Molly Nox

wedding ringIf you’re a big fan of the mob movies like “Casino” or “Goodfellas,” you might think that a man’s accessories play a big role in how well he presents in the office. You are incorrect.

Jewelry items like pinky rings, gaudy watches, and medallion necklaces buried in a nest of chest hair do not bode well in the office space, and can quickly make you stick out as a bit of an exhibitionist.

Often it is the case that fall and winter fashions bring about a renewed hope for men’s jewelry accessories.

Sadly, these trends last less time than it takes the male models to take their U-turn at the end of the catwalk, and that’s the end of that. So if you are a big fan of men’s jewelry or other accessories, there are some things you can pull off and still look fashionable (and like you didn’t just climb out of a time machine) but the list is much slimmer for you than it is for your female coworker counterpart.

The timepiece: Men can easily wear a beautiful watch and get away with it—even receive plenty of praise when it is the right brand or style. Rolex, Cartier, and Breitling are some names that come to mind when we think of attractive, professional-looking men’s watches.

But rocking the latest hip-hop artist make and model into the professional workspace is not a good idea. No matter how awesome Lil’ Wayne is in your mind, a blinged-out accessory made famous by Yung Money is not likely to raise the boss’ eyebrow in a good way.

Keep the watch you wear to work simple, neat, classic, and professional. You will also want to ensure that it is clean and well kept, and maintained so that it keeps the correct time—this is not just a piece of jewelry—as a timepiece, it is meant to keep the time, so if someone asks you what time it is and you pull your iPhone out of your pocket rather than looking down at your Cartier, it’s going to look like a fashion statement you wished you could have made better.

Rings: Do not wear rings except for wedding bands and other rings that symbolize commitment to another human being. In other words, if you are a guy, you are allotted one ring at the office. If you’re the kind of guy who likes to rock 12 other rings when you’re off the clock, that’s all fine and well. But when you’re trying to sell cars, close a case, or get a new client to tour a home you’re selling, get rid of the Dave Navarro look.

Rings are very prominent pieces of jewelry because they are right on your fingers, and you’re using these all the time to point things out to customers, potential clients, your boss, and those who work for you. It is very hard to take someone seriously when they are pointing to a map of their service area while wearing a ring in the form of two snakes eating one another.

Wear your wedding band, and if you’re young enough to still wear your university graduation class ring, wear that as well. Beyond that, unless you are a Super Bowl winning coach or NFL player, rings are out.

Piercing jewelry: In many places, there is a strict “no visible piercing jewelry” policy. While it may not seem fair, you have to take the demography of those you serve and those you work for into play when it comes to this kind of jewelry.

Especially when we begin to discuss lip, eyebrow, and cheek piercings, rules can seem unwavering, and oftentimes, the women at work may get away with more of this than the men even though the rules are meant to apply to both genders. While having these kinds of piercings is your personal choice, it is also the choice of the company you work for to have you conceal them, and they have their reasons whether you agree with them or not.

But on top of that, even if you work for yourself and own your own company, depending upon the industry you work within, you will find that some clients are receptive to this kind of jewelry while others are not. So if you own your own small business or are a partner at a small firm, the choice is yours: test-drive your piercings if you feel safe to do so and see what the results are. You may be pleasantly or unpleasantly surprised, but in either case, go with what hurts your financial bottom line the least.