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Manly!

By La Petite Acadienne

Men and accessories…

It’s SUCH a fine line, isn’t it? I really feel kind of bad for men — their options for accessories are much more limited, and they can really only wear so much before looking like a cast reject from a 1970′s Vegas movie.

Of course, some men can get away with less subtle accessorizing, just due to sheer force of personality.

Other men wear little to no jewelry or accessories at all. Personally, I think that’s a bit of a shame, as there ARE some very, very handsome items out there.

So, whether the fellows in your life are totally minimalist, gaily festooned, or somewhere in between, there are plenty of options out there for gifting. (The delightful Mr. Henry at Manolo for the Men has also talked about men’s accessories on many an occasion, so feel free to pop on over and check him out).

1. Nice gloves.


Unless you live in a very warm climate (in which case, my freezing-cold self doesn’t really want to hear about it, thanks), gloves are a nice gift for even the most minimalist man. Getting the right size can be tricky, though. If they don’t already own gloves so that you can sneak a peek at the size label, you may need to estimate. Most guys I know don’t like tight gloves, so a size large is usually a safe bet.  These gloves are lined in cashmere, making them warmer and more luxurious.

2. A casual watch

Even completely non-jewelry guys don’t mind owning a watch. Some men even have an entire wardrobe of watches.  It’s pretty hard to go wrong with a classic style and a slightly retro feel.

3. A non-weddingesque ring

Ooh…this is a tricky one, isn’t it? Rings for men tend to fall into two categories: wedding bands, and bespangled large rings depicting the cab of an 18-wheeler. However, there are some other options out there. There are classic signet rings, funky rings, or birthstone rings. I like this wood and sterling silver ring, and The Stonecutter (a non-jewelry guy if there ever was one) admired it as well.

4. Cufflinks

I know. There are a lot of guys out there who will never take the opportunity to wear cufflinks, even if they do wear suits and dress shirts. And that is a shame, frankly, because there are some GREAT cufflinks out there. From elegant to kitschy to everywhere in between, cufflinks can really add so much personality to a basic dress shirt. So why not buy the man in your life a set of cufflinks (and the dress shirt that takes them, so that he doesn’t have to hunt around for one)?

Fun fact: a LOT of little boys dream of becoming pilots. And a lot of grown men dream of it as well. These cufflinks can help your guy mentally escape a boring meeting by envisioning himself as a cross between Chuck Yeager and Maverick.

So…what are your thoughts on men and jewelry? Should they just avoid it altogether? How much is too much? And what would you add to my list?

Bisous,

LPA









7 Responses to “Manly!”




  1. Glinda Says:

    My husband hates any kind of jewelry, claims it’s the way the metal feels on his skin. He doesn’t wear suits to work, so he’s not a fan of cufflinks. He won’t even wear his wedding ring on a daily basis. Boo. Especially because I paid a ton of money for the damn thing and I’ve angrily informed him that if I’d known he would rarely wear it, I would have bought him a tiny, thin gold band, not a huge, thick platinum one. That HE picked out. Grr…




  2. gamma Says:

    Mr. Gamma is not amenable to suggestions on jewelry. He wears his wedding ring, period. He has cufflinks for the French cuffed shirts he occasionally wears, and the cufflink-and-stud sets for the tuxedo shirt when he wears evening dress. He has a pair of gloves, which is sufficient for our California climate and winter travel. But I can accessorize him ad infinitum with cashmere scarves of conservative color and pattern, and silk ties, since he believes that I have both good taste and a clear understanding of what colors and patterns are acceptable to him.

    So please add the tuxedo stud set to your list, which is more wearable than the Mr. T ensemble, and which ranges from the ultraconservative onyx-and-gold to whatever Lord Gaga, if there were such a person, could conceive.

    Scarves, yes. Ties, also yes. Mr. Gamma’s all-time favorite tie (and he has hundreds) is an ancient madder from Brooks Brothers. I swear, his eyes soften whenever he selects it.

    As a side note, I know a young couple, married some five years now, who were affianced before Christmas. The bride-to-be surprised and delighted her intended with an engagement ring for him to wear until the day she replaced it with a wedding band. It was very thin, just a suggestion of the ring to come, but he loved it and wore it. You never can tell with men.




  3. theDiva Says:

    “As a side note, I know a young couple, married some five years now, who were affianced before Christmas. The bride-to-be surprised and delighted her intended with an engagement ring for him to wear”

    Have we met?! Because this is precisely what I did when my magnificent husband and I became engaged. He actually wears both rings together now. Both titanium; the engagement ring is tension-set with a diamond.

    Re: other jewelry. He wears a watch every day, and never takes off a small chain – sterling silver with onyx beads – that his sister hand-crafted for him when he was diagnosed with cancer back in ’97. That he wears under his clothing.

    Also, cufflinks when necessary; his favorites are a pair I gave him for Father’s Day last year – sterling silver in the shape (though smaller, of course) of those inserts we used to put in 45s.

    I don’t like too much more jewelry than that on a man. Maybe an ID bracelet also, but that’s it.

    We had to have something of a tie intervention after we married and combined households. His taste is generally quite good, but he had some unfortunate items decorated with large badgers and so forth.

    “Sweetie. No ties with wildlife.”

    “But honey! Chicks dig ties with wildlife on them.”

    Happily, he now prefers otherwise.




  4. Margo Anderson Says:

    Western wear offers a gentleman a bit more leeway with jewelry. Bolo ties, collar points, and hatbands come to mind, as do Native American styles. For their 40th anniversary, my mother gave my father a stunning Navajo turquoise and silver cuff bracelet, which he wears daily.




  5. La Petite Acadienne Says:

    Margo Anderson: you do have an excellent point. Between the hatbands and the belt buckles, the western-geared man definitely isn’t shy about accessorizing, is he?




  6. Victor Says:

    My tree has borne fruit :)

    After my comment in the original thread I realized I had forgotten to mention cufflinks and I’d like to thank you for including them (truthfully, I’ve only worn them once for an occasion other than a wedding). However, please know one must be careful when picking out jewelry for a gentleman who doesn’t normally wear any jewelry beyond a wristwatch (just as I must be careful picking out jewelry for my girlfriend). Such a gentleman would prefer something a bit less flashy than the Starfighter links you’ve used as an example, unless he’s already a pilot.

    But I realize you don’t want to buy a simple stud, either. In that case, may I suggest something iconic, that will truly appeal to the little boy in all of us guys? I speak, of course, of vintage Playboy Bunny cufflinks.

    Just trust me on this one.




  7. gamma Says:

    Oh, Victor, I would pay good money to see mr. gamma’s face if I gave him Playboy Bunny cufflinks, vintage or not. Of course, the money would be thrown away, just as the cufflinks would be. You may think that of course he would want me to think that, but just trust me on this one.

    The truly safest cufflinks would be simple silver disks (or gold, if your tastes and pocketbook run that direction), monogrammed.













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