Men’s Jewelry, What’s the Deal?
Men’s clothing options are generally limited, especially if you’re dressing up you’re mostly confined to a suit, where the only opportunity for some personal style is with the accessories and details. This is where men’s jewelry gives a unique space for a guy to add some personal flair to their outfits. Jewelry can go a long way to get a look that stands out in the crowd of suits. Not as many men wear jewelry compared to women so when they do, it doesn’t go unnoticed.
What Kind of Jewelry do Men Prefer?
Typically, men will gravitate toward simpler designs. Bands of leather, chains or a metallic cuff. The personalization comes with small details of items, colors or life events that are meaningful to them, or simply colors they like that go with lots of their wardrobe.
As far as colorways and material earth tones, leather and chain are the biggest winners here. Matte, natural colors and a minimal amount of bling and shine. Men will typically prefer subtle jewelry that accents what their wearing, but is far from being the feature of their outfit.
A watch has been a long-standing staple for men’s jewelry. If a guy wears a watch there is no reason to not also have a bracelet on that wrist, but lean toward something small that matches the watch and doesn’t take away from it being the party piece in too big of a way.
Stacking bracelets is common for women and also works great for men’s styles! Stacking 2-3 thinner or generally smaller bracelets is a popular look. The styles of these bracelets can either be a perfect match or just styles and colors that complement each other well.
Paracord is another material that is pretty popular in men’s designs. Designs incorporating it are especially great for a guy who frequents a tent, canoe or other adventure style activities, since the paracord itself could end up being very useful for some practical purposes in a bind.
Overall, make it look like you aren’t trying. Effortless appearance in style is what makes it work best. Just like everyone who wears jewelry, wear something that brings you confidence.
Design, What to Look For
Some of this we covered in the section above, but there are a few things that you should keep in mind when designing jewelry for men. When you’re planning your design consider making something durable. Men tend to be less careful with their jewelry than women and will also frequently wear them while doing projects, yardwork or other things around the house that could potentially break something fragile. If you decide on using some type of glass bead, consider trying to protect it a bit with leather on both sides.
Don’t forget to consider designs you’ve used for yourself or friends in the past. Many of those designs work great for Men’s jewelry but, with a few small changes to the materials and/or color way. I personally think almost all of the designs done by Diakonos Designs could be worn by men or women.
Always keep in mind that everyone’s taste is different, and, these are a general rule of thumb. Some guys will like lots of color and shine, it just depends on their personal taste. Plus, 2021 men’s jewelry trends are saying a dash of bright color will be a popular look in this coming year, so be bold. If you know the person you’re making your jewelry for make what you think they’ll like. But, if you’re designing for men in general these are a good set of ideas to start from. Make sure you don’t forget, rules are made to be broken, let your creativity go wild and make something you love! At the end of the day, enjoying what you’ve made is far more important than following trends.
What Ricky from Dakota Stones thinks about Men's Jewelry:
Q: Do you have a favorite style in your jewelry?
A: Since my grandfather passed along his southwestern jewelry collection to me I've always had a soft spot for that style. I would like to think my work is a nod to that style without being a complete copy. I like to use sterling silver in most my work along with darker neutral tones as spacer and sometimes black or natural leather. I feel that it complements the gemstones and still gives it a masculine feel while remaining ambiguous at the same time.
Q: You’re obviously a gemstone fan, do you have a favorite stone to use in jewelry, and why?
A: Well, if you couldn't guess what it would be from the previous question its turquoise. About 15 years ago after my grandfather passed away and my grandmother gave me his collection. It was all turquoise jewelry. I've appreciated it ever since. Working for Dakota Stones and traveling to Tucson every year has really ramped up my collection and infatuation with it. Some might say I'm kind of obsessed.
Q: Do you think there is anything specific that sets men’s jewelry apart from Women’s?
A: Yes and no. I would like to think that my style is ambiguous but I have made more pieces for gentlemen. I think the majority of what I have made has been bracelets in the 10mm range with complimentary metal bead or beads somewhere in the piece. Simple and not too flashy. I've found that most guys that I've made bracelets for don't normally where anything. They want it to be simple and something they don't have to work too hard to take it on or off or put in any maintenance.
Metal Bracelet Cuff
This one is pretty easy. Just a simple cuff, all you have to do is put it on. It adds a nice metallic flair while still being understated.
Overall these designs are pretty easy to put together. I’m going for an understated simple look that has just enough flair to be noticed but not be the feature of my look. First you want to get the right length of chain. I am using a matte black paperclip chain. If you’re able to measure for the person you’re making it for that’s the best option. But, if you’re not able to do that the average man’s wrist size is around 8 inches. That’s a good size to go with if you’re not making it for a specific person.
Anyway, on to the assembly of the chain bracelet. All you need to do is cut your length of chain to the appropriate length, then using pliers open the matte black jump rings and put them on the ends of the chain. Keeping the jump rings open add the magnetic clasp into the jump ring then close the jump ring. It’s as simple as that!
Leather with Gemstone Bracelet
I’m looking for this piece to be a small touch of color from the flashing blues of the large hole labradorite, which will contrast well with the black and silver we have in the rest of the design. Then, a nice finish with a TierraCast button.
To make this final piece of our stack you will start by cutting a length of .5mm black round leather. Cut it to twice the length of your chain from the previous bracelet, but you’ll be doubling up the leather. Also, leave an inch or two extra for your knot to finish it. First, tie the button in the middle of your length of leather. I used a simple overhand knot. I then added another knot about an inch further up to provide a stop for the gemstones. Next slide on your large hole labradorite beads. I’m going to be using 7 stones simply because I prefer not feeling the beads wrapping around my wrist and 7 will keep it on top. Of course you can change this and add more beads if you’d like! Once the beads are on you just tie your knot like you did on the other side to hold the beads together. Finally, add a knot to close the leather at the end and give a place for your button to hold it all together, then trim any leftover leather! Then put all of these pieces on one wrist and you’re ready to go!