A Man’s Guide to Accessorizing
They say that clothes make the man, but that’s not entirely true. Yes, how you dress can change the way others perceive you (and even how you perceive yourself). But your outfits aren’t complete if clothes are all that you’ve got on. To really kill it in the style department, you need to accessorize.
For years and years, men have had it a little easier than women in the accessories department. Men are less likely to wear jewelry, and the expectations just seem to be lower. Yet far too many of us still aren’t clearing the bar. Sloppy, worn-out baseball caps and ratty surfer’s bracelets are not making the good impression that you’d like to, so let’s make some changes. This is your guide to accessorizing.
Watch and learn
If there’s one men’s accessory that you must know how to rock properly, it’s this: a watch. Sure, you can look at your smartphone to see the time now. This has some lamenting the so-called death of the wristwatch thanks to a generation of millennials who like looking at their phones more.
But here’s the thing: it was never actually about telling the time. The wristwatch, like the tie, the necklace, or any other ornamental piece of fashion, is all about the statement. When you walk in to a watch store or dealer, especially if you go in person, you’re looking for something that represents you.
So familiarize yourself with watch fashion. You’ll need to know the difference between everyday watches, luxury watches, sports watches, and smartwatches, and you’ll need to know when to wear each (hint: don’t wear the smartwatch until they start making some more fashionable ones).
If you can only afford one nice watch, invest as much as you can and wear it every single day — it will become a part of your fashion identity, and that’s a good thing.
It’s sunny out — what do you reach for? If you’re still rocking those cheap sunglasses that you bought at CVS or Rite-Aid on your way to the beach last summer, then it’s high time that you made an upgrade.
Classy shades from brands like Ray-Ban are a great way to lend your look some fashion cred while serving a practical need. They’re also better for your eyes than the cheap ones. And high-end sunglasses can go with anything, from a swimsuit to a business suit. Your cheap CVS pair can’t do that.
Jewelry is sometimes seen as a feminine thing, but this is 2019 — it’s time to stop living in the past. In addition to the aforementioned watches, you should consider bracelets, necklaces, and rings.
Not every piece of jewelry is gender neutral, of course, and not every man looks good in the same stuff. If you want a more masculine look, check out thick cuff bracelets, heavy rings, and thick chain or leather necklaces.
But think about your own build and complexion as you shop. Will a less macho bracelet look strange next to your big, hairy arms? Or is the contrast what lets you get away with it? Try it on and find out.
Don’t overdo it
Men’s style has not always been the most impressive thing in the worlds of fashion and design. But mercifully, modern men are starting to change that.
With that said, it is possible to go too far in the other direction. If you are not Steven Tyler, Lenny Kravitz, or some other musician for whom being buried in jewelry is all part of the brand, then take this advice: go easy on the accessories.
Neglecting accessories is a bad move, but overdoing it can be just as bad. So take the advice of the legendary Coco Chanel and take one thing off before you leave the house. With men’s accessories, less is more.