Return of Gentlemen’s Jewelry: Men’s Jewelry Trends
There was a time not so long ago when men’s jewelry was limited to few select choices—stylized cufflinks, tie tacks, button covers, or a tasteful ring—to offset their look. “Less is more” underscored the unspoken rule. More recently, however, men’s jewelry has expanded to offer a much wider array of choices. Whether the media or a celebrity culture has exerted its influence, the younger generation’s desire for more options to emblemize their individuality has become the modern norm.
The origins of this trend may be many but the consensus singular. Modern men can accessorize in any way that women can: earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. The key difference is not in the type of jewelry, but the material from which it is made. Titanium, platinum, and tungsten are the materials of choice for men’s jewelry. These heavy materials are a perfect choice for more masculine mainstays in that they embody permanence, strength, and fortitude.
Cyclical fashion trends are also a strong influence on men’s jewelry trends. Both military looks as well as throw-back style, a la television’s Mad Men, are recent factors affecting men’s jewelry choices. Military looks with high collars and visible buttons refer directly to button covers, a very fashionable accessory element gaining in popularity. Look to Italian company Torrini for gorgeously detailed button covers in 18K gold. Accents such as round cut diamonds or delicate fleur-de-lis patterns transform these button covers from simple to spectacular. For another interesting button cover variation, look to sharp UK brand Deakin & Francis, which offers a wide range of jewelry for the cultured gentleman. Notable among the brand’s button covers is a set of four white gold covers detailed with matte, buffed onyx encasing round, brilliant cut diamonds.
In the same vein, military dog tags are showing continued strength and popularity. Offerings from David Yurman allow a wide range of styling choices to best suit the individual man. Simpler, more straightforward pieces in titanium or silver present the traditional dog tag shape in a polished finish. For something more intricate, David Yurman plays on this theme with a variety of textural patterns, the most intriguing of which reference animal inspirations such as the rhinoceros, armadillo, and sea urchin. Others add color through unusual elements such as royal blue lapis, sleek black onyx, streaked Picasso jasper, and even lava-colored dinosaur bone. At the higher end of the scale, pave diamonds cover a dog tag pendant for an undeniably attention-drawing effect. One notable luxury style incorporates black cable chain and flat, black pave diamonds for a glinting look that is not overtly outrageous.
Certain vintage looks highlighting cufflinks and similar accoutrements circa the 1950s are experiencing similar vitality. The classic cufflink is also faring well from the use of non-traditional color elements. Color diamonds figure prominently into current design. Norman Silverman has been utilizing yellow diamonds in its cufflinks to arresting effect. Somos Creations, which excels in its creative color gem use, offers elegant white gold cufflinks in a serene yet eye-catching hue of blue topaz.
Designer Stephen Webster has also added his unique styling to the classic cufflink. His distinctive Hammerhead Shark Cufflinks incorporate color (blue sapphires and blue sapphire cabochon eyes) and intricate shape that appeal to a man with an eye for something different. For an even more adventurous chap, Stephen Webster’s Gargoyle Cufflinks have instant appeal. White gold, embedded with black pave diamonds and bold rubies, definitely stands out on a crisp white cuff.
Men’s jewelry has always been dominated by the desire to pair form with function, with only items that serve a purpose surviving the passage of time and shifting of trends. While this remains true in many respects, today’s trends allow a gentleman to reveal more about himself and his personal sense of style and find a unique look that lasts.
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