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A Man’s Guide to Wearing Jewelry


It is often assumed that jewelry is for the ladies, but a well-placed ring or bracelet can look sophisticated and stylish on a man.

Chunky jewelry is masculine

Know what to wear

Wearing jewelry does not mean you forgo looking manly – in fact, it can even add a touch of masculinity to your outfit. The key is to wear pieces that are thicker than delicate women’s jewelry. However, there’s a point at which your jewelry is too chunky. You want to look stylish, not like a pirate weighed down by his gold.

Black leather is a common feature of men’s watches, which distinguishes it from ladies’ jewelry. You don’t want to overdo the leather though, you’re going for a sophisticated look rather than emulating a goth. Braided leather is an option if you’re conscious of distancing yourself from the goth look.

Masculine pieces often have square shapes or strong angles featured in the design. For example, a ring may culminate in a rectangular shape embedded with stones, and a bracelet may have thick curb links.

Match the size of your jewelry to your build

When jewelry is the wrong size, you can tell straight away. It just doesn’t look good. If you’re a bigger guy, you should be wearing thick jewelry; if you have a small build then more slimline jewelry will suit. Necklace length should be proportionate to your height. Short men can carry off short chains which sit on the collarbone but look ridiculous with long chains, while it goes the other way for larger men. Strongly angular jewelry suits men with a small build, while if you have a big build you have the freedom to wear more rounded shapes as well.

Keep the colors simple

Pulling off multiple tones at the same time is difficult. As a general rule, wear one color of jewelry at a time. Pick your metal and stick to it. Yellow gold looks fantastic on tanned skin or those with red or red tinged hair; while silver, titanium and platinum suit pale skin and dark hair.

Colored stones in men’s jewelry is a bit contentious. Gems can look tacky and make you look like you think you’re royalty. However, they’re definitely an attention-grabbing statement and a sure conversation starter. Whether or not you choose to incorporate gemstones into your jewelry depends on your personal style. Certainly any precious stones should be kept small, because large stones look fake and gaudy.

Men’s jewelry mistakes

Wearing one necklace is elegant, two is eye-catching, and three is pushing it. Any more than that and you look like a pimp. Keep your jewelry limited to a few pieces at a time.

You also need to ensure your look is balanced. Wearing three bracelets on one wrist and you’ll look like you’re in danger of tipping over. Shift one of the bracelets over to your other wrist.

Pieces that you wear daily can get grimy- rings are particularly prone to getting dirty. Dull, greasy and dirty jewelry is unsightly. When your jewelry is looking a little worse for wear, clean it or it will be attracting attention for the wrong reasons.

About Natasha Abrahams

Natasha Abrahams is a writer and journalism student from Melbourne, Australia. When she is not busy with being a principal writer on Weekendnotes or skipping lectures, she can be found emptying her wallet at the nearest shopping centre. You can read more from Natasha at:

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  1. Cameron

    October 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Any suggestions on where to buy men’s jewelry online? I can’t find anywhere that is reasonably priced and have a good selection…

  2. Natasha

    October 3, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Hi Cameron,
    I would be cautious about buying jewelry online. You can’t always trust what you’re buying to be genuine! If you’re searching for accessories rather than high-end jewelry, sites such as Asos and Topman will do the trick. Gilt is definitely one to check out if you’re in the US, but their jewelry selection is limited to cufflinks and watches. For real jewelry online, shop somewhere reputable such as Tiffany & Co (their prices can hardly be described as reasonable though).


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