I think jewelry is underrated. Fashion today tends to be about new shapes: on shoulders, on trousers, and statement accessories such as footwear and bags; jewelry is sadly relegated to the sidelines. But most people are missing out. Jewelry does things for an ensemble that you simply can't achieve by clothing alone. For example, small trinkets add depth and personality to everyday outfits and eventually become a part of you.
The Search for Chic's Conroy and Wilcox gold thorn ring
Bold statement pieces, on the other hand, elevate basic clothes.
Chic Clinic's Marimekko for H&M necklace
And unlike shoes or bags, fine jewelry is an investment that actually increases in price over the years.
Now some would say the only appropriate piece of jewelry for men would be a watch and I admit, jewelry for men is very tricky. With so many negative stereotypes to try to veer away from, namely:
1. dirty hippie,
2. eurotrash (Dearest Dolce and Gabbana, I used to adore you back in 2005 but I can now say with conviction that I've fallen out of love.),
(I did not make this)
it might be best for majority of the male population to steer clear of jewels. Unlike clothes, bags or shoes, jewelry doesn't serve any functional purpose and if it sticks out the wrong way, boy does it look awkward.
But for those guys who tirelessly want to push the envelope and try wearing jewelry, the choices are rather interesting. I'm particularly fascinated by Margiela's men's jewelry nowadays.
a snapshot of Margiela's latest collection for men
He never fails to come up with oddly beautiful pieces that make you smile. This blog has seen way too much of my batman cuff and my dice necklace that I'd rather just link them. Just for kicks, I tried on this Margiela barbed wire ring at Lane Crawford a couple of months ago and I was pleasantly surprised.
The barb is rather large, and the metal is bright and shiny; the edges are dulled for safety, of course. Overall it gave off an air of toughness that wasn't too biker, a certain offbeat-ness that was not off-putting, I like. Most definitely on my wish list.
The late Isabella Blow has her hats, Sea of Shoes her shoes, my mother's thing is jewelry. It isn't uncommon to see her shopping in a wide, evening-gown-worthy diamond cuff, or walking around at home, trying out her new huge cocktail ring with her slightly raggedy house clothes. She lives for unique pieces, and somehow she makes it work.
Perhaps that's the reason I hold jewelry in such high regard; I grew up in awe of such a jewelry junkie. I think jewelry, the real thing in particular, gives the wearer an aura of elegance, of being larger-than-life even. I like that even as people see you approaching from a distance, the shine on your ears reaches them before you actually do. When I'm in the mood for that larger-than-life sparkle, I put this on, a gift from my mother:
white gold chain-link bracelet with one pave link with a princess-cut diamond in the center
In the end, what fascinates me about jewelry is trying to guess the story behind them and how they relate to the user. I see a woman at the mall wearing quite a sizeable pair of brilliants on her ears and I think: real or fake? Her own or inherited? Old rich or golddigger? A guy in sharp office attire wearing a weathered string bracelet alongside his Bell&Ross and I think: Sentimental value? Gift from an old girlfriend? Boyfriend? Deceased friend? Or just some meaningless accessory?
Wear what speaks of who you are. Whether it's a statement (that you're beautiful and fabulous and you want everyone's eyes on you) or whether it's volumes and volumes of the story of your life (relationships, past and present, that never leave you), you might find it nice to let the jewels do the talking.