The phrase ‘less is more’ gets bandied about a lot, doesn’t it? We hear it applied to art, cooking, interior decoration and any number of creative endeavours. It’s used so often that it’s joined the perilous realm of ‘overused phrases’; but when it comes to men’s jewellery, less really, truly can be more.
The understated look is an undersung aesthetic, when it comes to jewellery. Lavish statement pieces have their place, of course; but understated jewellery can lift a style ensemble and draw even the most discerning eye, without distracting from the overall aesthetic. Understated jewellery is subtle and discrete; and it’ll get you noticed as a gentleman of distinction, taste and refinement. So we’ve collected together our favourite understated men’s jewellery of the moment: so that you’ll get noticed for all the right reasons.
Tell the world who you are with an understated signet ring
You’ll no doubt be familiar with the myriad powers of a signet ring. Given its size, the signet ring can exude a vast multitude of clues to any given gentleman’s personality. A signet ring tells the world who you are. Not just because they often tend to bear a crest or seal, but because their design and iconicity gives an insight into that particular gentleman’s propensity for style and elegant, sophisticated aesthetics.
Given the number of bespoke ringmakers around, a signet ring can look however you want it to look. But if you’re aiming for that understated aesthetic, we’d advise heading straight to Ruffs, every time. This long-established brand knows their signet rings; and speaking of understated, that’s an understatement. Their designs are simple, but powerful (much like the small but mighty nature of the signet ring itself); whether you opt for onyx, agate or carnelian, these are signet rings that will get you noticed as a gentleman of style and discreet, refined taste.
“We’re in our fifth generation and have recently seen a real shift in our demographic,” Ruffs tells Gentleman’s Journal. “We’re seeing some really exciting designs as a result of this; as well as more fashion led plain stone pieces. During the pandemic, items such as signet rings have become even more special due to their sentimental value. Where celebrations have been put on hold, these highly personal rings — made to last a lifetime (and beyond) — have become incredibly important.”
Ruffs Black Onyx Signet Ring
Ruffs White Agate Signet Ring
Ruffs Carnelian Signet Ring
Opt for a silver aesthetic with an understated bangle
If you’re on the hunt for some understated jewellery-oriented elegance, we’d advise starting with the wrist — and with bangles, in particular. If you’re aiming for an understated look, a silver bangle should be just the thing. Bangles truly come into their own at this time of year, when the days are getting chillier and you’re unearthing your long sleeved shirts, navy v necks and cable knit sweaters from your wardrobe.
A bangle will be partially covered by your sleeve, but it’ll be there nonetheless; twinkling away in all its understated, elegant glory. And if you’re looking for the perfect silver addition to your autumnal aesthetic, Patrick Mavros’ ‘Forged By The Ocean’ silver bracelet is inspired — in true Mavros fashion — by the beauties of the natural world, while Serge Denimes and Aligheri both offer simplistic silver options that are sure to get you noticed as being a man of true style.
Patrick Mavros Silver Bangle
Serges Denimes Silver Bangle
Aligheri Silver Bangle
An understated bracelet offers a more relaxed look
While silver bangles have myriad benefits (especially when it comes to being noticed and recognised as a suave, stylish gentleman), a more relaxed look can be preferable. In such an instance, a silk bracelet is the perfect option. Even subtler than a bangle, a silk, cord or leather bracelet suggests an air of inherent calm and serenity.
An understated bracelet will get you noticed as a man of taste, of course; but it’ll also infer to the world that you’re a gentleman who doesn’t take himself too seriously. And trust us, gents; that’s always going to be a positive first impression. No one wants to be the chap who can’t see the funny side. And if you’re on the hunt for a bracelet that can sum up all these personal qualities in one neatly clasped package, Rubinacci has you covered with either a black or dark gray option; or you could opt for Miansai‘s black Orson Pull Cord option, which is both chic and elegant in equal measure.
Rubinacci Black Silk Bracelet
Miansai Pull Cord Bracelet
Rubinacci Dark Gray Silk Bracelet
If you’re simply looking to accessorize, opt for some understated cufflinks
Of course, it may be that jewellery isn’t — and never will be — something for you. We’d certainly never force any gentleman into brandishing a style centrepiece that he isn’t comfortable with; but we would always recommend stepping a little out of your comfort zone wherever possible. And when it comes to accessorizing, a stylish pair of (understated) cufflinks is the perfect step.
Tateossian’s ‘Graffiato’ cufflinks are named after the Italian word for ‘scratch’, and feature a highly textured surface forged from rhodium plated sterling silver. Patrick Mavros is known for its eye-catching statement cufflinks, inspired by the natural world and the animal kingdom; but these Pangolin Scale Cufflinks are perfect for any gentleman seeking a more understated look. Finally, Miansai’s Chain Link Cufflinks are minimal, subtle and rife with understated style.
Tateossian Graffiato Cufflinks
Patrick Mavros Pangolin Scale Cufflinks
Miansai Chain Link Cufflinks
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