In the Venn diagram of men and jewelry, there used to be but a narrow overlapping sliver reserved exclusively for rock stars and Johnny Depp, those few shining examples of men granted public permission to adorn themselves with more sparkle than a Vegas showgirl—without jeopardizing their masculinity. Up until recently, that is, when this space began rapidly expanding to welcome men from all walks of life. The proof is everywhere: A dating app swipe session yields innumerable man-bunned surfers displaying their tanned, tattooed, accessorized forearms; a visit to a Williamsburg, Brooklyn, bar has me asking a guy where he purchased the coin pendant hanging from his neck (so that I might snap one up as well); a ride up an escalator in a midtown office building reveals a banker channeling his inner Burning Man aficionado via carefully curated Miansai bracelets. (Let’s not even get started on Depp, whose accessories game officially jumped the shark when he collected a People’s Choice Award with no less than four safety pin–style earrings—in one ear!) And while I’m all about men embracing fashion, this particular manifestation leaves me slightly conflicted: Is mutual accessory approval yet another evaluation criteria to add to the already complex endeavor that is modern dating?
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