I can’t be the only man in the world who occasionally wishes he were a woman. Right, guys? I mean, it must be terrific to be a woman. Yes, they get paid less and yes, they get routinely discriminated against, but come on – those lucky ladies get to wear jewellery! Great big bits of jewellery and loads of it, if they want.
It is perfectly possible for a woman to wear a boring outfit and then successfully punch it up with some judiciously chosen costume jewellery (ladies: you shouldn’t be reading this, it isn’t for you, but given that you are, get yourselves down to & Other Stories – they have loads of pieces that will do just that).
But, unfortunately, this just doesn’t work for men. If I am wearing a plain jumper and then slip on an Aztec-inspired necklace made out of shards of multi-coloured plastic, I will look like a fashion stylist – and no one wants to look like a fashion stylist, not even fashion stylists – or a lunatic, or both.
Nevertheless, I have always hankered after shiny adornments. Things I have boldly experimented with in the past include: a “gold” hoop earring; a toe ring (!!!!); various beaded necklaces; a signet ring from Elizabeth Duke (my three best friends and I had matching ones – I know); a military-style dog tag; a St Christopher’s pendant; an ID bracelet reminding me of my own name; a long necklace with a silver bowling ball and bowling pin hanging off it. All of which were varying degrees of awful. So what jewellery can a man wear?
A reasonable follow-up question to ask here is: what is the purpose of jewellery? Often I guess it’s used to advertise wealth and status. Rappers festoon themselves with gold chains and “ice”. Personally, I have no interest in flaunting my wealth: first, it seems a little vulgar and secondly, my bank manager would take issue with me describing my sizeable mortgage debt as “wealth”. And if I wanted to advertise my status I would simply get a T-shirt printed up that read: “CHEAP WRITER FOR HIRE”. Note to self: get that T-shirt printed asap.
So I think the answer is that men need to stick to jewellery that is subtle, or means something. Not necessarily that has been bought for them (although that helps), but definitely has been bought for a reason. A reason other than – this looks nice. Obviously, don’t wear too many items at once and never mix silver and gold. Don’t wear religious iconography unless you subscribe to the religion. If in doubt, go for simplicity. A plain silver ring will always be better than one with a Celtic pattern.
Now, can someone please buy me a twisted leather bracelet with a silver clasp? Thank you. It means a lot.
Follow Rick on Twitter @rickedwards1
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