Ask A Woman: The band that goes on your finger, not the one that butchers “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”
If you’ve got a question that needs the female treatment, chances are you’re not the only one who wants to ask it. Beth is our source for the answers. From opinions on men’s style to decoding the sometimes mysterious ways of women, she’ll take on a different question every Thursday. She also might provide an answer without waiting to be asked. That happens from time to time too. Click here to get to know Beth, then get in touch with her by sending your question to: firstname.lastname@example.org .
I recently got engaged, and now I’m starting to looking at wedding bands. I know it’ll be one of the few pieces of jewelry I wear, and it’ll last forever. I want to be traditional and use gold or platinum, but there are hundreds of styles out there. What are some stylish wedding bands that I should consider?
Congratulations on your engagement! Hopefully this is an exciting time in your life, and you’re able to enjoy it (and not get wrapped up in wedding planning insanity). Looking at wedding bands is one of the fun parts (also cake testing–hello diabetic coma, but what a way to go). I can link to a whole mess of bands that I think are the bee’s knees, but I’d rather tell you what you should consider when choosing a ring, since you and I probably don’t have exactly the same taste, and you’re the one who’s gotta wear this thing, hopefully, until you turn to dust.
Pick something you like. YOU. Your band doesn’t have to match the style or be the same metal as your bride’s. It doesn’t need to look like the bands your five closest friends have. As I just mentioned, you’re the one who will be wearing this piece of jewelry, so it’s important to pick something you’re wild about, and that you’ll want to wear everyday.
Err on the side of simple. Like everything else, wedding ring styles are cyclical. Yes, Beth, but aren’t there classic styles that never look dated? Here’s the thing. Everything eventually looks dated. We talk a lot about how a navy blue suit never goes out of style, or a little black dress is always on trend…but these classics are constantly being updated, so that at some point, something about that blue suit is going to look dated–width of the lapel, break of the cuff, button placement on the jacket. These items are still your best bet when building a wardrobe, and they’re still where you want to throw your money (as opposed to a red crushed velvet blazer that looked so good during the winter of 1991), because they’ll last you longer than anything else, and you’ll wear them more than anything else.
All of this is to say, if you want a band that will be most likely to look modern and slick year after year, pick something that doesn’t have a ton of bells and whistles. A little etching or grooving is fine, but avoid a really complicated or overdone design.
Consider metals. This is the big one, especially for men’s rings. The metal is all there is (unless your ring is encrusted with jewels), so you really want to make sure you like the metal. Nicholas, you mentioned traditional metals like platinum and gold. Just a little edu-ma-cation for any unschooled guys who are reading…platinum is a heavy, silver-colored metal. It is a hardy metal, resistant to wear and tear, and priced accordingly. Platinum is more expensive than gold. Gold can be white or yellow. White gold has been chemically treated to turn it from its natural yellow color to a silver color. It is also a durable metal. If you choose white gold, you’ll occasionally need to get the ring “re-dipped” as white gold will gradually lose its silver patina.
Silver-colored metals have been the big trend in wedding rings, for men and for women, in the last decade. But yellow gold has begun to make a comeback recently. All the more reason to pick the metal you like the best, instead of going with whatever is currently in fashion.
Was that helpful, Nicholas? Still want some suggestions? Fine, fine. I picked a few favorites from Tiffany’s collection of men’s wedding bands:
Beautiful (but still manly) milgrain detail in the platinum ring at top left. I love the dulled yellow patina and the spare design of the 18k gold ring at top right. For the man who wears both yellow and silver jewelry, the mixed metal (platinum and 18k gold) ring at bottom left is a versatile choice. Finally, and we didn’t talk about this metal, but I love the look of this simple silver band at bottom right. Yeah, it’s made of silver so it’s going to ding and tarnish faster than other metals, but for a man on a budget, this is a really timeless, classy look.
Editor’s note: If gold and platinum are too pricey for you, don’t forget about humble titanium. Super lightweight, usually pretty matte, and dirt cheap.