Trend If women embrace jewellery, can men be far behind?

Mention men and jewellery together and you could be forgiven for thinking of images of men with flashy stone-studded rings on all fingers, thick gleaming gold chains on beefy necks and chain-like bracelets on fat wrists. They might even bear a faint resemblance to the villains and heroes in our movies and television serials. But reel is far removed from reality. Men in our city are traditionally not too fond of bling, their ornaments usually limited to a bracelet, a chain or a ring.

However, with celebrities such as Sachin Tendulkar and Suresh Gopi sporting the metal as chains and bracelets and celebs such as Mohanlal, Vikram and Vijay endorsing them, men too have started becoming conscious about the accessories they wear and are choosing ornaments in silver, gold or platinum to enhance their style.

“Men, especially metrosexuals, are gradually coming out of the closet and admitting the fact that they too enjoy wearing jewellery,” says Nixon Lazar, manager of Jos Alukkas.

Many of the leading jewellery outlets now cater for men. Men can choose from a wide range of finger rings, chains, pendants, bracelets and earrings.

Rings are accessories most people wear on both hands. And this could be a reason why Jos Alukkas has started Primo, a collection of rings for men. From traditional plain, classic gold bands to gem studded ones, it’s a plethora of designs for men.

And if you think men find wearing rings studded with stones feminine, you are mistaken: men are seen buying diamond bands. “Younger men, however, prefer trendier, chunky rings for a sportier look. Navaratna rings are popular amongst the middle-aged men,” says James Abraham of Josco Jewellers.

For the wrist, although men tend to choose thick ‘in-your-face’ kind of bracelets, carbon fibre bracelets, a “twist and wear” type of bracelet, is slowly but surely gaining popularity.

The Punjabi kada (a thick bangle) is also a current fad. Perhaps Unni Mukkudan donning it in the movie Mallu Singh has something to do with it, after all, celebrities are known to start trends. Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar who wears a gold chain and bracelet has many of his fans aping him. “In fact, many come in asking for similar chains and bracelets,” says Sreenivasa, assistant manager at Bhima Jewellers.

Actor Manoj K. Jayan says he was inspired to buy his first gold piece when he saw actor Sunil Shetty sporting a gold chain during an award show. “He looked distinctive in it. As I felt that such a chain would look good on me, on my first trip to Dubai, I picked up a chunky chain for myself,” says Manoj.

To accessorise the chains, are large pendants. While most prefer ‘Alphabet’ pendants, crosses, ‘Om’ and pendants with an image of Ganesha are also fashionable, says a salesperson at Malabar Gold.

Salman Khan wears earrings and so do quite a few men in the city. “Society is now about people expressing themselves and that is what the men are doing. Most however, wear one on one ear. Studs are popular amongst men because they do not draw attention to themselves,” says Babu Jacob, customer care zonal manager of Kalyan Jewellers.

Playback singer Benny Dayal decided to wear earrings on a whim. Expressing his desire to pierce his ears to his mother, his mother gave him the go ahead. “She told me to pierce both my ears if I decided to do so. At first, I wore studs. More recently I have started to wear small hooped earrings,” he says.

Although, the collection for men’s jewellery may be small, jewellers predict a sizable growth over the next few years. “Jewellery right now for men in Kerala is still in its infancy when compared to other parts of the globe where jewellery is considered a fashion statement for men and there is a sizable growth in the area. We expect something similar soon too,” says Nixon. Psst! We heard one of the jewellers in the city is set to launch a special men’s collection soon. Watch this space!

LIZA GEORGE

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