Cult Item: Rings
By Will Morley, 17 May 2015
Contrary to what Frodo might have you believe, there’s more than one ring to rule them all. A choice finger-garm can add punch to your outfit while also outfitting your punch – and we’re not talking dainty slivers of metal here. This is big-boy stuff: chunky rings that’ll turn a fist bump into a bicep workout. And on no account should they be referred to as man-cessories.
Some dudes are strictly no jewellery whatsoever and that’s cool. But guys who do take the plunge are rewarded with an extra level of outfit badassery that those with small cojones just won't reach.
If you’re going for that mid-90s, La Haine-inspired, sport-core vibe, the one thing you’ll need – apart from a scowl – is a sovereign ring. In the past, such a ring might have caused a few smirks from the holier-than-thou set, but if you’re decked out head-to-toe in full future-forward material and a pair of Air Max, then a sovereign ring is a must-have to complete the 80s-casual-meets-90s-steez look.
For effortless cool, there’s no easier look than a gothic-rock-inspired outfit. Although you’re far more likely to be hailing a taxi than Satan on a Friday night, there’s no harm in dabbling in the dark arts when it comes to goth-style rings. Silver skulls, rams' heads, snakes and pentagrams all add a touch of dangerous rock-god allure. Pair them with skinny-fit jeans and a leather jacket, and avoid the monotony of all black by adding in tones of grey and white, perhaps via a striped T-shirt like some sort of Parisian garage-rock sex king.
In the USA during the 40s and 50s, loads of biker clubs sprung up and began riding to Mexican border towns, where cheap rings made by local artisans, often from the smelted metal of the devalued Mexican peso coin, were snapped up. Having a fistful of metal not only looked cool but also doubled as a handy knuckle-duster in case of a ruck with rival gangs. Themes of American patriotism, death, religion and biker life all adorned the souvenir ring, which has made them collectable today. Perfect with your grubby cut-off denim jacket, boots and beard.
You don’t have to be a hardcore vintage enthusiast to rock a touch of turquoise. Antique hunters, bikers and California boho types go wild for genuine Native American designs, which add a spot of visual interest to any outfit, casual or otherwise, but you can pick up inspired pieces a little cheaper from contemporary jewellers. The unique blue-green colour truly pops and is always a conversation starter, plus it adds some real heft to earthy-toned military or workwear-inspired outfits.