The Art of Manliness: Acceptable Jewelry and Notions For Men


Recently, the winds of change have been howling in the realm of male fashion. It was once a surprise to see women begin to wear pants and full suits, and other items generally considered to a part of male fashion. But recently the trend for male fashion itself has begun to take on a feminine form. Men wearing skirts called “kilts”, overly tight pants, blouses that expose the chest and popped collars, and other clothing items colored in pinks, oranges, and purples.

Now I’ll be the first to say to each their own, but I believe there is a misconception on what constitutes manly wear. There is an idea in the male fashion world, that in order to attract the attention or favor of women, men have to peacock. Peacocking is essentially where men dress up in a way that draws attention, wearing loud clothes, both in color and nature. Male notions as well have turned from the classy and manly, to gaudy and feminine.

Now if your intention is to appear feminine, then more power to you. However, for many men, this is not the intention, and there has been great confusion created by celebrities and the fashion world in general. This has resulted in countless men dressing in a way they feel is both appealing, acceptable, and fashionable while the reality is that most appear plain silly.

So to make an effort to correct this odd trend, what is to follow here is a list of a few generally accepted masculine jewelry and notion items. We’re going to avoid clothing in general as the scope of that is both broad and deep. By keeping to jewelry and notions, matching the clothing to these items will undoubtedly keep your masculine compass pointing in the right direction. For example, it is difficult to wear a proper male timepiece on your arm when there are countless colored bands already there. So without further ado, lets get into it, here is a list of proper and acceptable jewelry and notions that men can feel truely manly for wearing.

Gents Rings: The trend of men wearing rings in recent years has fallen off. The reason mostly being that men nowadays feel rings are feminine, and many will outright say this whilst wearing their pink polo shirt, or ultra low cut V-neck. Not all rings are made the same, and there are definitely some that can be construed as feminine. But as a rule of thumb, the more intricate the ring, the less manly it will appear. Keep it basic with simple color schemes. Also, the bulkier the better, nothing says manly like a hulking bit of metal on your finger. If you’re saying to yourself, “but it’ll get in the way and is uncomfortable.” Well, dainty rings are for dainty hands… therefore hulking rings are for hulking men. 

Gents Necklets: Notice I didn’t say gents necklaces. That’s because men don’t wear things that “lace” their neck. So if you start with that distinction, you’ll already be on better footing. The same rules apply here as with rings, the more intricate or delicate appearing the necklet, the less masculine it is. Keep the chain simple, with some medallion or piece that is also simple in nature. Gents necklets can be worn under clothing as well and don’t “need” to be noticed. Remember, real men don’t need to peacock. We wear things we appreciate, not what we feel others will appreciate.

Gents Armlets: Again, notice we said armlet and not “bracelet”. This is because real men don’t need to brace their arm, their arms are strong enough. But if you want to adorn your arm with something you find appropriate, the same rules apply as with rings and necklets. Keep it simple and meaningful. Armlets that are brightly colored, diamond encrusted, with a slew of gems set in only makes the piece appear as though it was your grandmothers.  

Gents Earrings: The most controversial of all masculine jewelry, earrings are generally considered to be feminine in nature. However, throughout time, many manly men have worn them. A single example should suffice here…. Pirates. Now you don’t have to wear hoop earrings, as that would be counterproductive here. But earrings are the one area of fashion for men where stones, gems, and diamonds can be used freely. Of course you want to stay within the rules, and not wear anything that appears gaudy or pompous. But there is wide array of options between studs and small hoops which many a men wear well nowadays.  

Cufflinks: Cufflinks are a special breed of fashionable accessory, as they should only be worn with a suit. Wearing cufflinks with only a button up shirt, excluding the blazer, will make you appear cocky and shows a lack of taste. The cufflinks themselves are usually the most decorative part of an outfit, as they are generally limited in size and do not often catch the eye. It is for that reason that cufflinks are the only acceptable notion that can be intricately designed. They are already difficult to notice, so wearing a pair that is flashy is not unacceptable.

Buttons: Buttons are a notion that most men don’t appreciate. Remember, a man is supposed to dress in a way that best represents them, and that representation is made from the top of ones head down to the toes on their feet. One of the best ways a man can class up a coat or shirt, is by adding manly buttons. Again, you don’t want diamonds and gems lining your shirt. But metal or even stone often appears better than the general plastic that comes standard. These buttons can also be changed, or switched out once the clothing has become un-wearable. 

Male Timepieces: A timepiece can either be in the form of a pocket watch or wristwatch. Now there has been a trend as of late, where wristwatches have been enormous in size. This is mostly due to the peacocking that has begun to catch on. There is no reason to wear a wristwatch that nearly covers half of your forearm. As technology advances, generally things become smaller and more efficient. Though this is not the case here. Where pocket watches, sadly, are rarely even seen nowadays. The reason being probably because others cannot view a pocket watch, therefore it goes against the peacocking trend. However, pocket watches are the manliest and most dapper of all accessories a man can wear. It’s a noticeable trend to visibly see the gears working in a wristwatch. This trend first started in pocket watches, and is much more interesting to view as well… since pocket watches are generally bigger and more intricately designed. 

Hats: Hats. My god the hats nowadays. Flat brimmed baseball caps, cowboy hats and orange beanies all point toward peacocking. These are not hats worthy of being worn by real men. In it’s defense, a cowboy hat, when worn by a cowboy, doing cowboy things is more than acceptable. But the businessman that walks around with one on to compliment his suit looks silly. There are countless styles and forms of hats in the world, and for some reason you only see the worst of them being worn.  Just keep it simple, and remember a hat isn’t meant to draw attention to you, it’s meant to either keep your head warm or shield you from the sun and wind.

That concludes our list of manly jewelry and notions. There is no doubt multiple other lesser items that could have been added to this list. But the point to be taken away from all this is that peacocking makes you simply look like an ass. Avoiding this habit will no doubt gain you favor by your friends, family, and many potential females. Keep it simple, keep it dapper, and keep it you. I doubt many men really want to wear a neon green shirt, but have received attention based on the fact they look utterly outlandish. The same amount of attention will be had for those that dress well, and the attention will be of better worth. So consider your wardrobe and accessories as well, and if you notice any peacocking items in your fashion repertoire, banish them to the nether, and start choosing items that suit a real man.  

The author of this article is Damien S. Wilhelmi. If you enjoyed this piece you can follow me on Twitter @JakabokBotch. If you are interested jewelry or notions yourself, either for your own enjoyment or the upcoming holiday, please visit One of the most well known Denver Jewelers in the fine state of Colorado. 

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