Men’s Wedding Bands: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Look, you don’t have to search high and low for examples of how men’s jewelry has become way more than wedding bands, watches, and wide neck chains. Today, men of every persuasion can be found rocking everything from substantial (yet classic) signet rings to dainty ear adornments to piles of twisted bracelets with charms too! And yet, when it comes to something as staid as a men’s wedding bands, there are still some pretty scary examples out there. What was once a plain gold band has morphed into countless metal options, patterns aplenty, and diamonds to boot. But sometimes that plain gold band is really what you want, anyway! So we’re here to break down how to buy a men’s wedding band he’ll actually want to wear.
When it comes to purchasing a significant and celebratory piece of jewelry, it pays to not only know what you want, but what you’ll actually be up for wearing on the regular. That’s right, guys, most folks expect their partners to be rocking that wedding ring every damn day. So the last thing you want is something that just doesn’t work for you. Here’s what to consider:
Just like with women’s engagement and wedding rings, but perhaps even more important when it comes to men’s rings is metal choice. Because men’s rings are more frequently plain metal bands, this is one of the first questions to ask yourself. The basics? Gold and platinum, obvi. But don’t forget, gold comes in white, yellow, or rose right off the bat. And yes, men can (and do!) wear rose gold wedding rings! It’s hot. How to choose? If you wear other jewelry, many folks like to match their metals. Or match their partner’s rings. Have a warmer skin tone? Yellow and rose can really help get that glow on. Don’t want to choose? Mix it up! Try a two-tone ring that alternates yellow and white metals, or a braided style that incorporates three colors. The biggest difference between gold and platinum (besides price) is in how they wear over time. Both will scratch, but gold wears away when scratched, whereas platinum just sort of shifts around and can be polished back into shape.
Fit or Flop?
For most men, comfort is key when it comes to something they’re going to wear every day. And while any ring will take some getting used to for jewelry newbies, some will naturally be more comfy than others. Meet: The comfort fit wedding band. That’s right, it’s there in the name. This style of band (which isn’t exclusive to dudes) incorporates a curved inside edge, so no hard corners will dig into your delicate fingers. Really tho, it’s supes comfortable and totally something to try if you’re not digging wearing a ring all the time.
Men’s wedding rings can also be made in a wide variety of widths. Most commonly, you’ll find styles in the 4mm – 8mm range, but you can go thinner or thicker depending on your style and fit preference. For most folks, the wider the ring gets, the likelier it is that you’ll have to go up a half or whole size as it takes up more space on your finger, so keep that in mind when you’re measuring your ring size.
Now we’re at the complicated part of the men’s wedding ring selection process. The details. This is where things can get fun—or go horribly wrong. You know that saying “keep it simple, stupid”? Well, my darlings, it most definitely applies. See, classics are classics for a reason. Here are a few of our faves:
The Brush Off
Don’t want to wear anything too shiny in fear it’ll draw attention to your newly not-so-single status? Or perhaps you just know yourself well and that you’re sure to scuff up that precious jewel on the first day (which is actually totally normal). Well, one nice way to make your ring your own before you even pop it on your finger is to choose a brushed finish instead of a high polish. It gives the ring a more matte look, helps disguise wear, and you can even accent it with a polished edge or thin row of diamonds if you’re into contrasts.
Ah, milgrain, the most classic of classics. What on earth is it? Milgrain is an age-old pattern that consists of tiny beads of metal all neatly lined up in a clean row. Like, really tiny. When applied to the edges of a men’s gold or platinum wedding ring, it typically looks like a simple dotted line that lends the ring visual interest without distraction.
Not those kind, come on. But really, bars—or stripes, rather—are another simple, sophisticated way to add a subtle accent to a men’s ring. This might be with alternating metals fused together, simple engraved lines that encircle the finger, or even a solid row of diamonds. Yes, in fact, men’s diamond eternity bands are a thing. A thing we like very much, indeed.
Bend it Like Becks
Want to take the pattern play even further? Try a twisted (two strands) or braided (three strands) metal band. Typically, men’s gold rings in a single or mixed-metal braid style will have a more flattened appearance and fit, rather than a rounded twist like a rope. This is for comfort, guys. You don’t want a big ‘ol rope in between your fingers all day, amirite?
Diamonds are a Man’s Best Friend
Back to that whole diamond thing. Men’s diamond rings are not as scarce as you might be thinking. We love a dude in a big solitaire signet diamond style or something with a simple diamond accent. Eternity rings, sure. A few baguettes creating a simple row of brilliance? All for it. Want to keep it more subtle? Add a single bead-set diamond to your band, or set one on the inside that’s totally your little secret.
The only rings we don’t recommend? Something that’s simply not you. How to avoid the pitfalls? Keep it classic. Like the oh-so-70s powder blue tuxedo (hi, dad!) or the frothy, puffed-sleeve 80s dress that your mom is regretting to this day, wedding ring style trends come and go. But classic is here to stay. Just like your love, right? Avoid the overly ornate, the bright colors, anything that seems like the hottest thing out there (we’re looking at you barbed wire and skulls), or championship sport styles unless of course you’ve actually won one…in favor of something simple that goes with everything in your closet from laid back denim to your favorite blue suit.
The Bottom Line
Because we know you’re wondering—what’s this men’s wedding ring going to run you? Well, it’s all about your budget, darling. Just like with any women’s ring, you have to decide what you want and what your priorities are and work within what your wallet can handle. Gold is usually more affordable than platinum, and 14k more affordable than 18k, with diamonds being the biggest add-on you’ll see. But anything goes and what really matters is getting the one you’ll wear. That means anything from a couple hundo to thousands. I know that’s not an easy answer. But it’s the truth.
Easier Than Asking for Directions
Still not sure where to start? Explore our collection of men’s gold, platinum, and diamond wedding rings for inspiration. Ready to make it your own? Customize a ring with our style quiz and get a free sketch to check your work. Don’t worry, you get free redos too. Need some expert assistance? Our jewelry gurus are here to help in a super simple, mostly painless way. Just drop us a line about what you’re looking for (and your budget) at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you sorted.