Men Wearing Jewelry: A Guide to Doing it Well

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Whether you are a menswear obsessive or relaxed about your personal style, for many men, wearing jewelry remains a mystery. Maybe you feel like jewelry isn’t for you or have seen guys rock a ring or necklace and wonder how they make it look so cool and easy.

men wearing jewelry closeup rings and bracelets
Photo by Sirio

We all have to start somewhere, and luckily for you, wearing jewelry doesn’t have to be difficult or even expensive. We are here to show you how to do it well so you too can add a new dimension to your personal style.

Why should men wear jewelry? 

A great piece of jewelry is like a good friend: reliable, long-lasting, and brings the best in you. It is the finishing touch to bring everything together and set you apart.

It can also serve as a meaningful token, allowing you to express part of your personality or carrying with it a significance. 

A small amount of jewelry can go a long way, even just one or two well-selected pieces can really take your style game to the next level. If your favorite jeans and button up combo is feeling a little stale, a necklace or bracelet can make your look feel new again.

Consider jewelry one more element of your menswear wardrobe. 

What types of jewelry should men wear?

There are no limits to the kinds of jewelry men can wear these days, and no shortage of options on the market to suit your taste.

The classic items for men that we are focusing on are watches, bracelets, rings, and necklaces.

For the classic formal menswear guy you may already be familiar with additional accessories like tie clips and cufflinks that can pair nicely with jewelry, and for the more adventurous man, you can look above the neck at earrings. 

Photo by Emil Hallström

In terms of style there is a wide range, but for jewelry beginners you cannot go wrong with the classic metals of gold, silver and bronze.

These materials are not only long lasting and great looking, they are easy to pair with one another and with your clothing.

What are the best brands for men’s jewelry?

There are so many brands to choose from in the men’s jewelry market, from luxury to affordable and classic to contemporary.

Ultimately, you should let your own taste and personal style be your guide and select pieces you will love to wear. As you grow your collection, local and small batch designers, or even thrift and antique shops, in your own city are great places to find unique pieces. 

We have pulled together a range of options from widely available brands that are great starting points for your journey into the world of men’s jewelry. 

Best Men’s Jewelry for the Beginner

One of the reasons you may have been dissuaded from exploring the world of men’s jewelry is simply not knowing where to start.

There are indeed a lot of options out there for you to choose from but there is no need to be intimidated. Like any other element of your wardrobe you want to start with some foundational pieces that work well together and build up from there.

No matter your price point or personal style there are quality pieces that will feel like you.

How To Wear Necklaces (And Which Ones To Buy)

When you think of men’s necklaces your mind may go to celebrities decked out in attention grabbing chains but rest assured that image is not reflective of the understated way most men wear necklaces.

Photo by Sirio

Worn alone or layered, necklaces can dress up a casual look and add a sexy edge to your style.

Colorful Glass Beaded Necklace

If you aren’t afraid of color and like more natural materials you cannot go wrong with this colorful strand of beads handmade in India.

18east Ankit Colorful Glass Beaded Necklace

"Strung from a hand-selected mix of beautifully irregular Indian frosted and matte glass beads, our Ankit necklace is the perfect low key touch of color for any fit. Proudly made by hand in India." –18east

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Try pairing this necklace with a simple white t-shirt, or even with other necklaces like a simple chain, for an instantly hip look.

Silver Box Chain Necklace

A classic silver chain is a men’s staple and you cannot do better than this beautiful box chain from David Yurman. On most men this will hit right at your sternum and it is thin enough to wear on top of your shirt with confidence or to simply slide right under your shirt, offering just a glimmer of interest.

David Yurman Small Box Chain Necklace

2.7mm wide sterling silver necklace with a lobster clasp closure, made in the USA.

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A chain like this is an essential staple piece perfect for layering with necklaces of different weights, materials, and lengths.

Gold Pendant Necklace

This Northskull selection is a versatile pendant necklace that exudes luxury and taste at an affordable price point.

Northskull Trigonum Necklace In Gold

"The Trigonum Necklace is a Northskull piece that emanates understated sophistication. Designed with a triangular charm finished in gold vermeil, this luxurious accessory will complement a variety of styles to create a contemporary look." –Wolf&Badger

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The gold triangle pendant on a simple chain makes a statement while remaining understated. The more you wear a piece like this, the more you will come to value having it in your collection. 

The Best Rings For Men To Wear

Rings are one of the most foundational and expressive men’s jewelry items.

men wearing jewelry closeup rings and bracelets
Photo by Sirio

You can really go anywhere with your ring style as it suits your mood, paring it down to a simple pinky ring when feeling minimal or adorning multiple fingers with varying shapes when in the mood for excess.

Sterling Silver Band

This sterling silver band with black detailing gives you a rustic, western feel without hitting you over the head with it. It feels rugged but modern and is a thin enough band that it will stand out just the right amount for those new to ring wearing.

This ring can certainly hold its own but would also look great paired with other rings or silver pieces.

Gold Signet Ring

A signet ring is a true menswear classic and one of the best entry points for men getting into jewelry. Plus it has an extensive history, and nowadays, you can wear it on practically any finger.

This bold signet ring by Miansai can be customized with anywhere from one to three initials, making it an affordable instant heirloom.

A more contemporary, unique ring

Another ring option from Miansai, this time with a more contemporary look. The matte black and mesh design of this ring are a minimal and masculine update on a classic men’s band.

