Oh jewelry…how I love thee! If you’re new to the accessory game, then you’ve come to the right spot. Not only will we be talking about the different types, but also how to use them most effectively, and when to say when. The reason I’m such a big fan is because of their ability to take a basic AF outfit and turn it into something unique and interesting. It’s a way to add your own personality into a look without having to go overboard on patterns or fits. I teamed up with Edforce Steel, a killer brand that pumps out everything you could ever need in terms of jewelry. Everything, jewelry-wise, I’m wearing is from them (except the watch).

First, let’s address what’s considered jewelry…well to me at least, because I’m writing this so I DECIDE!! Whoa…settle down P. Bracelets, rings, earrings, necklaces, and watches. That’s everything that falls into the jewelry category for me. I don’t wear earrings anymore, but everything else I’m down with. Certain looks allow for certain pieces better than others, so we’re going to go on the two opposite sides of the fashion spectrum, casual and formal, to showcase what works and what doesn’t.

Casual

As I said, jewelry is so great because it can take your look from basic to…well, not basic. Without any of my Edforce pieces I would literally just be wearing a hoodie, jeans, and boots. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but if you’re interested in making a look more interesting, you should step up your accessory game.

In terms of rings, I enforce a “one per hand” rule. You can go full on 80’s rocker if you have the style for it, but when starting out, keep it simple. A signet ring is totally classic and something every guy should consider investing in. That’s the one on my right ring finger. On my left hand, I wore a plain gold band on my pointer finger. It’s basic but just a bit different. Go to a local jewelry store, get all of your finger sizes measured, and make a note in your phone. That way when you’re shopping online you know what to order.

For bracelets, I like two per wrist but no more. With too many bracelets, it starts to look a bit crazy. Two adds character. I’m sure you’re all familiar with the beaded style that has become extremely popular, and rightfully so, they’re great. Also try to find something in leather or a different material to mix with like I did on my right wrist. When combining a bracelet with a watch wrist, be sure that it’s something complimentary to the color and style of your watch. If you’re wearing a bit chunky metal band, you might want to skip on adding a second bracelet.

Lastly, potentially my favorite and the least appreciated option for guys, the necklace. I wore mine outside of the sweatshirt for effect, but that’s a bit more of an advanced move. A necklace can be something extremely simple. It brings attention to the collar bone, which for whatever reason is an attractive area of the body to people. Get something in silver or gunmetal if you don’t want it to stand out too much and don’t feel like you need a charm at the end of your necklace. It can look great all on its own. A rule you’ll want to follow is don’t get anything short enough that it doesn’t hang at least an inch from your collarbone and don’t get anything long enough that it hangs below your nipples. Once you get more comfortable in the space, you can adjust, but starting out these are good rules.

Formal

In the same way that a basic casual outfit can be heightened with jewelry, a formal look can as well. Add things with a similar approach to casual, but don’t try to be quite as bold as you would be when you’re dressed casually. Let the jewelry be an extension of your look as opposed to standing out all on their own.

Similarly to before, combining two bracelets on your off-watch wrist works great. PRO TIP: If you’re a bit taller and have longer arms (I often face this problem with suits), a couple of bracelets can fill the gap where your sleeve ends really nicely. This way you can avoid paying to have your sleeves extended. I’m always a fan of mixing colors and/or materials. Stacking several beaded bracelets might end up looking a bit too “festival goer”.

Again, I love the single gold ring on the index finger. It’s not something you’ll want to do if your look is supposed to be extremely formal, but it works for this slightly more business casual side of the formal spectrum. If you’re in black tie, the signet ring from the casual look on your ring finger works great.

Lastly, you can’t see it in the photos but I’m still wearing that same simple necklace from the casual look under my dress shirt. Having a couple of the buttons undone, it will pop out every so often if I turn my head or chest in a certain way, which I love. It’s extremely subtle, but someone will notice. Even if they don’t, I like the feel of it. It makes me feel masculine, which translates to everyone around me through my body language.

These are really minimal additions to your look but as you start to collect more and more bracelets and rings, it can be an extremely fun way to personalize your look without drawing too much attention.

When getting started in learning what works for you, follow these steps when you’re getting dressed:

Casual Look: 1 ring per hand, 2 bracelets per wrist (watch counts as a bracelet), a necklace with or without a charm (nothing long enough to go past your nips)

Formal Look: 1 ring per hand (stick to the ring fingers), 2 bracelets on off wrist and only watch on other side, a necklace under your shirt works if you’ll be wearing a couple of buttons open

That’s it! Now you can take your otherwise simple outfits and turn them up a notch with your own personality! Be sure to check out Edforce Steel for really great options on affordable jewelry to start building your collection.

As always…do it for you, not them.

Questions? Comments? Find me on social media at @parkeryorksmith or email me at parker@thelooksmith.com!

About the author

I'm Parker York Smith, a curious dude still very much figuring everything out. I hail from the Midwest but have been dwelling in Los Angeles for the last few years being a pretty stereotypical west coast transplant. I'm a fashion geek, I love to walk (a LOT) and I do my best to find the bright side. I'm extremely excited about this blog and hope that (with some hard work and luck) it turns into what I believe it can. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please get in touch with me via my social networks (which can be found in the sidebar) or email me at parker@thelooksmith.com.

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