I once had a college professor who could not get over my classmate's choice to wear a chunky gold chain around his neck every day. One afternoon he locked eyes with this student right in the middle of the lecture, pointed to his neck, and stated, "Dude, stop wearing that chain. It's doing nothing for your image." And while probably no one will ever be this blunt if you're not pulling something off, his reaction is likely akin to what most people will think about you if you fail to apply the "less is more" rule.
|Photo from Upscale Hype|
If you want to wear a chain, keep it light and short - just long enough to be partially hidden under your shirt so that only a little bit shows. Subtlety is key. Kanye West, when he isn't wearing theatrically huge gold necklaces on stage, is actually quite skilled at pulling off subtle statement pieces, like his Arabic nameplate necklace.
If you have a necklace with some meaning, such as a family heirloom, a religious symbol, or dog tags, even better. Since men are given minuscule jewelry allowances, whatever you do wear should make a statement about who you are and what's important to you.
Decorative bracelets are quite difficult for men to pull off, but dressed-down wrist accessories are actually fairly common. A tiny chain around your wrist that pokes out of your sleeve isn't a terrible idea, and rugged materials such as rope and leather are commonplace. You may even want to consider something with function, such as a paracord survival bracelet that can unravel into several feet of rope. What's more manly than a bracelet that could save your life in a desperate situation?
Earrings have become the most socially acceptable and common form of men's jewelry. Gauges have been around for centuries, and are currently infiltrating the mainstream. For a working professional, it's obviously best to avoid huge, gross-out gauge sizes, but wearing moderate piercings to work is becoming a more and more acceptable creative statement, much like tattoos.
Wearing only one piercing at a time to work is probably best (both pierced ears counts as one piercing), and which one you choose is a matter of personal taste. I'm of the school that snakebites and septum piercings are trendy and stupid, and that nothing trumps a subtle nose stud, but you shouldn't necessarily abide by my advice since I have zero piercings myself.
Like always, we want to hear your opinions. What man jewelry do you love/hate?