Men’s Guide to Jewelry

It's perfectly understandable to assume that jewelry isn't really a "guy's" kind of fashion accessory. Most people hear the term and call to mind images of women wearing fancy bracelets, rings, necklaces and more. Because of that, many think that jewelry is one of those gender-specific items that has a very specific place. It's understandable to think that way... but it's also far from accurate. In truth, men wear jewelry all the time – not necessarily in the way that the term is traditionally defined. Nobody would look at a man wearing a wedding ring, a golf bracelet or a class ring and think anything of it. You wouldn't think differently of a macho guy wearing his football championship ring – you'd probably want him to talk about it and hear his stories of how hard he had to work to earn it. Jewelry often carries a unique meaning for both men and women. As a man who appreciates accessorizing and uses jewelry to make a statement about my personality, accomplishments and the milestones in my life through them, I've dedicated a big part of my life to helping as many people as possible do precisely that!

Why Do Men Wear Jewelry?

Men’s jewelry can be chosen and customized for a wide array of different reasons – not just for its meaning alone. You also have to think of factors like the size, shape and even the material that it's made out of. There is a special symbolism behind every decision, and none of them are to be made lightly. Even something as seemingly simple as a necklace can be a lot more than just another flashy accessory. Depending on the pendant, it may serve as a constant reminder of your faith. It might be a way to easily remember a friend, family member or other loved one that you've sadly lost. It could be a constant opportunity to reflect on where you came from or, in a lot of cases, where you might be headed. Yes, it's a necklace – but it's also so much more than that at the same time. All of this is important to me, and if there's one thing I know with certainty, it's that I'm not alone. I pride myself on offering necklaces, bracelets and rings to men who appreciate what these items really say when we wear them. In my mind, I'm not actually selling jewelry at all. I'm selling a story – and I want to do whatever it takes to help you tell yours. Whether you already wear jewelry, if you've never really thought about it, or if you just don't really know what's "cool" for a man to wear, we could all use a little help every now and again. With that in mind, here are all the best tips, tricks and best practices that you can use to get the most out of your men's jewelry experience.

Men's Jewelry Tips

If you want to make a statement with your men's jewelry but don't want to go overboard, there are a number of important things you'll want to keep in mind. Things like:

Jewelry on Men: How Much is Too Much?

Whenever possible, try to keep it simple. Don't go overboard with the number of pieces you wear at any given time or you run the risk of distracting from the "story" you're trying to tell. A dog tag necklace alone will make a far greater statement if it isn't "fighting for attention" with rings on every finger, multiple bracelets and more. Or instead of those multiple bracelets, consider just one wide bracelet to make the same statement in a far more effective way.

Match your Metals

Always try to match your metals to create the most consistent look possible. If you're going to be wearing multiple pieces of jewelry, try to match silver with silver, or silver with chrome. Keeping the colors of these items in the same general scheme will help highlight the look you're going for, all while giving you a fresh and refined appearance along the way.

Single Stone at a Time

Limit your precious stones to just one at a time. They say that the best way to tell a story is by being short, sweet and to the point. Men's jewelry is the exact same way and wearing too many precious stones only overly complicates your look.

Men’s Jewelry Based on Occasion

Know what to wear versus when not to wear it. Always mind the "dress code" for wear you're going and acknowledge that some things are more appropriate in certain contexts than others. You'd never want to wear a fancy watch while running on the treadmill at the gym, for example. Shiny jewelry won't just look out of place – you could actually blind someone and put them in danger. Likewise, you'd never want to wear something "sportier" to a fancy and more intimate event like a wedding. Make an effort to understand where you're going and try to make the statement that is most appropriate. All told, there are three main types of men's jewelry for you to choose from depending on your needs. These include necklaces, rings and bracelets, all of which I'll go into greater detail about below.

Men’s Necklace Length Guide

If you're the type of man who wants to make a statement by sporting a necklace, the most important thing for you to understand is that different chain lengths should always be matched up with the most appropriate outfits. Generally speaking, a necklace length of about 20 inches is common for most men. The chain itself will probably fall between the first and second button on your shirt, although this will obviously vary depending on how thick your neck is. At this length, your necklace can be worn either inside or outside of your shirt depending on your preferences. This is also likely the length you would want to use if you were planning on wearing your necklace with a suit, as obviously you'd want it to be inside of your dress shirt, not outside. If you're going to be wearing a t-shirt, you can go a bit longer and get something that is 22 or even 24 inches. This allows you to wear your necklace outside of your shirt, which is ideal if you're also trying to show off a cross, a dog tag or some other type of pendant on the chain. This Pewter Live Brave Dog Tag Necklace is just one example of this, coming with a 24-inch stainless steel curb chain. It's a piece that tells everyone around you that you choose to live brave regardless of the obstacles or setbacks that you may face, making it the perfect accessory for more casual environments or events. It would be a great addition to your outfit for a night out on the town with your friends, or even to a lot of events where the dress code is a little more loose. This Sterling Silver Completeness Cross Necklace is another perfect example, once again coming with a 24-inch sterling silver curb chain. It has three hatch marks on each end which is important, as the number three signifies completeness in the Bible. As a result, it's the perfect accessory for absolutely any environment where you want to highlight your faith - from church to holiday events and much, much more.

