View Full Version : Wanted to show my men's necklace designs.

08-17-2004, 08:47 PM
Greetings all,

I don't often see male necklaces being showcased anywhere, so I wanted to offer up mine for critique. I am rather new to designing, so I would love to hear any opinions anybody could offer. The pieces are simple and minimalistic, I don't really know if a more elaborate design would be considered masculine. Like I said, I am rather new to designing. Anyway, Let me know what you think and if you have any ideas I might use in the future, please tell me.

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08-17-2004, 08:54 PM
Nice job, although I'm not sure about the first green one. The others look nice and masculine, that green one looks not quite so, but then a photo of a piece of jewelry does not always do it justice, and jewelry is always a personal thing, and anyway, I'm just a gal, what do I know about what men like to wear! :D

My DH wears his weddng band, his watch and no other jewelry. When we were dating he had matching snowflake obsidian necklaces made for us, mine with silver accents his with gold. Both necklaces now hang on my jewelry rack, haven't seen him wear his in ages!

Back to your stuff, I REALY like the first one, the one with the piece that looks like a bone and the last one with the white chips. They all match what my minds eye sees when thinking of a cool necklace for a guy.

Best of luck with them, looks like you've got a nice collection there!


08-17-2004, 10:36 PM
Very nice pieces! How are they meant to hang? I find that most guys want a short necklace if they are going to wear one.


08-17-2004, 11:37 PM
Nice! I also like to delve into the realm of men's jewelry--although I haven't so much of late. I also find that men like shorter necklaces, in addition to more subdued colours and heavier beads. (Or, thicker chains, if you do maille.)

08-18-2004, 12:08 AM
The third pix & the fifth pix are my favorites--and I'd say most likely to "sell" where I am (midcoast maine) to the guys up here....
Of course this is a very very, uh, rural area!

08-18-2004, 12:15 AM
I like them! I wish I could get my guy to wear any jewelry - can't even get him to wear his wedding band.

Can I ask, what length is a typical men's necklace?

:) Pam

08-18-2004, 05:32 AM
Wow, Thanks for all of the quick replies.

Jen, Thanks for the input. The green necklace you mentioned is my first attempt at making a necklace that is designed for males, but has some flair to it. My co-workers all thought my initial attempts were a bit plain and lacking in the wow-factor. It is also the necklace that gets the least wear. I also wanted to put some flair into the third necklace by adding a bone focal bead, which is also another necklace that does not get much wear. I am finding that I really prefer the simple designs. I am probably like most fellas out there and do not wear much in the way of jewelry, so plain seems to suit me.

Jo, I tried a couple of necklaces at longer lengths, but nothing felt really comfortable when I did that. All of the designs I have done at this point are just longer than choker length. They tend to sit just above a t-shirt collar or just under. I think I prefer it when then sit just beneath the collar, but visible at times.

Susie, I have yet to delve into maille - nice pieces on your website by the way. A simple chain or some kind of wire wrapping sounds interesting. Any tips you could offer for a masculine design there?

Lyn, I think I most fond of the fifth piece, myself. It kinda fell together when I bounced around some booths during a show and found some wood, shell, and bone. The third piece is good, but I think it may be a tad too extravagant to me. I can understand the rural thing, there is a certain comfort level with wearing jewelry in the city, but I do not that I would feel the same where it might stand out too much.

Pam, Hehe, yah, we are stubborn creatures when it comes to jewelry. Perhaps you could bribe him into wearing something - go with food, that always worked for me.


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08-18-2004, 06:22 AM
Great work, Thomas. I, too, am not so sure about the first green necklace, but I'm from Maine (as Lyn said, we're rural. she really meant backward but was being nice :evil: !). I have to be honest though, I'm not sure I like the toggle closure for a male's necklace. I'm not sure what it is about it, but something about it doesn't work for me. It's probably because the only males I see with necklaces are teenage or early 20's and they're mostly wearing hemp necklaces or shell necklaces. What about a high quality magnetic clasp (one of the strong ones), or a clasp that screws together. Somehow, for me I think, the clasp needs to blend into the necklace a bit more. Just my .02.

