In the UK, accessorising for men has evolved considerably in recent years.

Gender stereotypes prevented men from expressing themselves freely for centuries. At least over the last two centuries, it’s commonplace for men to wear broaches, cufflinks, and watches. And with gender-fluid fashion hitting the high street, we should expect to see more men in rings, necklaces and earrings too.

In this article, we’ve explored some of the ways in which men’s accessories have changed and evolved with modern times.

The history of men’s jewellery

Historical artefacts prove that men wore handmade jewellery to demonstrate social status, wealth, and belonging. The earliest types of jewellery were crafted from shells, animal teeth, and other naturally borne materials.

By the eighteenth century, men’s jewellery choices were predominantly functional. From brooches to sleeve buttons, outfits were often embellished - but the only decorative jewellery typically seen on a typical man would be a finger ring, and even that was rare.

In the modern age, approaches to men’s jewellery have shifted dramatically. From bold statement pieces to clean-cut, minimalist designs, men can now choose from a diverse range of accessories. It’s a widespread way to embrace individuality, style, and seasonality.

What are the most popular types of men’s jewellery?

  • Watches

Horologists first developed pocket watches in the sixteenth century, which quickly emerged as a luxury accessory. At the turn of the twentieth century, and by the start of the First World War, wristwatches were produced as practical tools for soldiers.

In time, they became fashionable accessories, with brands like Rolex and OMEGA at the forefront of innovation. With every new decade, luxury brands produce timepieces with complicated movements and exquisite designs, with exquisite and everyday models enjoying equal popularity. Amongst collectors and enthusiasts alike, Breitling watches boast effortless charm and appeal.

  • Rings

Historically, the only rings worn by men would be their wedding rings. However, different types and styles of rings are now an incredibly popular fashion statement, with new and old styles transcending generations and subcultures.

A 2022 survey found that nearly four in five UK consumers were thinking of shopping for gender-neutral fashion more in the future. It’s certain that jewellery and rings make up a significant part of the jewellery options available.

  • Necklaces

Increasingly, necklaces are worn by men as a fashion statement or status symbol.

From single gold chains to maximalised layered approaches with plenty of pendants, necklaces offer a simple yet effective way to demonstrate style. You’ll see gold chains as a staple feature for cultural movements like Hip Hop. For many, necklaces complete an outfit and may even evoke a sense of belonging. Men’s necklaces define style, either in subtlety or extravagance.

Conclusion: The role of men’s jewellery

With more men than ever choosing to create a personalised look, it’s no surprise that accessorising is a popular style choice.

Thanks to timeless designs and modern development, there’s now a mix of materials and precious metals available to make the jewellery market more accessible. However, luxury options still come with strong appeal for collectors, wealthy individuals, and global leaders alike.