Moore Mesh Ring in Matte Black Rhodium

"Distinctive design brings out the best in every season with our Moore Mesh Ring for men in matte black." –Miansai

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Made from sterling silver, this is a ring you can wear right now and look on trend while being assured it will remain looking great for years to come. 

Great Bracelets For Men

Paired with a watch or ring, or worn solo, a bracelet is an un-intimidating entry level jewelry piece for men.

men wearing jewelry closeup bracelet and rings
Photo by Sirio

Adding a touch of interest at the end of your shirtsleeve, or even just peeking out beneath it, a bracelet is a thoughtful touch to any outfit. Easy to wear and with a lot of affordable options in a wide range of materials this is a place for any man to start.

Mixed Materials – Rope and Silver bracelet

A deceptively detailed bracelet at an affordable price, this vegan and sustainably made bracelet made of durable rope and hammered silver is made to be worn often.

You don’t have to be precious about this waterproof bracelet that fits seamlessly into the casual men’s wardrobe, especially if your aesthetic leans denim and classic Americana.

Stone beaded bracelet

The stone bead bracelet has been a popular choice with men for years. It’s an easy way to dip your toe into the world of men’s jewelry, and there are so many variations, in terms of bead size and bead color.

This silver and black beaded bracelet is an elevated take on a bohemian classic. Pair this with a silver watch or wear it on its own for a clean look.

Cuff bracelet

This brass cuff with a patina finish is a great starter piece for a man venturing into jewelry. Brass comes at a much more affordable price point than precious metals like silver and gold and what you lose in price you gain in character.

Studebaker Metals Classic Cuff
Starting at $58

Hand-forged, classic straight body. Outside hallmark: crossed hammers. Inside hallmarks: "Studebaker" and "PGH USA". All sterling silver is hallmarked ".925" inside. Available in work patina or high-polish finish. 4 mm wide, 4 mm thick.

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The hammered metal and matte finish give this a masculine, easy to wear look that will look great on its own or paired with other flashier pieces. 

The Best Men’s Watches?

Perhaps the most classic of all men’s jewelry pieces is the watch. A great watch is not only functional and wearable, it also serves as that finishing piece that makes you feel confident walking out the door. 

The Daily Wearer Watch

Detroit based brand Shinola produces beautiful and affordable watches in endless combinations. While Shinola recreates classics, if you’re on a budget, you could explore similar models from historic brands like Timex and Seiko.

If you have a more casual or streetwear style this navy-on-navy timepiece with a silicon strap communicates that you value functional but stylish ease. 

The Dress Watch

If you are interested in a watch on the more luxurious end of things you can’t go wrong with this timeless stainless steel number by Baume Mercier.

Baume & Mercier Silver Classima Automatic 40mm, M0A10374

"The neat 40mm stainless steel reference houses a silvered opaline dial with elegant guilloché detailing and the collection's signature gilt Roman numerals and slender leaf hands. It features a date aperture at three o'clock and is powered by a reliable Sellita SW 200 automatic movement which can be admired through the exhibition case back." –Mr. Porter

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The gilt details and roman numerals on this watch face make this a special but imminently wearable piece. And if you have a slightly more flexible budget, you could find a nice vintage Rolex for not that much more.

How to Wear Men’s Jewelry

1. Start with the classics

When building your men’s jewelry collection you start with the classics for a reason: they go with everything and you are going to get a lot of wear out of each piece.

Not only are classic pieces easy to wear, they will fit so seamlessly into your wardrobe that you will begin making jewelry a part of your everyday look before you know it.

If in your budget, look for quality pieces in sturdy metals like gold, silver, and bronze to build your collection around. 

2. Still a beginner? Just keep it simple

Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.

Coco Chanel

Legendary fashion designer, Coco Chanel, famously said the quote above, and for men getting into jewelry, you are wise to follow this same advice many women have been heeded for at least a century.

You want your jewelry pieces to add to, rather than distract from, your outfit and your presence.

3. More Advanced? Layer your jewelry

A minimal style can be great, especially when just getting started, and you may find that is what you like best.

But if you do want to play with your look, begin layering your pieces to create dimension and express your personal style. 

Photo by Jose Carrasco

When wearing multiple necklaces, you have another opportunity to layer pieces for a cohesive look. Try pairing a chunkier necklace with a thinner one for contrast, and / or mix up the lengths to provide dimension. 

4. Don’t be afraid to mix and match

The days of matchy-matchy jewelry went out of style around the time of pleated pants and sweater sets. Much like today’s style in general, today’s jewelry is all about mixing pieces to create your own look.

Play around by pairing silver with gold, high and low price points, metals with natural materials, and trendy with classic styles. A luxury watch paired with a beaded bracelet, for example, will give a personal style to your look that is both versatile and contemporary. 

5. Like Nike, but for jewelry: Just wear it

Jewelry is meant to be worn, not kept in a box on your dresser.

Especially with investment or luxury pieces it is natural to be hesitant to wear your pieces out or to have the instinct to save it for special occasions but jewelry, especially when made from quality materials, is made to last.

Be sure to ask about care instructions for cleaning if you want to keep it looking fresh, but some materials like brass look even better when a little worn in. 

When you are just starting out your collection, you want to select pieces that feel like you, that are comfortable, and that you want to wear often. It can always feel a little scary to start rocking a new look, but there is no better way to start getting the feel for what men’s jewelry can do for your style than to go for it.

Wear it and enjoy it! That is why you bought it after all.

Have you had a tough time wearing jewelry? Does this help?

Would love to hear from you!

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