08-18-2004, 07:55 AM
Hi Thomas, glad you're back.

My LP (life partner) Roger doesn't wear jewelry. Partly because of his job and partly because he doesn't like to wear it. Sometimes he wears our family ring for special occasions but that's it. Having said that, my friend Jonathan does wear jewelry. He wears a necklace and a bracelet I made him. The bracelet is on stretch cord and is dark wood and fake bali with a nice, very simple, little lampwork focal. I want to replace the fake bali with real bali sometime. I made the bracelet from some beads that someone gave me as an experiment and Jonathan claimed it. I'll try to get pics of the necklace and bracelet tonight to post.

I guess what I'm saying is I agree with you, simple is a good idea for males. For instance in the melon bead necklace I might try keeping all the melon beads the same color and using a small bone bead, a small rough cast metal bead (nugget bead maybe) or a small primative clay bead between each one. For the clasp I like the recommendation for a screw clasp or a magnetic one. What I'm trying for in men's jewelry, the few times I've made it is either a subtle suprise or a piece of jewelry that signifies something. For instance Jonathan's necklace was made as a way for him to wear his bear fetishes that people have given him because the Kodiak bear is his totem. He described what he had in mind, then I made it.

I'm glad someone is exploring this area, thanks for a thought provoking thread. I'm rating this thread Excellent, I hope others do too.

08-18-2004, 10:16 AM
The only style necklaces my son will wear and only when he goes dancing (for fun in clubs) are bigger glass beads I have made with heavy duty magnetic clasps and large bichons. Sometimes I sneak in a few barrels. No designs other than frit or swirls and I am limited to two colors of glass white and black, black and white, blue and white, white and blue, etc. I don't think I have made any other colors, oh yes, all white, all blue. I get very bored with these. Peg M

TurtleBay Jewelry
08-18-2004, 11:28 AM

Kudos to you for trying something new! We don't see much in the way of male influence around here, so often I think we forget that guys like to adorn themselves from time to time as well.

I spend a lot of time here in FL, and just about all the guys I know (and a lot of them are Air Force) do wear shorter necklaces or plain sterling silver bangles that I've been selling. (Much larger gauge wire, btw...)

As for a direct running commentary about all your pics, here goes:

The first one I love-it's got a nice feel with the silver discs in there. Adds oomph without looking feminine. The first green one does seem a bit too girly. That might need some reworking. Often times, most mens jewelry when using silver is paired with a more natural material to balance out the shine, i.e. leather, tribal bone beads, shells, etc. The third necklace I think would be a smash hit if you removed the focal. It's a little too heavy. The fourth I totally dig. It's very "surfer style" which is huge around here on the coast, and guys on the beach wear this sort of thing all the time. Besides, I'm a bit partial to the Chevron beads anyway. And the last one I think is well done as well and needs no changing.

All in all, I think you did great. It takes a little refining on occasion, but hang in there. I'm working on a silver and leather bracelet for a good friend of mine who is male, so when I get it done, I'll post a pic. Best wishes!


08-18-2004, 12:05 PM
I don't often see male necklaces being showcased anywhere, so I wanted to offer up mine for critique.

Hi there, Thomas!

I looked at these last night, and came back to give them another serious browse this morning. I'm really interested in the subject of men's jewellery or, more important, how men feel about it.

My favorites are the first, middle and last (especially first and last). I'm not that fond of jewellery on men personally, but it is the massive gold chains and diamond rings that really turn me off.... your designs are earthy and simple, which is a good thing.

I think the idea is to stay away from anything that might give a piece a feminine touch; I'm in complete agreement with the suggestions that have already been posted. The toggle clasps are giving me a bit of a problem, as is that focal bead. I, too, find the first green necklace on the feminine side. The first necklace is very cool :cool: and different, and the last shell necklace is so nice and 'beachy!' I find the more 'rough' and natural the material, the more masculine and attractive.... and it can be refined with some good pieces of sterling.

