Accessories. Most men in Singapore shudder in their boots when they hear this; either because they dread buying it for their partners, or the fact that the word is laden with connotations of femininity and emasculation. It seems that even the self-confident men aren’t that interested in wearing more than just a watch or the (rather mandatory) wedding band for fashion purposes. But what if we told you that when executed properly, jewellery is actually a foolproof and manly way to add character to your outfits?
Of course, you’ll have to know how to match different pieces to the occasion. We can’t exactly have you running around in chunky rings and chain at that big board meeting, can we? Here’s what you need to know:
Watches are as functional a piece of jewellery as you can get. “Why wear a watch when my phone can tell the time?”, you may ask. For one thing, they accentuate your outfit and look great with anything! In general, the simpler the watch, the dressier it is. Metal watches are best worn with suits and jackets, or for anytime you want corporate-up your outfit. Go for leather straps (no, not in the 50 Shades of Grey way) for a classy and versatile effect that works with literally any type of attire. Colourful fabric/cloth bands like NATO straps are being increasingly seen everywhere, and are great with street and casual wear. Oh, and we almost forgot plastic straps – save those for the gym please!
Gnomon Watches at Shaw Towers, 100 Beach Road, #01-06 for mid-tier German-made watches and a large range of quality leather straps and NATO straps. Carpal Watch at Cathay Cineleisure Orchard, 8 Grange Road #03-04B has a collection of street-brand watches that include Komono, Daniel Wellington, Dievas, TRIWA, and locally-designed HyperGrand.
Dude bracelets used to be a big question mark until the editors of leading men’s magazines, fashionistas, and hipsters alike started decking out in them. The problem is, there’s a dizzying spectrum of colours, styles, materials to choose from, so plenty of men simply give up trying. Even more so than watches, you’ll have to carefully select your pieces to avoid looking like a confused try-hard. In general, there are 3 types of bracelets:
– Wrap: These are a long piece of fabric, leather rope, or metal chain wrapped around your wrist and fastened with a hook or lobster clasp, achieving a laid-back and rugged look. Think MIANSAI and Kiel James Patrick.
– Bead Bracelet: Gone is the time where beads are only associated with prayer and religion. Beaded bracelets consist of round semi-precious stones and metal charms that are strung together with a stretch or clasp closure. Their shiny nature lends a moderately classy feel and can be worn with both t-shirts and shirts.
– Cuff: A thick circular strip of metal that has a opening on one end to slip the wrist through. Leather versions are less common and are usually fastened with a lobster or magnetic clasp. Very elegant!
BOOGE for a wide variety of different bracelet styles inspired by the streets. Wraps, beads, and cuffs, they have it all, plus other accessories to boot, Citystate Beads for made-to-order customisable bead bracelets with great attention to detail and quality, and Stale & Co for locally made beautifully handcrafted cuff and wrap bracelets.
The great thing about necklaces as accessories is that they’re easy to hide them under your clothing until it’s time to show ’em off. Leaving the office for a romantic dinner date? Simply loosen your top button and there it is. When it comes to necklaces, less is more, unless you’re into gangsta rap. Silver and stainless steel chains and pendants are currently rather popular – unlike the ostentatious contrast of gold, silver contains a more neutral and subtle air. Pair them with black or dark grey jewellery to achieve a classy, timeless look. Just make sure they don’t dangle too low; a good gauge is about eight inches above your navel.
Check out: Thomas Sabo at ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, #B1-26 for sterling silver necklaces ranging from the classically-elegant to the extravagant. Forget about the shoes at ALDO at ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn , #B2-02, they actually have decent accessories for men.
Anyone who calls themselves a well-dressed man should have at least one shirt with French cuffs. Gold and silver cufflinks in simple designs are considered the most formal, and mostly worn for events with a strict dress code. We recommend silk-knot cufflinks for more casual occasions; they are extremely pretty and come in many colours. There’s also novelty cufflinks, which make for great conversation-starters at parties. Feel free to go crazy with them (out of the office of course!).
Check out: TANGS at TANGS Orchard, 310 Orchard Road, Robinsons at The Heeren, 260 Orchard Road, and Roff Ties & Cuffs at The Cathay, 2 Handy Road, #04-10 for unique and tasteful cufflinks, along with other quality shirt accessories like tie bars and bowties.
Now with all this, we hope you guys are better informed about how to wear male accessories and jewellery. Remember to always keep it simple and save the ‘bling bling’ for a costume party. But then again, jewellery is all about individual expression and finding out what’s right for you.