Guide to Men's Rings

Along the same lines, rings are a great opportunity to show deep, meaningful connections to people or even places and events that are important to you. The classic example of this is a wedding ring, which obviously signifies the bond between two people. But a class ring may be a great way to remind yourself of your roots. A fraternal ring can illustrate the bond between your brothers, both literally in the case of siblings or figuratively in the case of friends or classmates. Championship rings can remind you of how hard you worked for your accomplishments or you could choose something purely decorative. The choice is yours. Regardless, rings are a great way to show off success and they are the most common type of jewelry for men out there. Of course, you'll want to limit the number of rings you're wearing at any given time to two or else you run the risk of cluttering and taking away from the look you're going for. For rings in particular, having one on every finger also isn't necessarily the best move you can make from a functionality standpoint - especially if they're made from thicker materials. It's also important to note that there is NO designated finger for your rings, so you can really wear them however you'd like. The only exception to this is a wedding ring, which is to be worn on the left ring finger. This Sterling Silver Collide with the Sky Ring is a perfect example of how meaningful rings can be, having been inspired by the nose cone of the F4U Corsair fighter plane used in World War II. As designed, this ring is intended to serve as a constant reminder that we can always rise to meet any challenge we face as we pursue our dreams and it can act as a constant source of inspiration for all who wear it. It has a smooth finish and can even be customized to hand stamp a name, word or date on the insight.

Men's Bracelets

Finally, we arrive at men's bracelets – items that have really gained a significant amount of popularity over the last few years in particular. Unlike rings or even necklaces, bracelets don't carry the same level of formality as their counterparts. They're used as accents to a particular look and because of that, you have many more options in terms of how to style men's bracelets than you probably think you do. It all comes down to what you're wearing and what would look best with the look you're trying to create. If you're putting together your formal attire for an event like a wedding, a metal cuff bracelet like this Sterling Silver Resiliency Cuff will do quite nicely. You can choose up to six bronze rivets depending on your needs, each one symbolizing another person who stands beside you as you pursue your dreams and the things that matter most to you in this life. If you're putting together more of a casual outfit, on the other hand, a stamped leather band like this Sterling Silver Brown Identity Leather Cuff would be much more appropriate. Made from brown water buffalo leather with a sterling silver tag, it has two snaps that allow the cuff to be adjusted to a smaller or a larger size as needed. It's a perfect way to remind us that we need to be true to ourselves, no matter what life happens to throw at us during our journey.

Men’s Jewelry Marks Milestones and More

As you can see, men's jewelry is a lot more sophisticated – and meaningful – than people tend to give it credit for. Whether you're trying to make a statement about your personality, show off your accomplishments or remember an important milestone in your life, the right type of jewelry can accomplish all of this and more – all while helping you create a fresh new look along the way. Just remember that when pulling that great look together, you'll want to limit the number of pieces you wear at any given time. Always take care to match your metals to create a visual consistency and limit any precious stones to just one at a time. Likewise, always know when to wear something versus when not to. If you're just heading out to a casual dinner with friends, the Sterling Silver Brown Identity Leather Cuff would make a great addition to your outfit. If you want to make sure you always have a firm connection with your faith, the Sterling Silver Completeness Cross Necklace can absolutely help do that. If you're going someplace more formal like a business event and want to keep the memory of someone important with you, you'd want an item more like the Sterling Silver Collide with the Sky Ring as outlined above. Regardless, in my mind the key takeaway from all of this is that men's jewelry is more than just the sum of its parts. It's the best opportunity you have to communicate your personality, your milestones and your achievements - all while making a fashion-forward statement in one fell swoop. People are finally starting to realize that jewelry isn't just for women any longer, and I for one feel like this revelation couldn't have come along at a better moment. If you're interested in finding out more about what you can do for your look with the right men's jewelry by your side, or if you just have any additional questions about styles or materials that you can choose from, please don't delay – contact me today. You can also click here to shop the Stephen Leonard Collection – my collection of artisan handmade jewelry and accessories that help you tell your personal story in the most expressive way possible, no matter what.

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