Best to you,

Claudia :)

08-18-2004, 12:07 PM
I really do honestly like them all!

I can imagine each on a man's neck. I'm single and I think it is sexy for a manly man to wear a necklace.... not that I find many.. LOL!

I make necklaces for my nephews. They have always been ultra simple on leather cord. This summer I made one for each from the organic tutorial (ivory w/silver and one transparent then squish). I made them so they can wear them as tight or loose as they like, and they, too, seem to wear them right around the t-shirt collar. I'm the most proud of those out of all my jewlery.. and they probably get the most wear!

08-18-2004, 02:10 PM
Great job Thomas!
As I was reading the responses, mine are closest to Claudia's. The first and last necklaces appear to be more like what the young men in my area would wear. Simple and earthy seem to be key.

My nephew wears a tiger eye necklace all the time (it also has black jade and a tiny bit of silver). Another nephew has requested a unakite chip necklace for his birthday. A simple black leather cord with a few bone/wood beads is also popular. I've used lobster clasps and to answer the question about necklace length...for men, I start at 18" (16" for the young ones who haven't hit puberty just yet). ;)

08-18-2004, 03:33 PM
I haven't much to add except to say "good for you" for getting into this niche, and to perhaps second or third the opinion that a toggle clasp just doesn't quite "feel" perfect as a choice for men's jewelry.

My own DH wouldn't wear jewelry if I paid him, while my Dad, still a real character at 80, wears the rather macho bangle I made him all the time and is pestering me for another one using turquoise. He'd like a choker or two, too.

You never know who your customers might be!

08-18-2004, 04:05 PM
Hiya again :)

I'm pretty well in agreement here with everyone. Toggle clasps not only seem feminine, but a lot of guys I know reject them--usually in favor of barrel or magnetic clasps.

As far as male chains--thick chains, not necessarily "bling bling" but with some substance tend to be preferred. There's a silver maille bracelet on my site, it's punctuated (or segmented? I never know what to call it) byzantine with a clasp that looks like a horseshoe--that was a custom order from a male client, and he is happy as a lark with it. Men tend to go for simple, streamlined designs, but with some presence. LOL, I should get you in touch with my friend Adam--you guys would have a ball discussing it.

08-18-2004, 08:32 PM
WOW! I did not anticipate so many great responses. Thanks everybody.

Lori, Hehe rural = sdrawkcab. As far as the toggle clasp, that was appealing to me more so than others I have seen, but as far as being a male who does not wear necklaces often, I find myself continually making sure it is still closed. I had one open once and the necklace fell without me even noticing. I will have to look into the magnetic clasps or something else for durability. What would you suggest as far as blending the clasp? Thanks for the .02!

Barbara, I have a bunch of other melon beads, I will have to try your suggestion so they do not go to unused bead limbo. How does your friends stretch bracelet hold up for him? I have thought about trying something with elastic, but I am afraid it will become too brittle over time or stretch. Please post anything you have in regards to male designs. I would love to see them.

Peg, Hehe, since you are not being challenged with his choice of necklaces, maybe you should just challenge yourself and give him a design you think works. I am considering doing some simpler stuff with a smaller color scale, I really want to try a black leather necklace with a green focal bead. I really like the focal bead on my second necklace pictured, but as I mentioned previously, the necklace is slightly too extravagant to me as far as being something I feel comfortable wearing. Good luck on your designs. :)

Danielle, Thanks for the vote of confidence. I have considered removing the focal from the third piece, I really like the bone, but it does add a little too much flair in my opinion. I may end up doing just that and taking it out. The fourth one I like, but have not worn too much. Thanks for the kudos on that one - maybe I will have to try it out more often and see how it goes. Thanks for the well wishing. It is hard to get an idea on what will work when I do not see a bunch of designs for men out and about. I am thinking about moving into macrame of something to broaden my horizons. I noticed you have some
beads by Fay Servoss on your website. Fay is an awesome person and excellent designer. I met her and her husband in Milwaukee and we hit it off immediately. I have a glass design from her that I plan on using in a necklace soon. Tell her I said hello next time you two converse!

