Wanna stand out from the crowd without wearing flashy clothes? Gentlemen, ACCESSORIES is your new mot-d’ordre!
Accessories are often neglected in menswear and it is quite a shame. In my opinion, accessories are a must when putting up an outfit. However, there are a few ways to do it correctly.
Have you been scared of trying out accessories because you didn’t know how to do it? Fear no more, my friend. Here are a few rules you can follow that will help you carve your way into wristwear and avoid clumsy mistakes! These rules will allow you to build a foundation on accessories without fearing that you will do something wrong.
Disclaimer: Rules are just that: rules. They’re guidelines that will help you get more familiar with accessories. They are not absolute and if you think something looks good but breaks a few rules, then break them!
Rule 1: Match your metals
Menswear is all about coordinating and keeping an overall aesthetic that is consistent.
When you wear a watch, a bracelet, a ring, or a combination of them, try to stick to one metal (silver all together, gold all together, black, rose gold, etc.). When your metals match, you can be sure that you respect your skin complexion and you will seem like you put some thoughts in your accessories. Look at the picture below; all the accessories are somehow related to silver.
In order to find what kind of metal works best with your skin complexion, it is always nice to look up online on apps like Pinterest or Instagram. Infographics will exactly tell you what looks best for you.
If you want a whole catalog for men’s fashion, you can follow me on Pinterest @thesoulsgarment! I cover more than 15 different aspects of menswear, from shoewear to style etiquettes to manners and motivation.
Rule 2: Match your leathers
In the same concept as the first rule, matching leathers show that you actually pay attention to your overall look. Whether you match your belt to your watch strap or to your shoes, matching leathers is a nice way to look put-together, coordinated and wrap up your outfit.
It’s not dramatic if your leathers don’t completely match. Dark brown and tan leather can go well together, so would black and dark brown; that is one way to break that rule. However, I do not suggest to go for black shoes and a tan belt because the contrast would be way too strong.
Rule 3: Accessorize one wrist only
When you start off wearing accessories, it might be tempting to wear everything you have at the same time. Well, don’t do that.
There is such a thing as over-accessorizing and you definitely want to avoid that mistake. That one can mostly be avoided by simply accessorizing only one wrist, preferably your non-dominant hand. Why your non-dominant hand? Because it won’t encumber you when you have to write your stuff and do your daily things.
When I say accessorizing one hand, I mostly talk about wristwear. It is perfectly fine to wear rings on both hands, for instance, but for bracelets, I think one hand is more than fine.
Rule 4: know your limits
A second way to avoid over-accessorizing is to know when enough is enough. Just because you own several rings and bracelets, it doesn’t mean you should wear everything together.
So what are the limits? Well, for bracelets, 2 should be enough. For rings, one on each hands. Overall, try to not wear more than three accessories (necklace, ring, watch, bracelet, and all that stuff) at the same time.
The point in accessorizing is to showcase your style. If you over-accessorize, you kind of make your items outshine each other and it becomes noisy. It’s better to have one accessory that pops out well than 3 of them that divide the attention, defeating the purpose of accessories.
There are always some exceptions to the “limits”. For instance, Toni Mahfud can wear three rings on one hand and it looks stunning because he knows how to break this rule.
Rule 5: keep your aesthetic consistent
Each accessory has its own vibe. You can have minimal, edgy, simple, detailed, gothic accessories and I forget a lot of them. When you go for a certain look, try to match your accessories with it.
For example, if you have an outfit that screams streetwear, you can definitely try out edgy rings. Going for a smart casual look? Try being minimal and sophisticated. Use your accessories to extend your aesthetic and embellish it.
Rule 6: don’t be afraid to try out
In order to find your own style, you got to try new things. It never hurts to be on the lookout and open your mind to new things.
For example, I recently bought a pair of fashion glasses in order to look different. When I first wore them, I was very stressed and self-conscious about what people would think about my change.
However, it didn’t take me long to find a way for me to be comfortable wearing glasses, and now I rock them on a daily basis. I never thought I’d love glasses until I got out there and bought them.
Morale of the story is, do yourself a favor and try new things! Getting out of your comfort zone is the only way to find out new comfort zones. Develop your sense of style, try stuff out and then you will be able to trust your judgment and wear your accessories however you like them!
- Match your metals
- Match your leathers
- Accessorize one wrist only
- Know how much is too much
- Keep your aesthetic consistent
- Try out new things
I only got seriously into the accessory not long ago and I can confirm you that it totally makes a difference to wear jewelry and wristwear! Accessories make or break a man and his outfit. If you aren’t sure as to whether you would like accessories or not, you can check out stores such as Aldo, Call It Spring, Winners (or Tj Maxx), H&M, etc. for affordable accessories!
Through this post, you now learned how to experiment without the fear of making a mistake. Once you know about the rules and how to respect them, that is when you can break them. Listen to your heart and get yourself out there!
Thank you for reading.
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Ryoma Martin, from The Soul’s Garment
At your service
Pictures of my accessories taken by: @itzchillmarc