Buying Jewelry for Men

Buying Jewelry for Men
Men are paying more attention to their appearance these days and often they like to incorporate jewelry such as rings, bracelets and watches, cufflinks and necklaces into their personal style. By accessorizing with jewelry, they are able to express their personality in a way that a sports team logo emblazoned on a t-shirt or baseball cap can’t.

You may think that men’s relationship to jewelry is very different from the way women relate to it. That may be true, but jewelry can be a great gift for the man in your life, especially if you understand how to select specific pieces for him.

Lori Ettlinger Gross, a writer and jewelry historian, claims that when it comes to men and jewelry…it is about degrees. She tells me “…most will wear a watch or a wedding ring, others might
feel ok wearing another type of ring. Cuff links are a wardrobe necessity for formal occasions, especially if a stapler isn't handy -- I know a lot of men who, while at work, have resorted to the stapler when they've forgotten/neglected their cufflinks. Neck chains and bracelets are iffy for some men, it really depends on your guy; some find them annoying, others, the trend-savvy types, may even wear a single pearl strung on a leather cord.”

Being that there are so many options available, how can you narrow down your choices to find the right gift selection for your man? Once you decide on what sort of jewelry you are going to get for him, there are other factors to consider as well. Lori recommends considering color and motif, “…metal color is as important to men as it is to women. Gold is showier but warmer, and white metal is formal but not as obvious. If he wears a favorite watch, what is the color of the metal? What is the style of his timepiece? Is it sleek and modern, or more conservative and traditional?”

“Motif should be considered too. Tailor these elements as you would a suit for him. If he prefers subtle patterns, like pin stripes, then stick to motifs that are quiet and more subdued. If he likes to be on trend and reads the magazines, then you can go for a contemporary look, titanium is something that you could consider. For the modern guy, motifs can run the gamut, but I'd stick to something that reflects his interests, that makes it more personal when it comes to gift giving.”

One final thought from Lori … “The important thing is to really know the man for whom you are buying a gift of jewelry. Never assume that he will wear it because you gave it to him. It could end up being worn once or twice and then collect expensive dust in a dresser drawer” I guess men and women aren’t so different after all when it comes to jewelry.

Special thanks to Lori Ettlinger Gross for her comments and insight into this subject. Her first book Brooches: Timeless Adornment (Rizzoli, May 2008) is available online and in bookstores. Her blog,, is a journal that explores and reports on the world of jewelry, from fashion, styling advice, and trends to contemporary collections and history.

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