Men's Jewelry And Self Confidence

Head's Up

This exact bracelet is a silver cuff by A.P.C. and it isn't actually for sale anymore. In fact, this whole wall of text won't really tell you whether or not you should buy A.P.C. jewelry, but I hope it will tell you why I think every dude that's into fashion needs to pick up something shiny. If you guys have any cool pieces of jewelry that are affordable and readily available, I'd love to hear about it. I recently found this silver necklace that I've been diggin'.

Jewelry is the kind of thing that makes me wish my budget was a good bit higher, because you can find some really cool stuff with some serious spending cash. Although, you really don't need a shitton of money to play around with these things—you just need to know where to look. I should also mention that I've been digging around Amazon Handmade with small amounts of luck.

Where It All Began

I don’t even know why I asked to see their jewelry in the first place. I didn’t set out to find jewelry. Hell, I even set out not to spend money. But when that NYC A.P.C. employee pulled out that bracelet, I found myself deeply conflicted. I knew that thing was cool. But was I cool enough for it?

I was wearing my favorite blue jeans, a grey sweater, and mm gats—though this is rather unimportant considering this kind of simple silver goes with just about everything. I tried it on with the clasp facing out and again with the clasp facing in. I guess I didn’t really love it either way. I walked to the full-length mirror at the back of the store and tried to check it out from every angle. My then-girlfriend liked it, but if I took her word for it then I probably would have left this sentence out of the story. I walked back up to the employee at the front, he was waiting for me so he could pack it back up.

“Yeah, I dunno man. I know it’s a one-size fits all kind of thing but I think it’s too big for me, I don’t think I can pull off a dangly silver cuff.”

“Really? I've always liked dangly jewelry. I can just imagine people talking with their hands and watching it flop around.”

I tried to act like that wasn't the only reason I was buying it. Oh well. If you're reading this, cool dude at the NYC A.P.C. store, I know you know exactly what happened. I was malleable. Sweet fades.

Just Let Me Get This Off My Chest

Like a year and a half ago, I remember reading a style primer for accessories in the ‘rocker’ aesthetic. I remember thinking "damn, I’m not nearly cool enough to pull this shit off."" I’ll be honest, my recent stylistic changes don’t fit my old self—but I think this migration into a new self-image has vastly improved my life in a lot of ways. I think this actually presents the first important take away here—you need to be confident in yourself to put jewelry on in the morning.

Self Confidence

I can't tell you how often my accessories get attention—significantly more than my clothes or shoes at least. This bracelet gets way more attention than any of my other accessories I've picked up—all of which I've copped since the first purchase at the A.P.C. store. I’m not sure if wearing jewelry has slowly forced me to become a little more self-confident or if gaining more self-confidence has made me finally think “oh wait I CAN pull this off.” I like to think it's a little bit of both.

The same goes for a lot of the unique things I enjoy. For example, I’m wearing velcro shoes as I write this. I left my shiny jeans at home, but for crying out loud here, I don’t look like the other small-town folk. Two years ago this feeling was practically my worst nightmare. Back then I dressed to fit in - but something has changed since then. I think my creative hobbies, like fashion and photography, are so cool to me because they finally forced me out of my comfort zone. If this is your first time tuning in, I'm a computer science major. It suffices to say that I'm not like a lot of the CS majors I meet. I don't know how I became so endlessly involved in this fashion stuff, but I love it.

Self Confidence From Photography

I spent countless hours learning how and where to pose someone. I invested all this time, yet I proceeded to wander the downtown areas near me, taking pictures of people without them even knowing I was there—of course, I wanted them to pose for me in the beautifully soft light just around the block, but I simply could not imagine asking them. As you might expect, I got a lot of shitty creep-shots. In fact, I hated just about every shot I took until I realized one simple thing: I would never take a good picture until I could stand three feet from someone's face while they stare through the lens and right into my soul.

Shooting strangers takes more people skills than technical skills.

Years ago I would have been far too afraid to approach nearly anyone at all. These days I walk up to someone I've never met before, flash 'em the pearly whites, bring the viewfinder up, and embrace their confusion. Better still, I get my favorite shots the times I find myself making friends with townies. It gets me out of the house, don't judge.

Self Confidence From Fashion

Bringing this personal tangest back to a more relevant note, what fun is fashion if everyone looks at your outfit and feels no strong opinions one way or another? If you're afraid of attention, you'll never get anywhere. I assume you're reading because you want to know how to stand out ever-so-slightly without second guessing yourself. I used to be in the same boat, I used to just buy whatever I saw on MFA's WAYWT posts. I dressed like one MFA Uniform after another until one day I realized how utterly boring it was. It took me way too long to realize, expression makes fashion so much more enjoyable.

When I walk to class, I make it a point to wander through the populated parts of campus - I tend to get a few reactions. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for paparazzi; in fact, I mostly go unnoticed and I’m certainly not complaining. But… every once in awhile, I’ll strike up a conversation with someone about my shoes or something. Again, this is a big "fuck-you" to my former comfort zone.

It's really annoying that the big take aways of all my articles lately seems to be one word off of some age-old cliche. I need to start writing better or something.

Life Self-expression begins at the end of your comfort zone.

So, just do it. I don’t know if you’re a cool person. I have no idea. But this is what’s so great about fashion - you’ve got the chance to put on something that will predispose strangers to think you’re more like someone else. I won’t comment on whether or not this predisposition is good or bad for society, I’m not nearly philosophical enough for that, but I will say this, you can take advantage of this predisposition.

Put on something that only someone slightly cooler than you would ever wear—jewelry, leather jacket, whatever. Prepare for comments, embrace the little rush you experience whenever you recieve a small amount of attention, and, when that high inevitably wears off, find something even cooler. One day you’ll wake up in a back alley covered in Rick Owens or something. I don’t know yet.

But I’ll keep you posted.

Embrace the shine