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Real Men Wear Bling

- CBS News
NEW YORK, Dec. 27, 2005

(CBS) The idea of wearing jewelry once made some men squirm. A guy wore a simple wedding band and maybe, on special occasions, a pair of cufflinks.

But that's changing with "man bling" now accounting for about 10 percent of the annual $48.3 billion in fine jewelry sales in the United States, according to a study by National Jeweler magazine.

The Early Show asked GQ magazine's style editor, Adam Rapoport, to tell guys how to add a little bling to their lives without going over the top. Adam's job is to find jewelry that men can and will consider wearing, even if they don't happen to be rap stars or Hollywood heroes.

Rapoport says that there is a wide range of jewelry for men to choose from, whether they're looking for something refined and sleek or a chunkier, more urban look.

Below are some of GQ's best picks for rings, bracelets and necklaces designed for men.

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A ring is a great way for a man to incorporate a little bling into his life. It doesn't have to be overly glitzy or feminine looking. Many rings designed for men are sleek, in pure white gold or silver sculpted in masculine shapes.

Bulgari has a white gold ring called "B Zero" for $820. It's available at Bulgari boutiques nationwide. Gucci has a signature silver and black enamel ring with its signature double G logo for $650, at Gucci boutiques. Australia-based LOOP has a silver "X-Ring" for $115, at Paul Smith boutiques. Lazaro has a simple silver ring for $150 at its boutiques.

The latest bracelets for men are anything but feminine, incorporating materials like brushed steel and rubber for a refined yet rugged style. Simmons Jewelry has a stainless steel and rubber bracelet for $100. Gregg Wolf has a silver ID bracelet for $295; information is available at 212-529-1784. Cartier's Santoes brushed steel and 18-karat gold bracelet is $1,775 at Cartier stores. David Yurman's leather band with a gold clasp is $1,150. Montblanc makes a steel and rubber cuff for $190.

Once upon a time, real men didn't wear necklaces. Now, they're wearing charms on their necklaces. Tiffany & Co is offering a silver coin-edge tag at $160. Jill Platner's silver pendant on a cord is $330 at www.jillplatner.com. Garrard's gold chain is $850, with a gold and enamel king's shield charm for an extra $1,700; information at 888-699-8811. Giles & Brother by Philip Crangi has a silver necklace with three charms—a crest, a dagger and a safety pin—for $217.50 at Barneys Co-op in New York or at www.bluebeeonline.com.

Why the sudden popularity of "man bling?" According to Rapoport, the so-called metrosexual movement is responsible in part. Men have become more comfortable with grooming, and preening is acceptable as men begin to moisturize their skin and highlight their hair.

Rap stars also legitimized the concept of big jewelry for men, at least for younger men, and christened it "bling." Their diamond stud earrings and heavy gold necklaces brought flashy jewelry for men into the mainstream for the first time since Elvis graced Las Vegas.

A more conservative style came out into the open when Brad Pitt wafted through "Ocean's Twelve" wearing a silver pendant and cufflinks from Tiffany's.

©MMV, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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