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Ask Esquire: I Think I Like Gold Jewelry. How Should I Wear It?

Peacocking with shiny things.
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Guys, guys, guys.

Have you seen that 60 Minutes interview of Eminem where he rhymes with the word orange? It’s always on our YouTube feed, and we don’t know why!

We bring this up because of this question: “Aside from my wedding band, is it okay to wear gold jewelry?”  

We're going to answer this way: 

Gold is old
It's cold I'm told
Wife patrolled my billfold
’Cause the cost is fourfold
Avoid it like bread mold
Behold, Leopold on a chokehold
Gold is so, so mode
I don't do as I'm told
Vocal fold at its threshold 

Em says we should “bend the words.” Did it work? Do you like it?

Okay, we're going to stop now and stick to giving you sensible advice: 

Gold Is Back, Ya Know?

The style forecast says we’re living in the age of wear-whatever-the-hell-you-want. It is amazing and confusing and exciting and scary! Have you seen the kids these days?

In step with the Frankenstein jackets and mismatched everything, there are outlandish accessories, gold included. In fact, since that long ago time of 2017, watches of the gold variety have regained popularity, and they're not just Rollies in rose or pink gold, but heavy metal timepieces in true gold—that yellow gold, the flashy gold, the I-want-to-blind-your-eyes gold.

Reports from local retailers put this in context: Yes, gold watches are moving, but Filipino men are still inclined to less obstrusive golds. (Boo.)

Nevertheless, if you feel the call of the shine, do not be afraid. You're in good company. Cool men like Brad Pitt, Bruno Mars, David Beckham, and even James Bond are known to rock gold watches or jewelry. 

It never really went away. 

Gold Is Attitude, Ya Feel?

If you inspect our hands right now, it will most likely be devoid of anything outlandish. Maybe there is a silver bracelet or a steel chronograph. That's all we have because, just like you, we are trapped in our prison of fear. 

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But secretly, just like you, we've been thinking of a slick accessory move: loading up on rings, gold and silver alike, in various styles, on multiple fingers. It's a bold statement that will require a huge reserve of guts.

The price is high, but the payoff is worth it. As with other accessory flexes, gold jewelry can take your look from “Yeah, he's looking human today” to “Sir, can I take your picture pleeease?”

And there's nothing wrong with wanting that. There's no shame in putting on some shine in order to stand out from the the sheeple. Kings, pharoahs, popes, ancestors, world-famous rappers, and your cool uncle who has a gold tooth, do it because they are boss. 

Gold Is Personal, Ya Dig? 

Used to wear a yellow gold watch that we filched from our dad (we exchanged our steel one for his gold). It's an old watch—dinged and bruised in places, but still very gold—whose provenance mom is not sure of, and we liked wearing it because it reminded us of dad and mom. 

Gold accessories, any kind of jewelry, really, are convincing when they're personal. Did serendipity lead you to that necklace, which was hidden in a heap of stuff on a table in a corner in Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen? Is that bracelet a gift from an ex (why do you still have it)? And did you find that ring in the bathroom?    

Of course, not all of your treasures will have a story. Some will come blank and new from a boutique in Greenbelt, and it will be up to you to wear it to death. Eventually, it will star in a fantastic and totally not embellished story and then it will become instrinsically part of you. 

Gold Is Simple, Bruh

Until you've established yourself as some sort of style maverick, who does whatever he wants without looking like a fool, the best course of action is start your gold exploration slowly. 

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Begin with one piece. The safest bet is to dust off the religious medallion, golden and blessed, you wore around your neck when you were boy. And later, add another necklace of different length, thickness, and texture. Two is enough. Wear with a T-shirt. 

A cuff bracelet is just as easy. It's like wearing a watch but without that bit with the time. Preferably, the gold cuff should be spare—a slender arc, deviod of decoration, that wraps around your wrist. 

And as discussed, choose something with character or something that looks like it has character: hammered, weathered, brushed. Just wear something you don't see everywhere. Instead of the Cartier Love bracelet, which is, uh, lovely but ubiquitous, get the Juste un Clou, which is a gold nail. The Miansai Screw cuff has a similar feel and costs less, too. 

From there, you can work your way to trickier stuff. A chain bracelet has moderate difficulty because of its heft and flash, but when worn as the single point of interest, together with a laidback rig (maybe a shirt and jeans), it is doable.

A signet ring or a pinky ring amps up the difficulty because of its slippery pimp vibe, but, yeah, try them out. If you're feeling the rings and after the compliments start rolling in, don't stop. Add more.  

And what of thick ropes of gold links? Do you dare do it?

We're going to have to draw the line on this one even if you fancy yourself as an amatuer rhymer.


Juste un Clou bracelet by Cartier


Screw cuff by Miansai


Chaine d'Ancre bracelet by Hermès


Square Link bracelet by Tiffany

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About The Author
Clifford Olanday
Senior Fashion Editor, Esquire Philippines
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