Cufflinks and Beyond: Men’s Jewelry


Yellow diamond, white diamond and platinum line bracelet


When it comes to wearing jewelry men have more options than ever. Historically speaking men wore important jewelry to show rank, status and wealth. While those days are over, it’s fun to wear jewelry that expresses your personal style. Everyone knows that jewelry – cufflinks, bracelets, rings and brooches – are worn for dressing up, weddings, black tie galas and other important social or business events.

However, jewelry doesn’t have to be reserved for those special occasions. Adding a piece of jewelry elevates your outfit and takes it up a notch no matter where you’re going. And sometimes it’s nice to dress to impress for a date night or more casual gathering when you want to look super cool, but not over-dressed. Jewelry will take you there. In this blog, we’re going to focus on jewelry for the wrist and hand.

Cufflinks and Blue Jeans

Ruby and diamond cufflinks

Let’s start with cufflinks. There was a time when men wore shirts with big, billowy sleeves that needed to be fastened. Those shirts were fastened with a string or ribbon. During the 1600s the precursor to the cufflink was invented, bouton de manchettes, which translates to sleeve buttons. These sleeve buttons were two decorative buttons held together with a small chain. Jewelers made these buttons, which were labor intensive and very expensive, for royalty, nobility and the aristocracy. Sleeve buttons were generally gifted to someone rather than self-purchased. With changes in technology during the industrial revolution in the 1800s, cufflinks were easier to produce bringing the cost down and making them accessible to any well-dressed man.

While cufflinks were much more formal in past centuries, today they are more of a fashion statement that allows you to express your style. Wear a French cuff shirt with jeans  or shorts and sneakers or loafers and then add cufflinks to elevate the look. It’s a great way to lift up your outfit when you don’t want to dress up, but you don’t want to be too casual either.

Gold Links

Textured 18-karat gold link bracelet

Bracelets are another easy to wear piece of jewelry that gives you a lot of options. You can wear bracelets casually or for work. If you want to go for a more classic look, try a gold link bracelet. A sophisticated matte or textured finish is especially nice. Pair it with a shirt, maybe with checks, stripes or just a color that you like,  and jeans, or you can even wear a bracelet with a simple t-shirt or polo shirt.

Diamonds and Denim

Yellow diamond, white diamond and platinum line bracelet

Another option is a diamond line bracelet, especially one that features square shaped diamonds and colored diamonds. It’s a little bit unexpected to see a diamond bracelet peeking out from a shirt or jacket sleeve. Worn with jeans, a button down shirt and a casual jacket, the look is urban cool and perfect for a relaxed evening out, or a day in the office even if you’re only there for a couple of days a week.

The Brooch

Art Deco diamond, ruby and platinum Terrier dog pin

If you’ve watched any award shows and paid attention to the celebs walking the red carpet, you already know that the hottest men’s accessory is a brooch. Prior to the invention of buttons, snaps, zippers and other closures everyone from the Romans to the Vikings used a form of brooch to hold their clothes in place. In the middle ages brooches became more ornamental and less functional. Brooches were often worn to show a person’s rank, interests and even political or social leanings.

Today brooches adorn Hollywood’s leading men in inventive ways. You too can adopt a brooch as part of your personal style. The great thing about brooches is that you can go big, or you can go small. There are sizes and motifs for everyone. One quick, easy way to wear a brooch that is chic but discreet is to wear a small pin on the top of your jacket sleeve. Choose something that reflects your personality and pin it on.

Pinky Rings

Cabochon sapphire, emerald and 18-karat gold ring, by Andrew Grima, circa 1960s.

If your style is more subdued, but you still want to make a statement, consider wearing a pinky ring. You can wear it on its own or next to a ring on your ring finger. Looking back through time pinky rings were frequently worn by royals and nobles. Their rings often acted as a seal for important documents that were closed with a dollop of wax. The ring was pushed into the hot wax leaving an imprint so that when the message was delivered to its destination, it was known that it had not been opened and it also showed who sent it. Today, a pinky ring is just a fun way to wear jewelry. You can always opt for a classic gold ring, but wearing a gemstone, especially, a cabochon, which is smooth and dome shaped, is quite dashing. Again, wearing it with jeans or shorts changes the vibe completely, making it much less formal.

If you’re thinking of buying a piece of jewelry for yourself, look at everything on offer even if it’s not in the men’s section, decide what you like and then feel free to wear it your way.

Featured image (top of page): Textured 18-karat gold link bracelet.

First: Ruby and diamond cufflinks; Second: Textured 18-karat gold link bracelet; Third: Yellow diamond, white diamond and platinum line bracelet; Fourth: Art Deco diamond, ruby and platinum Terrier dog pin; Fifth: Cabochon sapphire, emerald and 18-karat gold ring, by Andrew Grima, circa 1960s.

Authored by Amber Michelle