Maybe not, but kooky, colored versions are trending for men, thanks to fans like Justin Bieber and Pete Davidson.
Mr Simmons is in good company. Celebrities like Justin Bieber, Harry Styles, Pete Davidson and Jaden Smith have all been seen in similar styles. Cheerful charm necklaces were the “hottest” men’s jewelry trend this summer, with key search terms like “colourful,” “beaded” and “rainbow,” according to data sourced from global shopping platform List. Versions of the accessory run the gamut, from a $3,390 enamel-flower model by luxury brand Bottega Veneta to a $20 mushroom-and-pearl necklace available at mass retailer Urban Outfitters.
“There’s a sense of humor about it, it feels so light, it’s not something that takes itself too seriously,” said Susan Korn, founder of cult accessory label Susan Alexandra, which offers a number of charm necklaces. Ms. Korn sold well during the lockdown. One big factor: The hours Americans spent at home fueled the DIY craft movement. Her best-selling product, she said, was a “bead box” that let people make their own necklaces at home. Now that most Americans are out and about, she attributes the continued popularity of her necklaces to post-lockdown energy, specifically men’s renewed desire to experiment with fashion. “It’s the Harry Styles effect,” she said. “Everyone is dressing so fluidly.”
Nearly every ancient civilization—Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians—wore flashy jewelry as part of social or religious ceremonies. The purposes of attraction were manifold: to honor an ancestor, to mark someone as part of a certain tribe, to indicate social class. More recently, Queen Victoria popularized flashy bracelets, which she happily tied around her wrists and gave as gifts.
Today, charm necklaces represent the intersection of many fashion trends: They align with Gen Z’s defiance of traditional gender roles and the ongoing revival of Y2K aesthetics. They serve as a kind of theatrical, celebratory form, adopted by men of all ages upon re-entering society after a year of co-operation. And for those who are still doing business through the screen, it makes an eye-catching statement that fits perfectly into the Zoom frame.
Although he wears his necklace more often now, Mr. Simmons predicts that the trend will have a shorter shelf life. “I think it will fall—you can wear it with flannel or sweaters,” he said. “But it will be played until next summer.” Enjoy these baubles as long as you can. They represent a cheeky rebound in times of turmoil and a significant advantage as short-term trends move—a large impact despite their small size. When it comes to men’s fashion statements, a flashy necklace isn’t as much a commitment as, say, a skirt, Mr. Simmons said. “It’s something any dude can wear.”
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