Jewelry is a very important accessory for women. It can draw attention at a networking event, be the finishing touch to an outfit, and even be the impetus towards a future business relationship or even a friend. However, jewelry and men rarely work with one another. It is usually seen as tacky and unprofessional. But then again, not all jewelry should be banned from the dress code.
A fantastic example of tasteful jewelry for men is the cufflink. A man wearing a shirt and tie doesn’t do much more than blend in to the business scene. However, a man wearing a french-cuffed shirt and cufflinks always makes a statement – and rarely a bad one. Just the simple addition of cufflinks to a man’s work attire gives him an air of being “higher up in the food chain” without the need of title or explanation. Plus it showcases that he cares about his appearance without trying too hard – he is conscientious and confident, and all conveyed through a pair of cufflinks.
However, with the assumption of status in mind, if you are working as an administrative assistant for example, wearing cufflinks may come off as a little too ambitious or even ostentatious on the job unless your dress code is quite conservative. I am a proponent of dressing for the job you want, however if you work as a construction worker and come to work in an Armani suit, you wouldn’t necessarily gain respect in the industry but rather most likely be ridiculed. It is important to dress for the job you want by working the job you have both in skills and style.
The bracelet is a piece of jewelry that can span any position and look very classic on a businessman. That doesn’t mean that you should start wearing leather cuffs to work, but a good quality braided metal or leather bracelet could work both a business suit and jeans and a sweater.
When it comes to necklaces and rings, I usually err for leaving those items at home to wear when out of the office. Of course, the class ring, wedding ring and pinky ring are all very professionally accepted. However multiple rings or a statement ring with a stone are looks that are a little too much for the office. Also, if you usually wear a silver or gold chain around your neck, I would suggest tucking it into your undershirt or leaving it off entirely. Necklaces may be standards for women, but on men they are looked upon as a casual attire accessory and not something that should be worn with a work ensemble.
Finally, the watch. Yes, the watch is considered a piece of jewelry, and a very fashionable and professional one as well. When it comes to the watch, don’t wear a chain pocket watch as it would appear too casual at work. Stick with a leather strap or metal watch and make a statement with every handshake. If you have thin wrists, you may want to work with the rectangular-faced watch. Otherwise don a round-faced watch. And the leather cuff watches definitely make a stylish statement for men, however for work, they are much too casual in the office environment. If you work in an office without a dress code or a casual dress code, then there wouldn’t be anything wrong with adding it to your business accessories. However if you have a dress code of anything above business casual, keep the cuff for the weekends and after-hours.
Men’s primary accessories for the workplace may not revolve far beyond the briefcase, tie and dress shoes. However men shouldn’t be quick to judge the addition of some jewelry into their attires. Just make sure, just like your regular dress code, what you wear is professional, works with the job you both want and already have, and doesn’t overwhelm your look. The bottom line for business is – most of the time – bling is bad.