Why Signet Rings Are The Best Men’s Jewelry Trend Of 2020
Men’s jewelry can be a polarizing subject. And in the past, nothing was more polarizing than the signet ring. With connotations spanning hedge funds to mafiosos, the style has a long history. But in 2020, it’s one of the easiest accessories to rock with a T-shirt and jeans. With styles to pick from designers like Maison Margiela, Balenciaga, and Givenchy, this look is just at home in street style as it is in the country club.
The Evolution of Signet Rings
The history of the signet ring stretches all the way back to Ancient Egypt. They were used as carved seals, inscribed with meaningful symbols seen as talismans. The style grew in popularity during the Middle Ages, when crests and symbols identified those from a certain status. Wealthy landowners used their signet ring to create a wax seal on important documents.
Over the years, the practical need for signet rings lessened, but the association with status remained. Men continued to wear them throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, all the way through modern history. (Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra were both known to wear one.) Today, they are favored by a wide range of celebrities—like Jay Z, Johnny Depp, Zayne Malik, and Prince Charles.
Types of Signet Rings
Now, signet rings are available in a wide range of styles and applications, thus explaining their diverse appeal. To rock them without looking like a mob boss, we suggest a few general rules...First, match your metals. If you already wear a silver wedding band or watch, stick with a silver signet ring (and vice versa). Secondly, don’t overwhelm your ring with other jewelry. If you wear your watch on your left arm, place your ring on your right hand and leave it to that. Finally, be mindful of the size you choose. If you have slimmer hands, pick a smaller ring—like a simple pinkie style. Thicker fingers can handle a bulkier silhouette.
With those rules in mind, pick a style that speaks to you. Fashion-forward types can pull off more bling, but there are plenty of minimal looks, as well. Below, we’ve included some of our favorites from The Complex Shop partner, The Webster.
Large Rectangular Rings
With a large flat face, rectangular rings have a substantial silhouette that doesn’t feel too flashy. Choose from a classic white or black face, or opt for a multi tonal design that reflects your personal style.
Reminiscent of those classic wax seals, vintage styles feel they have been passed down for generations. Made with quality materials like sterling silver and 18K gold, they are in fact heirlooms of tomorrow.
The Middle Ages had family crests, but contemporary times have fashion royalty. Our only loyalty is to the house of Balenciaga.
If you want a ring you can switch up with your mood, opt for a spinning style. These flip around to reveal a classic silver face or a beautiful gemstone.
Once reserved for the upper crust, you don’t need a hedge fund to enjoy today’s signet rings. Of course, top designers still offer a status symbol of sorts, but our favorite designs reflect your personal style, as well. Endlessly versatile, throw one on for your next black tie dinner or quick grocery run.
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