When the BBC Three series Normal People aired during lockdown one of its unlikely stars was a chain, the now infamous silver necklace worn by actor Paul Mescal. In one of the most talked-about tv adaptations of last year, Mescal’s neck jewellery inspired its own Instagram account, @connellschain, which to this day has over 167k followers.
The particular necklace in question strikes a heady balance between masculinity and vulnerability, and is part of a wider trend of men’s jewellery, which has seen sales boom during the pandemic. At Matchesfashion, sales doubled in the first six week of lockdown. This has led to a more design-led focus for 2022, with men’s statement jewellery a category that is expected to significantly grow in the coming seasons.
While working from home and spending the days on zoom calls, key jewellery items like earrings, necklaces and cuffs are all “above keyboard” fashion items that are seeing an uptick in demand.
How to wear it
Chunky jewellery and a mix of layered styles will work well for retailers with a younger customer base. Colourful chains and those with expressions were made popular in the women’s category but have now crossed over to a more fluid offering, as worn by singer Harry Styles and championed by brands such as Gucci.
Classic men’s jewellery include the signet ring and bracelets, but should not be aimed at the same customer who buys cufflinks. Contemporary styles pushing the gender norm are those that are gaining traction in the men’s accessories category.
Personalisation remains popular, whether monogramming or allowing for multiple styling options. Even semi precious stones like pearls, once reserved for women’s adornment, have been seen on earrings and necklaces worn by men (cue Harry Styles). When it comes to embellishment, it’s fair game for all.