There was once a time when the only piece of jewelry you might find on a man would be his wedding ring. You might find a class ring or signet ring, but, apart from these, that’s really all you could expect to find in men’s jewelry. Tastes and styles have changed dramatically for men’s fashion of late, though, and we’re now seeing a large upsurge in the amount and variety of jewelry that men are using to accessorize their fashion choices.
Perhaps this is because so many different options are available now, as opposed to only a few that may not reflect everyone’s personalities. Maybe it’s the other way around, with demand itself creating this boom in men’s jewelry styles and trends. Either way, there are so many more avenues for personal expression open to men today than ever before.
Men are branching out into all aspects of jewelry, from necklaces and rings to bracelets, and even earrings. Types of jewelry are no longer so closely associated with feminine or masculine roles, instead focusing on how all of these different types of jewelry can be designed and styled to reflect individual wearers, no matter their gender.
Of course, the way in which men’s jewelry tends to be expressed in all forms still settles more towards masculine design aspects. For necklaces, chains tend to be thicker and with more of an emphasis on durability than style – although this too seems to be changing. A variety of materials are being put to good use for men’s necklaces, from stainless steel, gold, silver, and platinum to leather, hemp, and even titanium. Precious and semi-precious stones are also particularly popular, with diamonds acting as the most versatile of the stones. Necklaces for men also typically feature onyx, amber, obsidian, smoky topaz, and sapphire. Pendants in silver or gold act as excellent statement pieces as well.
Bracelets, perhaps traditionally seen as more of a feminine accessory, are having a sort of revitalization in men’s jewelry. Beadwork, typically in colors like black, red, and blue, are showing up in men’s fashion bracelets, as well as materials like leather, which is often used to create a cord rather than a wide leather band. Bracelets that utilize traditional precious metals are also very popular, again with the design of each individual piece working to create a look that appeals more to men than women.
Wood tones have become extremely popular in men’s jewelry, with some bracelets featuring exotic woods that have been polished and linked together, even with small stones set into each link. Combination pieces are also very popular, with the juxtaposition of inorganic materials, such as stainless steel or titanium, with more organic choices like leather, hemp, or rope acting as popular contemporary combinations.
Earrings are also having a bit of a surge in men’s jewelry, with the typical style being something that’s more minimalist and that tends to sit tighter to the ear – i.e. something that doesn’t dangle. Diamond studs are steadily gaining in popularity, with the idea being that the larger the stone, the better. Dark stones, like onyx, are also rather popular. In fact, black has become a desired choice in men’s jewelry, with earrings and other pieces featuring not only dark stones, but black metal finishes. This may be because black is seen as less extravagant and more down to earth or simplistic – something that seems to appeal to a lot of men.
Other rising trends with earrings involve piercing both ears, rather than just one, and with the growing use of gauges. Gauges were once part of alternative styles, but have become more mainstream in recent years, with a large variety of styles and colors available. Many men who opt for gauges from a mainstream fashion point of view go for something that creates a smaller, less dramatic hole, turning the focus away from increasing the size of the gauge to highlighting the different gauges of the same size that can be worn in accordance with the wearer’s day-to-day preference.
Of all of the pieces of jewelry available to men, though, the most popular and long-lasting has got to be rings. Men have always worn rings, and are likely to continue wearing them, especially considering the explosion of possibilities in the jewelry market.
A big trend that shows no sign of fading away is the use of titanium in rings. Titanium is typically stronger, more durable, and more lightweight than other precious metal options on the market – not to mention, it’s a great deal more cost-effective. Titanium can be worked in a variety of ways, and lends itself well to inlays, engravings, and gemstones.
In fact, inlays tend to be very popular not only with titanium rings, but with rings of all metals. Alternating the types of materials used, such as having a titanium, silver, or platinum band with an inlay of an exotic wood veneer, is showing itself to be a steady trend.
Indeed, men’s jewelry is turning more and more toward innovation and design, whereas in the past the emphasis tended to always be on a more minimalist style. Men seem to have become extremely bored with this, feeling that such styles reflect only a certain personality type rather than the wide ranges of types expressed by men all across the globe. With more of an emphasis being put into the choice of materials, the variety of designs and styles, and the marketing of different types of jewelry pieces, men are finally seeing a true variety of options that allow them to express their own unique styles.
Such a multitude of options is also allowing men to buy more jewelry, so that instead of wearing just one ring or necklace all of the time, they can switch out pieces depending on their mood or the sort of social situation they plan on stepping into. Thus, jewelry for men has expanded so profusely that men can now easily accessorize for business, formal, and casual occasions, staying within accepted guidelines for each situation without having to sacrifice personal style.