What do your rings mean?
30 November 2016
Though we have all been taught from a young age not to judge a book by its cover, the way you choose to style and wear your suits does convey a certain message about you. The same can be said of the rings you choose to wear. