhole studs for tuxedos, anyways. I used to wear a watch, but no longer. I used to wear a wristwatch but got tired of bands breaking; if I could find a pocket watch that would look as good with a denim or leather vest as well as a dress waistcoat, I’d prefer that. (I did NOT like clip watches.)

30 Paul March 21, 2012 at 3:48 am

I am one of many in my generation (I am 26) who wear the ‘survival bracelet’ made from 550 cord. There are very few times when I take this off, these times generally include when I am sleeping and more predominantly in the shower; and yes I wear this with constantly with my suits and other formal attire. However, unlike many individuals my age I do not consider it a style piece as much as others might assume, to me it is very much a cause bracelet; something with a great deal of meaning.

During my last deployment a buddy of mine was making these 550 cord bracelets and he gave one to me. The next day he went out to one of our remote training sites to assist with our mission at that location. The following day he was shot by one of the local nationals he was there to assist. Luckily he survived the event as the round hit his belt buckle, sending shrapnel into his stomach and missing his femoral artery by 2 millimeters.

To me it doesn’t really matter how much of a faux pas this may or may not be, it is a piece of jewelry that shall remain part of my essential jewelry.

31 Thom March 21, 2012 at 5:45 am

I generally wear only a Thor’s Hammer pendant on a necklace, which is hidden under my shirt generally. I rarely wear a suit so tie pins and cufflinks are out, though I have a matching set from my mother. I do wear a pocket watch when going out, as it adds a touch of eccentricity in this age of electronics. When I marry I will wear a wedding band. Over all I would have to agree with most statements here, less is more. With piercings being unprofessional.

32 Bama March 21, 2012 at 6:02 am

I’ve been making and selling 550 (parachute) cord bracelets for decades, LONG before they became the fad they currently are. I’ll agree I’ve never heard of anyone using the 9′-12′ of cord in one of my bracelets to literally save their LIFE, but I do know quite a few who’ve used them to get out of a tight spot. I know it because that’s the deal when I sell you one; if you ever need to untie it for emergency use tell me the story and I’ll replace it for free. Some of my best customers are motorcycle clubs, as I make them in their club colors. I’ve heard of the cord from my “Bama Bracelets” used for everything from securing a loose muffler to hanging a poncho for makeshift shelter to replacing a broken boot lace. Do this long enough and you’ll stop being surprised at what uses a man can find for several feet of ripcord.

33 ben theiss March 21, 2012 at 6:43 am

“Jewelry to Avoid – …engagement rings” I agree with the rest though It’s interesting that in India the groom to be is often given what is basically an engagement ring and then may wear it on right hand and then a wedding ring (depending more on religious affiliation) on the left.

I married and Indian girl and got one and wear it because its a very nice ring. It’s not really in the same class as the other jewelry to avoid. And no one would know it is an engagement ring unless I tell them.

34 Gregory March 21, 2012 at 6:47 am

I keep my jewelry simple. No wedding rings(personally I don’t like rings anyway). Nice simple Coach male watch(wife is a Coach fan) and cuff links and gold bracelet. Oh and besides I am a strong breast cancer supporter I never take that one off. Oh yeah that one is always a conversation starter. Nice article.

35 Grumpy Typewriter March 21, 2012 at 6:57 am

My wedding ring is puzzle ring, each piece made from a different colour gold: yellow, gold and rose. I like it because it’s different and I’ve only seen two others in the last 18 years.

Add to that a watch, which I wear on my right wrist. I recently picked up an Oris Great Barrier Reef model which has the winder on the lefthand side of the case.

I’ve taken my earring out as it no longer felt right after the age of 40.

I’m open to other pieces but probably not to wear everyday. Examples include but not limited to: Leather bracelet I pick up on every holiday. I consider myself still on holiday until it falls off; other rings and possibly a single leather necklace if it had the right pendant. I’ve picked up a few things on my travels I’ve thought about attaching to a single leather string (eg. a piece of coral from an island I swam to, yep, it was a fairly long swim). When I finish them they’ll have meaning for me but not suitable for everyday.

36 Attila March 21, 2012 at 7:25 am

travellers and immigrants? what the fuck are you tryin to say? I am a Hungarian Gypsy, and a son of immigrant parents, that vernacular is offensive and derogatory. keep it classy

37 tovam March 21, 2012 at 8:23 am

I too wear a puzzle ring as my only jewelry. I like the elegance of the four intertwined silver bands.
I wear it on the ring finger of my left hand, the usual place for a wedding ring, even though I (24 years old) am not married, engaged or even have a girlfriend right now.
Now I was wondering, what impression would this give to others? Does it have a special meaning?

38 DAN March 21, 2012 at 8:41 am

Nice I like all of the views. I wish my dad would make a thing for his rank and flag, I will show him this maybe he will do it.

39 Bruce Williamson March 21, 2012 at 8:47 am

Good article. I have and use most of the jewelry mentioned but for everyday it’s the wedding ring, Masonic ring, Seiko Watch (Kinetic so that I don’t have to wind it) and my religious medal on a chain around my neck. Oh and some non-traditional earrings which have been starters of numerous conversations both good and bad.

@Attila – How about keeping it classy by not using profanity?

40 Cameron March 21, 2012 at 9:00 am

Chill out with the language, Attila. You know how this blog works, if you can’t think of any words more intelligent than using profanity then you don’t need to say anything at all. You’re only making yourself look bad.

41 Chase Christy March 21, 2012 at 9:02 am

Jewelry is the most manly when it reminds you of who you are and the role you have in life. Wedding rings are the most obvious example of this, but others could be dog tags for the soldier, or a doctoral ring for the academic. My wife and son got me this great wooden watch, that reminds me of my commitment to my family.

42 Warren J March 21, 2012 at 9:06 am

Jewelry doesnt appeal that much to me. I stopped wearing watches after I had five bands break on me in a year. metal bands too. the only jewelry I wear are my Trip bracelets. little pieces of rope burned together around my wrist. generally get a new one everytime I do big expedition. I still wear the one i got at the end of a 35 day canoe trip i did back in 2007.

43 Theresa March 21, 2012 at 9:08 am

As a woman, on this issue I have to say– guys, relax! That old “rule” about jewelry having to “match” is as outdated as the women’s rule about shoes having to match her purse and gloves.

Metals are effectively neutrals. They go with everything, and they all go with each other.

I’m assuming that the vast majority of you manage to dress appropriately for the occasion of the day and conventionally enough that you don’t attract shocked stares, pointed fingers and snickers. So wear what you like.

Some men like more jewelry, some like none. Just like women. My Dad wore a heavy gold choker length chain, bracelet and diamond ring daily for decades, till the price of gold recently made him realize he’s a walking ATM for the criminal element. And he didn’t look like Mr, T or some gangsta punk. In fact, it wasn’t flashy at all.

My son only wears his Medic alert bracelet. My brother wears a wedding ring and a gold necklace. My ex only wore his wedding ring. My brother in law wears no jewelry at all. It’s all good– and it all looks good, in my opinion.

The only thing I don’t like are Mr. T style necklaces and grills, because that, in my area, tends to be worn by the rude, aggressive and possibly criminal (of any ethnicity, before you get upset.)

I also don’t like facial piercings and/or vast tattoos– but I suspect that’s more of a generational aversion than a true aesthetic judgement.

44 OkieRover March 21, 2012 at 9:14 am

My wife and I were so nervous when we got married. My wife hand me the wrong hand when we were placing our rings. We each put them on the right hand. We have since switched them to the left.

45 Marin March 21, 2012 at 9:15 am

I’m not in agreement with the comment made about bracelets. One of the things I really about AOM and its postings is the underlying lesson of versatility, and making sure to develop many sides to one’s persona. I wear bracelets like a mad man simply because I have always enjoyed sporting a “rocker look” when I’m dressed casually (t-shirt and jeans). I know when to wear to wear them, and I know where to draw the line when it comes to how many. I think bracelets are a perfectly acceptable piece of jewelry for men if worn in the right setting, regardless of meaning or practicality (like survival).

46 Stephen March 21, 2012 at 9:25 am

Just to expand the rings section a bit, is the Iron Ring I have. Its the only jewelry I wear and it does have a significant meaning, particularly for Canadian engineers.

47 Justin March 21, 2012 at 9:27 am

In regards to the jewelry I wear a 14″ hatchetman chain everywhere I go BECAUSE its apart of me. I hide it in certain situations but I will always wear it proudly once those are over. It has extreme symbolism of when I “found myself” and is an amazing conversation starter even with people who arent fans of ICP.

48 Michael March 21, 2012 at 9:30 am

A “gentleman” does not wear an earring, bracelet or necklace (dog tags and a cross worn under clothes excepted, of course), especially at the office. Though standards for appropriate dress have deteriorated over the past few decades (since the 1960s), and political correctness has supplanted proper decorum and etiquette, a true gentleman does not succumb to fashion “trends” or “fads.”

49 Nathan March 21, 2012 at 9:40 am

awesome article! I was surprised that pocket watches were not mentioned though…

50 Matt March 21, 2012 at 9:43 am

As a European, I have to disagree on the engagement rings “rule”. While it is true that in the US usually only the woman wears one, in many parts of Europe both partners wear an engagement ring. Although I would advise to keep it simple, for example a gold or silver band.

Be cautious with earrings and precious stones; done wrong, it WILL make you look like a huge sissy, and you WILL get awkward looks en masse.

51 Dan March 21, 2012 at 9:44 am

Nothing wrong with a male engagement ring. It shouldn’t have a big Tiffany diamond on it, but a simple metal ring is fine. Engagement rings are symbols of promise, so why shouldn’t men get to wear them too?

When I got engaged, I gave my (now) wife a traditional diamond ring and later on, she gave me a silver Claddagh ring that I wore as an engagement ring.

I liked having an outward symbol that I was engaged–just like my fiance had.

52 Jared March 21, 2012 at 9:44 am

As far as the “Religious Jewelry” section: scapulars are generally worn beneath your shirt and not visible, so I wouldn’t consider them jewelry. Rosary beads are most definitely not jewelry. There are some religious orders which carry them visibly, but they are not “worn.”

53 jeff March 21, 2012 at 9:48 am

Although they are not jewelry, per say, all my shirts have glass, crystal, metal, and ceramic buttons. I have been changing out my buttons since my niece, who does all my alterations, switched out some shirt buttons on new dress shirts. They take the place of ties and cufflinks, with more people commenting on them for the positive than any one thing I’ve done to my style in years.

54 Dom March 21, 2012 at 9:51 am

Avoid the engagement ring? What?

55 Joe Madoskey March 21, 2012 at 10:00 am

Less is more, simple is best. Keep it practical. Stainless Timex Chronograph, tungsten carbide wedding band and Masonic ring. Thats it.

56 Mark March 21, 2012 at 10:23 am

The only item I wear is an elephant hair bracelet from South Africa. It’s amazing the people you meet who know what it is, and it’s a great conversation starter for those who don’t. I generally think less is more with men, but uniqueness in subtlety is what makes the jewelry. I’ve always found that jewelry was for women and I’ve never seen a Zale’s add of a man being shocked on Christmas morning or Valentine’s day with a little box, unless it’s keys to that new ride he’s been wanting. Please men, for our gender’s sake, stop piercing your ears (or anywhere else for that matter), wearing rings with no meaning, and more than one necklace, also without meaning ( I think dogtags and religious symbols are the only exception, and no more than one). The manliest of men have always been the one’s in the trenches, the mechanics, lumberjacks and other blue collar types. They couldn’t wear jewelry in the fear of getting snagged by the machinery they used. It was always the upper class who felt the need to show off their status with these items, and to me that simply meant you were probably out of shape, and had little to no self-esteem/worth, and never knew what it meant to break a sweat like a real man. And just not to piss anyone off who had parents bust their ass to put you through a good school so you wouldn’t have to live that life or the guy who studied while everyone else wasn’t, good for them and good for you, just remember where you came from and we’re all men. Don’t feminize us anymore than this world already has. And one more thing, don’t put jewels in your wedding bands.

57 Greg K. March 21, 2012 at 10:27 am

Regarding belt buckles, did you mean antecedent?

58 don Roberto March 21, 2012 at 10:37 am

I wear
*my wedding ring (a James Hunt Designs split-mobius design)
*a wristwatch (Casio DataBank: I’m a bit of a geek, although now that I have a BlackBerry I may go for a more conventional watch)
*a religiously-oriented ring on my right hand that I’ve worn since I came to my faith
*a (different) religious symbol on a pendant under my shirt (not visible if I have a shirt on) and
*an earring.
(wow: that’s quite a bit, now that I think about it)

About the earring, Michael, I have to disagree with you, sir. My wife and I got ear piercings together as a symbol of commitment (not engagement or marriage: a different commitment), and I wear it every day. I might take it off for a job interview, since I would not wear an obvious religious symbol any more than I’d wear a political one, for simple practicality, but not for work. YMMV, of course…

59 Brian J. March 21, 2012 at 10:49 am

I normally wear my wedding ring and West Point Class Ring. I have a nice divers watch for normal use and a G-shock for field use. I carry my Dog Tags on my belt loop and that’s about it.

Since losing a buddy in Afghanistan, I now wear a KIA Bracelet as well.

60 Dave S March 21, 2012 at 10:59 am

On the topic of bracelets and particularly the 550 cord survival bracelets. I learned how to make them while in the 82nd ABN Div. Wore mine in Operation Iraqi Freedom when it was still considered part of Operation Enduring Freedom. I did use the nylon cord to help construct shelter for my platoon. As a matter of fact, three of us used our bracelets so we would have enough cordage. Fast forward a few years. One of the merit badges I teach for the Boy Scouts is Wilderness Survival. Making a 550 cord bracelet is one of the things that I teach my scouts. It identifies them as having completed the merit badge and I have seen them use their bracelets on almost every camp out. A bit of cord especially some as multipurpose as 550 cord has a multitude of uses and an easy, convenient way of carrying it is a boon when you venture outside of the realms of your back yard.

61 mike March 21, 2012 at 11:03 am

When mentioning wearing my Rolex earlier – I neglected to say a couple of things – The watch is 18 kt and stainless with a diamond bezel and I wear it on my right hand. The reason I wear my watch on my right hand, is that shortly after I acquired the Rolex as skin cancer develped on my left hand; when I had the cancer removed – the watch stem irritated the place where the cancer was removed. After wearing the watch on the right hand for a while – I figured out that it was the watch stem on the heavy Rolex – that had rubbed on my left hand causing the “false” skin cancer. I now wear it on my right hand, and it frays the right hand pants pockets on my clothes. It’s my watch, my hands, and my pants anyhow.

62 Rachel March 21, 2012 at 11:04 am

I love bracelets on men, whether they be paracord, puka shell, or chain link. I am not too keen on other types of jewelry on men except the classic wedding ring and tasteful wrist watch or pocket watch. Dressy occassions may call for more jewerly, such as cufflinks or tie mounts, but generally I don’t think men should be wearing too much bling. Medical alert jewerly is necessary, of course. But belt buckles and pinky rings make a guy look like a caricacture… unless he really is a Western guy. If you’re wearing cowboy boots and jeans and a Western jacket, then you might as well wear the belt buckle and pinky ring, but I’m an Easterner and that sort of attire stands out here.
These are matters of style, of course, not substance. I would never judge a guy based on his jewelry preferences, but if I’m going to be on his arm, I’d try to gently encourage him to tone it down.

63 dannyb278 March 21, 2012 at 11:13 am

tungsten carbide all the way for male wedding bands. damn near indestructable.

64 dannyb278 March 21, 2012 at 11:15 am

Personally i think diamonds and gold rings, gold necklaces, etc are pretty low class looking i dont care how successfull you are. A guy with gold and diamonds all over his hands just doesnt look right to me. Unless your trying out for a role on the Sopranos, and thats been cancelled.

65 Cody March 21, 2012 at 11:32 am

IMO the only jewelry that should be worn by a man should either be functional (cufflinks, watches, etc) or have some deep emotional meaning (wedding band, military or religious items). I don’t think that anyone will look down on you for NOT wearing jewelry, but some people will look down on you for wearing too much.

66 Jacob B. March 21, 2012 at 11:37 am

In Regards to the Western Belt Buckles and not being practical for normal work wear, In most cases I agree. This is true of most modern jobs but Cowboys and Buckaroos originally used those big buckles as a shield of sorts to protect them from their saddle horns should something happen to cause their horse to act erratically. I wear mine as it is a trophy buckle and I’m proud of it, but it does have practical value as well!

67 Jeff March 21, 2012 at 11:56 am

I don’t disagree with everything in the article – mostly in business settings, I feel any jewelry worn should fit the setting – if you’re the stereo typical “businessman” then less is more and should be more traditional – a musician or artist type, well then anything goes.
As for me I wear a couple of silver rings – one titanium and the other stainless all the time. I also have a ring that is probably more fit for said musician or biker – it’s stainless and shaped like a skull. It doesn’t really fit my style but I wear it all the time everywhere but work on my left oinky. My 6 year old son got it for me for father’s day because he thought it was cool. Well, since that was the sourceI wear it all the time with no shame. When people have asked or commented and I tell them where the ring came from they’ve always understood. Again, I do remove the SKull in the office though :)

68 Piper March 21, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Today:
Wedding ring: vintage diamond and amethyst in white gold (our rings are all either family heirlooms or vintage).
Masonic ring: pueblo made: silver with Malachite I am the 3rd mason to wear it, it was made in 1912 in New Mexico.
Twin bracelets: gold, silver, copper, brass with large pieces of malachite.
Necklace: 3″ citrine pendant mounted in silver and rose quartz on an 18” leather cord.
Ruby ear stud
Ruby (glass) 8 gage plug
In general I always wear the wedding ring and the earrings, and change the others out as I see fit, at 50 I see no reason to not wear what I want. I will wear as many as 6 rings, and will even wear multiple bracelets on one arm. I do wear good stuff, very few pieces are not precious metals or good stones, and like to be distinct. That being said, I do dress to the occasion, wedding ring, tie bar, lapel pin and earrings are about the minimum though.
I am one of those western guys that wear bolos, buckles, etc. of turquoise and silver and even gold. Yes, I have a complete set by one artist: boot tips, buckle, belt tip, cufflinks, ring, bolo and bracelet, I know, sad. I grew up in a culture where even the hard labors(roofing in my youth to pay for school) wore jewlery, maybe its part of growing up in NM. I have found that I like bolos as a replacement for a cloth tie in many cases. Worn just below the second button with the top button open is a nice sports coat look. I am fortunate that my wife appreciates and indulges my love of ornamentation.
YMMV

69 zeke March 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm

“For length, at least six to eight inches above your navel is a good standard.”

Forgive me, but this seems ridiculously long to me…most men have an average of about a 16″ neck, plus a little for slack-say at least 20-22″ for a choker–if I wore a necklace to within 6-8″ of my navel, it would be 3 – 3+1/2 foot long.

Really?

70 zeke March 21, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Also, I guess I live under a rock, but I’d never heard of the paracord bracelet before this article…I will be shopping for one or make myself one a.s.a.p.

I never go anywhere without 3 things in my right hand pants pocket–a small disposable bic, a small sheathed knife, and a small uber powerful L.E.D. flashlight. Cannot go a single day without using at least one of these items. Add a piece of 8-10 foot strong cord to that list, that I won’t even need to pocket, and I am gtg…

71 Nivramrolyat March 21, 2012 at 1:12 pm

As an Eagle Scout and camp counselor, I am completely in favor of conservative paracord jewelry. I have a Monkey Fist necklace that I’ve worn every day for 3 years, an army green daisy chain bracelet that I’ve had for 4 years, a square knotted ankle bracelet and a carrick bend bracelet that I made last summer. Before the jewelry became popular (and, frankly, overpriced), I just appreciated the simplistic nature of the jewelry. This jewelry is a good conversation starter, and each piece represents a summer’s worth of memories at camp. Don’t get me wrong, I rock cuff links and my class ring with a suit, but I appreciate a homemade, meaningful piece of jewelry over a silver necklace that someone got just because they have the money. Great article and thanks for the tips!

72 Zack March 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Mark, was my Great Great Grandfather feminizing men when he wore his diamond ring? Was he ruining men when he went into the coal mine every day just like his kid and his grand kids who wore his ring? I agree that some jewelry is pretentious, but to characterize anyone who wears it as feminine and harmful to manlieness is somewhat psychotic. He didn’t get the ring because of some special meaning, he got it because it looked nice, and I wear it everywhere because it still, over a hundred years later is the best looking one I have ever seen on any man. Don’t tell me that the only people who wear jewelry that isn’t symbolic are doing it to be flashy, we wear it because we like it, and apparently others do as well. People like you who turn manliness into some caricature are what is hurting men, not people who like to wear a diamond ring.

73 nathan March 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I wear a 1908 gold Indian Head coin ring on my left hand.I wear it almost everyday. I switch between a Cartier or Tissot watch also. I love cuff links & I often use them when the occasion presents itself.

74 rjzii March 21, 2012 at 3:08 pm

With regards to myself, I tend to be a huge fan of cufflinks and tend to make a point of wearing them, but there needs to be a big disclaimer next to the part about colored stones as they are much easier to pull off when wearing them as cufflinks than as other pieces of jewelry. For situations where a colored stone is a focal piece of the cufflinks the rule of thumb that I typically go by is that it has to pair well with the shirt in the same way that you pick a tie to be worn. The same rule of thumb typically applies to enamel cufflinks as well – if selected well they fade into the background but otherwise they can stand out quite a bit and look gaudy.

75 Tim March 21, 2012 at 3:37 pm

I don’t go in for jewelry other than a wedding band. I never though much about the gold-silver- metal mixing thing. My favorite metal color is Parkerized Black. It goes well with everything. It is discreet, understated. If needed, it impresses better than a Rolex.

76 Matt B March 21, 2012 at 3:51 pm

I only wear 2 pieces of jewelry. A watch, usually a Timex for everyday wear, and I have a Croton my father-in-law gave me for Christmas a few years ago, but it’s a very nice watch so it’s worn on special occassions or out on the town. The only other piece of jewelry I wear is my wedding band, and it’s made from Tungsten so it’s pretty noticeable. I’m not much for jewelry, so I keep it simple.

77 Benedict March 21, 2012 at 3:55 pm

I wear a signet ring on my right ring finger – plain gold, with a sardonyx stone engraved with my family crest. I have many friends from Eastern Europe, and they have asked me several times if I was married. Of course they explained why afterwards, and I now understand why I got such dirty looks from some of the girls I got chatting with! I never wear anything except for the ring, a steel watch and gold engraved cufflinks, which I thought was pretty conservative, but it seems even this can make me look like a sleazebag sometimes. Consequently I have never considered branching out into any other type of visible jewellery (I keep my grandmother’s crucifix on a chain around my neck).

78 Keith March 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Outside of a wedding ring and a watch, I don’t understand why any man would wear jewelry. To each his own, of course, but I just don’t get it.

79 Tyler March 21, 2012 at 5:53 pm

I wear a necklace every day that has a cross and a matching dog tag (has a shadow design of the cross, sits behind it) to show people what I believe, though I’ve seen a lot of non-christians wearing them.

80 sarge712 March 21, 2012 at 6:02 pm

I wear a silver Celtic weave wedding band that matches my wife’s. That symbolizes my side of the family. My wife is Cherokee and I wear a cornbead (Tears of Job) / trade bead necklace my daughter made with my old dog tags and the spent shell casing from my sniper test hanging from it. My watch is a G-Shock for duty wear and no watch at
all with a suit. Nothing more than that. Rolexes and their like are pretentious, over- compensating junk. In a like vein, I agree with the previous comments that the flashier you are, the more useless you tend to be; there may be the odd exception to this but damn few.

81 Roy Bandle March 21, 2012 at 6:11 pm

The paracord bracelet (OD) identifies soldiers who have served in the box. if you spent time in the sand box, you know what I’m talking about.. Wearing one as a survival device comes secondary to identification, and would be more likely serve as a shoe lace in an emergency. I wear two of them. If I see someone with one, it takes but a moment to realize that no words are necessary and understand completely the bond between us.

82 sarge712 March 21, 2012 at 7:29 pm

I wear a silver Celtic weave wedding band that matches my wife’s. That symbolizes my side of the family. My wife is Cherokee and I wear a cornbead (Tears of Job) / trade bead necklace my daughter made with my old dog tags and the spent shell casing from my sniper test hanging from it. My watch is a G-Shock for duty wear and no watch at
all with a suit. Nothing more than that.
Rolexes and their like are pretentious, over-
compensating junk. In a like vein, I agree
with the previous comments that the flashier you are, the more useless you tend to be;
there may be the odd exception to this but
darn few.

83 Erik March 21, 2012 at 8:00 pm

I wear a watch (silicone band and wr to 100 meters for surfing ) and my ear plugs. Love keeping things simple. When jewerly overtakes a mans wrist, neck and hand, the jewelry and gautiness of the style takes over who the man is.

84 Johnny March 21, 2012 at 9:03 pm

I wear a plain black watch that goes with every outfit i have, and my class ring when i want to look flashy

85 Robert H March 21, 2012 at 9:22 pm

personally, i think that as long as the man is comfortable with it, and it’s appropriate for the situation, a man can wear as much jewelry as he wants. I personally wear a smallish polished steel medallion and two engraved leather bracelets on my left wrist.

86 Edmund B March 21, 2012 at 9:28 pm

I hate jewellery. Due to my career and lifestyle, jewellery is a danger.

I wear my watch on my belt or belt loop. It’s not jewellery, it’s a tool.

I only wear my wedding ring on social occasions. My wife knows why I don’t wear it 24/7, and she agrees with my decision.

I wear a paracord bracelet when I wear my wedding ring. Why? Because my wife made it for me In a war zone.

The only other piece of “jewellery” I have – A folding knife. I use it often enough that it isn’t decorative, it’s a tool.

Jewellery isn’t for “men”. Only males who want to look pretty. If you need to use jewellery to start a conversation, then my personal opinion is that you need to work on your conversation skills a bit more.

87 Andrew#2 March 21, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Wedding band, thin gold chain with crucifix and trade beads, or heavy gold chain.

Regards irate buddy taking offence at looking like an immigrant: I’m brown, and when I wear jewelry I get confused for an Indian or an Arab. My grandfather was Gypsy and my grandmother Maltese. My grandpa was First Nations. I’m Canadian. Why would I care what people think I am?

88 Joseph Sanchez March 21, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Whoop! Nice mention of the Aggie ring. I wear my wedding ring, class ring, watch and 2 bracelets. (one religious and one misc bracelet) I also were a collar bar and tie clip when I wear a suit and tie.

89 Jackson March 21, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Personally I wear a few different pieces. I regularly a woven silver chain bracelet that was my grandfathers, I also wear his wedding ring (my aunt stole his first one this is a silver, and quite a conversation starter, but it is currently getting resized) on my right hand ring finger. I wear a carbon fiber & steel ring on either my left hand ring finger or my right hand middle finger depending on my mood it doubles as a promise ring and my “graduation ring”. I also wear a dog tag that was my mothers in highschool. It has her name on it and my grandparents address. (Also nice to keep rings on when I can’t wear them)

90 Will March 21, 2012 at 11:36 pm

I’m not a big fan of jewelry. While some guys can rock it, think Mr. T, in general guys shouldn’t wear much jewelry in my opinion. It seems to me that guys wearing jewlery, especially jewelry traditionally worn by woman, is just another part of the feminizing of manhood in American culture.

I wear a watch but don’t really consider it jewelry since it has a rubber band, not leather or metal. Though I would like to get a nicer one for dressy occasions.

I could see wearing a para-cord braclet, but don’t right now. I have worn cause bracelets before, but tend to get tired of them after awhile, the bracelet not the cause.

I also wear a very low key necklace with a chain link on it under my shirt. I’m a Chirstian and it reminds that I am to bound to Christ. Most people don’t realize that the Greek word Doulos normally translated in English as servant is better translated as slave. Christians are called to totally submit to Christ and follow His commands no matter what. He said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” The chainlink serves as a good reminder to me of this.

Of course if I ever get married I’ll wear a wedding ring.

91 Matt March 22, 2012 at 7:32 am

I wear three to four pieces of jewelry: A wrist-watch that was my grandfather’s, my wedding band on the left hand, an Eagle Scout ring on my right hand, and a tie-tac or tie-bar when I am at work. Each piece means something to me and says something about who I am. Anything more is not my style.

92 prufock March 22, 2012 at 9:17 am

There’s a bit of a mixed message here, regarding leather. You say:
“If you’re going to wear it, make sure it’s in natural earth-tones, not dyed black”
When it comes to watches, however, your advice changes:
“A plain black leather strap and simple silver timepiece with Arabic or Roman numerals is versatile and classic.”