Claudia, I think there are men out there who can pull off the chunky jewelry and larger stones in necklaces, but I am definetely one of those guys who cannot seem to be comfortable in public with a larger piece hanging off me. Call it societal conditioning, I don't know. I cannot really explain why I would or would not feel right with certain jewelry. I do think the low key stuff is good when it is a footnote and not something that a wardrobe on a male is planned around. I have noticed that men at shows do not seem to stick out when they wear alot of jewelry - but then again - it is most certainly a time and place when that is what is expected and not otherwise. The general consensus on the first green necklace does seem to be that it is somewhat "girly" which is precisely why I posted it: for second opinions. I may have to look for a way to redesign it so it does no stand out too much. Thanks for the review!

Lori, So you like all of them? Well, thanks. Can I ask how you might enhance or simplify the first green necklace that is getting the mixed reviews? If you like it the way it is, I am just curious on what you think might improve it if I were to change it.

Beth, Thanks for the pat on the back. I mentioned earlier that I am considering using some black leather for my next pieces. The bone on leather sounds like something I might wear. Have you designed any necklaces like that, that you have photos of? I am curious about what the piece would like like with the bone and wood on leather. Sounds very primal and interesting.

Brenda, Thanks for you response. As I mentioned earlier, the toggle clasp looked good at the time, but I am not convinced about the security part of it, let alone the aesthetic aspect. I have not tried turquoise yet, but I do reside in the Southwest and am pretty sure that I could do no wrong in this neck of the woods with a turquoise piece. Any suggestions there?

Thanks again for all of the responses. I do not intend on selling any of my necklaces just yet, so I am trying to make solid pieces for the worst critic in the world - myself. All of the ideas I have read so far are great and I would love to see any pictures of male designs that anybody might have.

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08-18-2004, 09:40 PM
Okay Thomas,
I'm not the most proud of this leather necklace, but it's the only picture I have and the young ones like it. This particular one used wood and horn beads along with a single piece of Bali silver. If I could do it over again, I'd probably use 2mm leather and a hook and eye clasp. The second picture is the tiger eye bracelet I discussed earlier that was also made into a necklace.

08-19-2004, 03:35 PM

Wow, I really like that bracelet. I have yet to make one. Is the neckalce you also make the same design? How does the toggle clasp hold up on the wrist? Would you suggest a different clasp for a bracelet?
The leather necklace is very interesting. I am not sure about the Bali silver in the center, but I bet it fits right in when sitting on the neck. Do you think bone would make a good focal bead for that kind of design.
I hope you won't be too offended I incorporate a similar design for myself. I really want to try a leather necklace sometime.

Thanks for the pics!

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08-19-2004, 03:47 PM

I will have to be on the look out for new clasps. You have some great designs on your site. I like the wire-wrapped bracelet in particular. Probably not something that I would wear, but very aesthetically pleasing. When you do wire wrapping, do you have a design in mind before commencing, or is it just a skillful free-hand technique that blooms as it goes? I want to get my feet wet in the wire-wrapping arena, but have not had much luch designing something - as of yet - that looks decent. How long are you chain necklaces? I am just curious, I tend to see the "bling-bling" style chains hanging pretty far down the chest. I like my necklaces at the collar, is this suitable for chain?

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08-19-2004, 09:26 PM
Hi Thomas,
Thanks for the compliments. Yes, the tiger eye necklace is the same design as the bracelet. Most men don't go for the toggle clasps. But as a woman, I love them! For the men, I use a lobster clasp.

I think a bone bead would be a GREAT focal for the leather necklace. No offense taken by finding inspiration for your own design. We are here to inspire others and to find inspiration ourselves. Copying is another topic which I'm sure you can find plenty on when searching the forums.