A Guide to Man Jewelry

July 1st, 2015

When it comes to man jewelry, generally, less is more. A couple tastefully selected pieces that compliment each other (not a “matching set”) can be all you need to polish off a simple summer look. These ornaments should reflect your character and be consistent with your personal style. For example, a gold rope chain sends a much different message than a leather bolo tie.

My advice; leave the costume jewelry to the ladies. Stick to small refined touches that are versatile and not competing to the eye. If they have sentimental value, family history, or a great back-story; even better.

We know man jewelry can be a little tricky and, just like the menswear scene in general, there’s a lot of crap out there. So we put together this quick little guide for you.

In my opinion, a stylish man’s jewelry case should contain the following:

One Classic Timepiece


A neutral-faced, medium-sized watch with a crocodile band is one piece of jewelry that I wear almost every day. Keep it simple, elegant and easy on the eyes in order to last the test of time. For more on this topic check out our Guide to Investing in a Timepiece. 

A Couple Pairs of Cufflinks


Here’s one area where a man can have a little fun with his outfit and show some personality, even in the most conservative environments. I would avoid anything overly novelty like a sports team logo, but I’ve seen some very clever cufflinks; silver shears for the tailor, gold clippers for the barber. If you look long enough (especially in vintage shops and places like eBay) you can find virtually anything. Personally, the silver retro sneakers above are one of my favorite pairs.

A Thin Necklace (or Two)



Necklaces are one of the best accessories for casual summer outfits, when necklines are usually a little lower. Keep it to one, maybe two, classic metals that are thin and minimal. Personally, I really like Philip Crangi‘s necklace collection over at Giles & Brother.

Some Simple Bracelets



I’m not much of a bracelet guy, but I know some guys (like Neil here) who wear them very well. His looks are often simple (though expertly tailored) so the bracelets give it a little something extra. Again, the key is keeping them understated, but not overly delicate. No need to stack a whole bunch of them like it’s 2009, unless you got style like that.

Non-Delicate Rings



When it comes to rings I suggest avoiding the delicate or dainty and looking for something strong and masculine, with a little broken-in character. Vintage stores are a great place to start – remember if there is something you love but doesn’t fit, you can always have it sized.

A Pocket Watch



For all you throwback cats out there. Keep it in your waistcoat pocket, or the secret pocket under your trouser waistband (which was originally designed for this purpose). Just remember to wind it, and never wear it with a watch.

A Collar Pin



When you feel like bringing out your preppy side, or your old-school side, or your dandy side. I like the safety pin style (even though it pierces a hole in the collar) because I don’t have a ton of eyelet shirts.

A Couple Tie Bars



The best way to find tie bars (as with many vintage accessories) is to buy a “vintage lot” on eBay. Chances are there will be a couple keepers in the pile of random jewelry that arrives in the mail. That’s what my friend Niyi here used to do, and he’s always wearing a cool “new” bar.

So what’s your jewelry kit look like? Did I forget anything? Use the comments below.

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier

Photography by Alex Crawford. Lead image by Brent Eysler. 

  • http://www.acsilver.co.uk Gemma Tubbrit

    This is a really well written summary for the basics of men’s jewelry! The timepieces are especially important for gentlemen, in my opinion! Nothing exudes class more than a vintage or antique watch, particularly when paired with other subtle pieces of men’s antique jewelry.
    Often men fall in love with the history and rarity of antique men’s jewelry, knowing that no one else has a piece like theirs and that there is a story behind their jewelry. Whether it’s a pair of sophisticated antique cufflinks, or an all-out pocket watch and chain combination, these items look classic and timeless with any formal outfit.

  • Jeffc2

    A quality time piece is #1.

  • Madalin Dumitru Pauna

    I usually wear more bracelets than an average man , that`s because I love bracelets and I like what they can do with my outfit if I wear them right.
    And my love for bracelets turn in a business maybe , because recently I started to make hand-made bracelets and try to make people to see what I see. Maybe anyone is interested to see what I do , just take a look on my facebook page , search : RM Jewels :)
    P.S. Awesome article , and nice pictures! I love it!

  • AdamE

    Wedding band, watch, and tie bar are my regular pieces… I have a few tie bar options, all very similar and minimal, just of different lengths (for different widths of tie) and a few different styles (pinch vs. slide).
    I have cufflinks (again pretty minimal, rectangular, silver outline, black center (cutting through it 3/4 to one side), that I’ll wear occasionally with French cuff shirts (I also have some convertible cuffs that i’ll wear the cufflinks with for more formal occasions).

    Haven’t bridged into the neckwear (since I wear ties most of the time)/bracelet realm…

  • JM

    Great post! I’ve always been told the pocket under the waistband was originally designed for a lighter of S.T. Dupont, hence the name “Dupont Pocket”?

  • DJ Hargrave

    The most important are probably the first time piece and the casual bracelets..every day essentials!

    DJ- http://www.tailormade-style.com

  • JoeFromTexas

    Looking at your instagram – excited to Jesse Thorn on deck!

  • http://unseenflirtspoetry.wordpress.com Unseen Flirtations

    Wedding band. If you’re married.

  • tommyjohn_45

    Solid post.. I tend to stick with the minimalist watch (and my wedding ring of course). Occasionally I will go with some cufflinks and the odd tie bar/pin when necessary, however. I love pocket watches, but haven’t delved into that realm just yet. I will say, Etsy is a great place for unique/affordable man jewelry. I’ve snagged a vintage baseball bat (ex-ball player) tie clip in bronze and a .45 bullet end tie pin for under $10.