A man's guide to wearing jewelry
By Jenny Ricker
From Style + Tech For Men
Question: "I like the idea of wearing jewelry, but I don't want to look too flashy or feminine -- or like 50 Cent. What kind of bling signals success, what's too girlie and what's simply too much?"
Old-school thinking says that jewelry is strictly for women, and that real men don't wear anything other than a watch and maybe a wedding ring.
Wow, have times changed. Today, everyone from celebs to CEOs to rappers sport plenty of bling.
In my business as a Hollywood stylist, I'm keenly aware of the subtle messages that jewelry sends. There's far more gaudy stuff out there than stylish lines, but a few well-chosen pieces can add understated class to your look.
Your watch is your No. 1 accessory.
It communicates your style, your level of success and your status as a conformist or nonconformist. Men check out each other's watches the way women check out others' diamonds.
If you can afford it, you can never go wrong with a Rolex, Cartier or TAG Heuer. But there are more affordable options that I love, like this Swiss-made flip-face Jaeger-LeCoultre watch.
Bracelets are OK.
If your style is smart-casual, you can wear a bracelet that isn't showy or ostentatious, like this warm leather one from M. Cohen. It looks cool -- without trying too hard.
Gritty, earthy pieces made with oxidized metal or leather are also acceptable, but just one per customer, please. Leave the layered look to the ladies. And unless you're a glam rocker, don't even think about wearing a dainty link chain or diamond pave bracelet.
Rings on men shouldn't be attention-grabbers.
A simple wedding band is classy, as is a school ring -- but not if you went to community college. Another good rule of thumb: no pinkie rings. And unless your band has a major record deal, no bling on the thumb, pointer or middle finger, either.
There's nothing wrong with a simple, thin neck chain.
But don't go too thick, as that screams "mobster." Make sure it's long enough to tuck into your shirt, without bulking through.
Tie Accessories are way cool.
Gentry tie bars are very "Mad Men." I love their antique finishes and how they're designed to fit today's slimmer ties. Go for tie accessories with either a flat or textured front. You'll be glad you did.
The great earring debate.
I have just one word: Don't!
Jenny Ricker is a Los Angeles–based fashion stylist. Her clients have included Zac Efron, John Hamm and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. She is known for her imaginative combination of new and vintage styles.
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