Ditch Your Bling: Men's Accessories Are Keeping It Simple

by Emily Green · May 7, 2010

[Photo by Ben Watts via] Gentlemen, bling is so passé. Former style editor and LA Times contributor Heather John says so. It's about time, and we couldn't be happier to kiss the iced-out look good-bye. A quick flip through some mens magazines will demonstrate the marked trend away from the flashy jewelry that dominated men's accessorizing for the last decade.

Now, the preferred look of men's accessories exhibits a simplified, more masculine style consisting of softer materials like leather, fabric and subtle silver, over sparkly gems, and shiny precious metals.  Guys, here's one thing to keep in mind if you're going to take a style cue from this: your jewelry and accessories should complement your outfit, not the other way around.  Let's look at some examples of the types things you should trade in your flashy watch or chunky metal necklace for.

This Bess necklace, available at Barney's, is edgy and stylish but doesn't demand your attention or act as a focal point. We've seen this Timex watch being sold at some high-end retailers but you can also get it Urban Outfitters.  If you still like a dash of bling but want to keep up with the times, this is perfect for you. It's got  the gold to make it pop but is much more understated than a big flashy diamond encrusted one with a bulky band. Instead, the gold is dressed down with some retro flair provided by the 80s/90s digital face and simple stretch band.

Another piece from Urban, this bracelet gives just a hint of something extra and combines the softer materials of the new accessories style. This Brera watch is sophisticated and refined but still hip and modern with a blue face and slightly chunky (in a good way!) hardware. It's the type of watch to be worn with almost anything because it adds some style to your look but won't overpower it.