Keep It Elegant – Keep It Simple
The golden rule with jewellery is if you are in doubt, keep it simple. Start with a classic leather-strapped silver watch. If you regularly wear a watch and can afford it, then you may wish to purchase a sportier diving watch with a stainless steel band. Only then, should you extend out to tie accessories and cufflinks? Once you’re comfortable wearing these everyday pieces, then you can start to introduce other jewellery pieces like bracelets, if you choose.
Put Like With Like
Most men’s jewellery is metallic with gold and silver tones being the most common. Your outfits should only feature one metal tone at a time (although there is a trend today to have bi-metallic pieces such as Cartier feature in abundance).
Gold is a warmer colour and reads, predictably, like a yellow accent in terms of the colour wheel. It goes well with browns and other earth tones, as well as with deep hues like royal blue or hunter green. Watch for varying tones if you’re buying several pieces of gold jewellery. Gold comes in a huge range of tones and you may end up with pieces that don’t match or complement each other.
Silver and silver-tone metals like polished stainless steel or chrome have neutral colours. They appear as greys which mean they don’t clash too sharply with anything, but also don’t provide the same eye-catching contrasts that well-worn gold can. You can pair silver jewellery with black or dark grey clothing for a sleek, timeless look, or you can wear it with lighter colours in the summer without the fear of it overpowering your clothing.
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 jewellery in more casual outfits and special pieces such as an heirloom copper ring or antique curiosity pieces.
Precious stones need to be kept to a real minimum. No matter how egalitarian you want to get about it, they’re still feminine to many people. A single colour of stone on a ring or a single coloured ear stud is the limit. Anything beyond that is either flaunting your wealth in an obnoxious way or just plain vulgar.
Leather is an unusual choice for anyone who isn’t a teenager or a rebel. If you’re going to wear it, make sure it’s in natural earth tones, not dyed black and never with eye catching oversized metal studs.
Wooden pieces are starting to show up more and more in men’s jewellery, often in reference to today’s various ethnic styles. If you’re going to wear unusual materials like that then it needs to stand out a bit to really work.
The general relaxations for colour matching are wedding bands and heirloom pieces. A man can always wear his wedding band and if it doesn’t go with your other metal pieces, don’t worry. It’ll just draw a bit of attention and there’s nothing wrong with having people notice the visible symbol of your commitment.
Remember That Jewellery Is Symbolic
You should apply real caution when wearing jewellery pieces outside the normal style. It’s easy to appear flashy when you start including bespoke jewellery in your daily aesthetic. However, jewellery can add a helpful bit of colour and uniqueness to an outfit. So how does a well-dressed man balance it? Well, the most obvious rules are by avoiding ostentatious styles and trying to keep everything metallic small and sleek.
Other items that have meaning might include a fraternal insignia, a military service pin, or an athletic ring or necklace which can be conversation starters and also meaningful within the situation. (You should also know when to wear these pieces.) Save your best pieces for the big occasions in life, when you can pull out your watch and cufflinks for that added feel-good factor.
Obey Your Dress Codes And Surroundings
In the business world, company dress codes can and will restrict male jewellery. This will often be phrased in a politically correct tone such as, “Men should only wear tasteful pieces of jewellery,” you’ll find in practice that this means conforming to the status quo. Businesses that request “modest” or “appropriate” jewellery, or other words along those lines, prefer things be limited to the traditional “masculine” styles of jewellery. This includes tie accents, watches, cuff-links, wedding bands, and lapel pins. Over the last decade, many companies have expanded this to include bracelets, earrings, and ethnic jewellery as well, but subtly.
Even still today, piercings other than earrings are still risky even in casual settings. If your office or social circles are comfortable with nose or lip piercings, that’s progressive, but it’s still going to seem off-putting to some people that you interact with, so try to take this into consideration when you’re completing your accessorised look in the morning.