Men’s Red Carpet Style

Photo courtesy Maria Orlova, Pexels


If you’ve been watching any of the award show red carpets it’s no secret that men are adorning themselves with really cool jewels and the favored item is the brooch. While it may seem unusual in the modern world to think of men wearing brooches, there was a time when a jabot pin, similar to a brooch, was commonly worn by any well-dressed man.

A jabot is a ruffle, or lacy piece of fabric, that decorated men’s shirtfronts in the mid 1700s. The jabot pin was used to hold the fabric in place. Jabot pins have a decorative motif on the top and bottom of a long pin. It is placed so that the decorative elements show and the pin itself is hidden by fabric, which separates the top and bottom of the jabot pin. The jabot pin dwindled in popularity as styles changed, but had a resurgence during the Art Deco period, however, the jabot pin was not used to hold a jabot in place it was instead worn on coats, lapels and other apparel.

We can use some of those guidelines today when it comes to wearing a jabot or stickpin, which is an ornamental straight pin with a decorative top and a case at the bottom to enclose the tip of the pin. Stickpins were used to keep ties and ascots in place. 

While these jewels held a place in the history of men’s fashion, they can also be worn in a thoroughly modern way to customize your look. We’re going to show you a few ways to wear a brooch, stickpin or pendant, many of which are inspired by what we’ve seen on the recent red carpets.

The Stickpin on a Lapel or Tie

Sapphire and diamond stickpin

Stickpins are lovely little pins that can add a pop of color to your jacket. Trending to the smaller side, stickpins are a discreet way to wear jewelry. If you’re just beginning to wear jewelry, stickpins are a great starting point. They are easy to place and while stickpins tend to be petite, they add an aura of sophistication. The best place, and most obvious, for a stick pin is the jacket lapel. Just a hint of jewelry that gives you that polished look, it’s great to wear if you go into an office, or have an important event to attend.

Sapphire and diamond stickpin

There was a time, when tie-tacs and tie bars were worn on an everyday basis to keep unruly ties from flying around in the wind or landing in your soup at lunch. Those days are gone, but you can kick your fashion factor up a notch by wearing a stickpin with your tie. Place it, pin it and go, it’s that easy. Ties show off your personality and you can add another layer of personalization to your neckwear by wearing a stickpin.

The Versatile Brooch

Gold and citrine brooch

The really cool dudes are all wearing brooches, even multiple brooches, to important events. For a modern approach to dressing up, you can wear one large brooch on a jacket breast pocket, accessorizing it, without having to fold and tuck a hankie in place, or wear it together with the hankie if you prefer. Different styles of brooches work on the breast pocket including a bar pin (a brooch that is a straight line of gems), or go big and bold and wear a large brooch with a big center stone. Depending on where you are going, you may opt to put a brooch on your jacket breast pocket and forego the tie, leaving your collar button open. Alternatively, you can also wear two or three brooches on your lapel, depending upon your personal style and what you feel comfortable wearing.

The Pendant

Peridot, diamond and 18-karat gold pendant.

Did you know that you can wear a pendant over your tie creating an illusion of a tie-tac? This is a very simple — and playful — hack to have you looking your shining best. Select a pendant with or without gemstones and in a size that you like, you can go small and discreet or big and flamboyant whatever suits your personality. Once you have a pendant in hand, choose a tie. If you are wearing an unembellished gold pendant it will be easy to coordinate your tie and jewelry. If you have gemstones in the pendant then pick a tie in a color that harmonizes or contrasts with the stone color. Put your tie on and then add the pendant around the collar of your shirt and let it drop down the front of the tie. One of the keys to getting this look right is to have the proper length chain. You’ll have to play around with chains to get the right length, which will vary according to your neck size.

It’s easy and fun to customize your look in an unexpected way with jewelry.  There are many ways to wear jewelry. Experiment and find your style. And if you’re new to wearing jewelry, start with the basics; a stickpin that you can pin on your tie or lapel gives it more versatility and more opportunities for wear. If you are a more daring fashionista shop for brooches that fit your sense of style or be cutting edge and add a pendant or medallion to your tie. Whatever you do, wear jewelry to make a look completely your own.

Top of page: Photo courtesy Maria Orlova, Pexels; Sapphire and diamond stickpin; Gold and citrine brooch; Peridot, diamond and 18-karat gold pendant.

Authored by Amber Michelle