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There’s no doubt that men have become increasingly more adventurous in their sartorial decisions. It’s not uncommon to see them wearing more colours and cuts than ever before, and dressing with the same attention to detail that some women do. It’s no longer considered emasculating or feminine to care about your appearance, in regards to grooming as well as what we choose to put on our body. But the rules are changing more slowly for one all-too-important aspect of menswear—accessories.
No, not bags, although they have had a sort of renaissance in their own right (this is for sure an essay in and of itself). Pocket squares, lapel pins, socks in a variety of colours and patterns, men are warming up to the quirky sort of personalizing details that make an outfit truly unique. All but for one thing—fine jewellery. Why are men still shying away from jewellery?
Could it be because the stigma of wearing an expensive necklace, ring or bracelet still remains somewhat in the realm of womenswear? I’m not talking in the fashion community (of course, some men who are “in the know” about fashion or work in the industry will pick up on new shifts in personal style without thinking twice). I’m talking about the everyman. Sure, a Wall Street corner-office executive may know a thing or two about tailored suits and even have some choice designers, but does he wear a necklace, bracelet or ring? For him, the “shiny” is limited to the watch and perhaps a wedding band.
Several designers, though, are making moves that change this watch-or-nothing attitude that men have towards fine jewellery. Giles & Brother is an accessories brand who is upping the ante for jewellery. Designed by CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award and CFDA Swarovski Award for Accessory Design winner Philip Crangi, the line presents a range for men that is decidedly masculine in its rustic simplicity. Crafted in their New York City studio, Philip and his sister-cum-business partner Courtney Crangi are the brainchildren behind both their fine jewellery collection and costume line.
Giles & Brother’s “It” item is undoubtedly their Railroad Spike Cuff, which has been seen on the wrists of many a celebrity and professional bloggerazzi, as well as in the pages of major magazines worldwide. A simple railroad spike bent and curved, the ironwork is hefty and has a presence when worn on its own or with a plethora of other wristwear pieces. Customizable, the piece (which is also available in a skinny version for those who want something lighter) is stamped with the signature G&B and arrows.
Miansai is another company paving the way for luxe but casual jewellery for men. Miansai’s forte is cloth and rope pieces intricately woven, braided and clasped for an artisanal look. Featuring hooks and anchors among other motifs, some pieces are worn twisted around the wrist several times as breezy leather-thong wrap bracelets.
Whether metal, leather or a combination of both, there are designer offerings out there that can accommodate both masculinity and attention to detail when it comes to pairing your wardrobe with the right jewellery.