Ok, sometimes I hate to admit it after counting the new crop of gray hairs in the mirror, but I’m a baby boomer. Over the years I’ve watched men’s fashion go through what seems like a vast amount of changes. In my old neighborhood I watched the last vestiges of the fifties and early sixties die out. It all began with the hair cream, white T-shirt and Levis look. Then a strange kind of music started to drift from the Fernandez house down the street. Ronnie was the first kid in the Hood to grow his hair long and start up a rock band in his basement.
You could tell that he was rehearsing by the telltale sound and the fact that his father was usually sitting outside on the front porch to escape the cacophony. Ronnie and his group of friends wore tie-dye T-shirts, beards, and bell-bottoms. The rest of the neighborhood, being mostly Italian, was slow to catch on. They still clung to wearing Italian knits, polyester pants, and pointy patent leather Bannister shoes. There was a short trend where the rest of us settled for white Levis and desert boots. I remember that my high school Junior Achievement project was making and selling the rainbow colored tie-dyes. You had to tie off a white T-shirt with rubber bands and then dip it into vats of different colored dyes. We usually looked like rainbows by the time we were finished. I guess that was a fashion statement in and of itself. It struck me as being odd that Anhueser Busch sponsored us.
About the only jewelry I remember wearing at the time was a mood ring or two. Gold chains and pinkie rings were the ‘bling” of choice among the adults. I remember when earrings for men were just becoming fashionable. At first it was really outrageous, but then they became accepted. Now it is commonplace, along with nose rings and other kinds of piercing, but I think that whole trend is on the wane.
Unless you’re one of the few celebrities, like Johnny Depp or your favorite Rap star, who can get away with it, it’s probably not a good idea to overdo it with the jewelry. However, the right accessory can do a good job in expressing your individuality. The secret is in the simplicity. A twinkling earring might be a bit much next to some gray hair, but there are ways to show style without crossing the line. A tailored suit with a bit of thick, intricate chain and a hand-tooled silver or platinum ring is a good fashion statement. And some simple yet bold cufflinks always add just a bit of splash to that tailored shirt.
Some rules to go by: if the only bling that you’re used to wearing is a wedding band and a watch on special occasions, then start slowly. For a man, suddenly accessorizing with metal can raise a few eyebrows, but it can be just as masculine and a lot more attractive than puffing on a cigar, IF you can pull it off.
When you do decide to make the leap: With the exception of earrings, (which should be small), wear only one or two pieces of jewelry, but be bold about it. Skip the delicate stuff. Big watches, bold watchbands or bracelets, and wide rings make a bold statement.
Again, don’t overdo it by buying a lot of separate pieces and switching them out all of the time. But don’t skimp on the few pieces that you do buy. Nothing is worse than a guy wearing cheap stuff. Take a little time to shop around and find what best expresses your own personality. If it feels good to you, then don’t worry so much about what other people think. After all, that’s part of expressing you individuality too.