This is fine as an exception, just wanted to point out the (possibly overlooked) contradiction.

93 Chief69 March 22, 2012 at 11:41 am

I wear a plain gold wedding band, a swiss army watch with black nylon band that’s at least 15 years old and a small issue Anglican cross on a dog-tag style chain I picked up a year or so ago. I reserve my pectoral crosses for use with vestments.

94 Phil March 22, 2012 at 7:42 pm

I’m a carpenter and as most craftsmen can tell you from experience, jewelry on the job just gets in the way. Even the married guys I work with have started to just get tattoos on their ring finger instead of wearing a ring to the site every day. Beyond the job, I hate wearing jewelry. Can’t stand the stuff.

95 GentlemanJohnny March 22, 2012 at 7:46 pm

It seems like several people have the opinion that the only two level so male jewelry are “all practical” and “Mr T”. While its very easy to fall into one or the other, I would say that there is room in between.

I’ve worn a handmade silver bracelet for years. Nothing complex, just a simple silver band. Its never been an issue even in conservative workplaces like a casino and frequently draws compliments.

On the other hand, I don’t wear a watch because its not practical. If I need to know what time it is, I have my cell phone. When dealing at the card table gets dull, its better to not be able to watch the seconds tick by one at a time. Now that everyone has a cell phone, the wrist watch really is nothing but a fashion piece in most situations.

96 SRK '10 March 22, 2012 at 8:47 pm

WHOOP! Gig ‘em Aggies!!! I actually looked at this article to see the opinion about college rings.. Glad to see that Texas A&M gets a special mention.

97 Chris March 22, 2012 at 11:42 pm

There is also a vintage men’s ring with a Greek soldier Either intaglio or cameo. Popular in the 50s, 30s, 20s and 1880s they are quite common at reasonable prices. As a gay man I think they are masculine, and I have a vintage one with two Greek soldiers from the 20s in 10k gold with the intaglio in black onyx. Since you have to look close to see the two soldiers in profile I like to imagine it was a code in days gone by…

98 JulioCG March 23, 2012 at 12:16 pm

While we agree on some things, I have a few differences in opinion:
1. MOST IMPORTANT: earrings, along with other piercings, are NEVER OK for men. They are feminine or trashy (or sometimes both), and make one appear as though one belongs in a dance club (as seen on The Jersey Shore).
2. Metallic jewelry is generally better than leather jewelry. Of course, nothing bright or showy is ever OK, but that being said, few timepieces are more masculine than a good silver or gold watch.
3. The timepiece more masculine than the watch: the pocket watch. A simple silver or gold pocket watch is extremely masculine, since it barely unless it is being used, and so is minimally decorative.
4. While Gold and Silver (and metals of those shades) are good, and leather is sometimes acceptable, no other jewelry material is allowed. The only other thing one can wear is an armband of para-cord, and this only when hiking or camping. Copper, string, plastic-all childish. As for the livestrong bands and other causes: you bought these as a donation, but the actual armbands shouldn’t be worn. They look silly.
5. Stones acceptable on rings (stones are only acceptable on rings): diamond and precious stones of any color but pink and purple as accents; dark colored stones can be used as the mounting, along with diamond.
6. Finally, military jewelry can be worn when in uniform (dog tags at any time), and religious jewelry can be worn at any time. Family jewelry, such as a signet ring, can also be worn at all times.

99 Dustin Wood March 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm

I’ve never been much a jewelry guy myself, but Christmas before last, while shopping for someone else, I came across collection of antique keys about 3 inches in length in a consignment store. The first one I looked at had, “British Made” on it. Being that my grandmother immigrated from England I felt a connection with it – that sounds weird I know. At any rate, I bought it ($15) and have it on a stainless steel chain. I’ve rarely taken it off and had a lot of questions/compliments about it. It’s definitely a conversation starter and when people hear the meaning behind it, I usually get a, “that’s pretty cool” reply. It’s not gaudy or oversized, but it is fairly original.

100 Power March 23, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Like the article. My daily wear is an heirloom signet ring in yellow gold, my dog tags, and a decent watch.

One question – where did you get that pic of the Marine keepsake box? I’ve been looking for one I like, and that one looks seems to fit the bill.

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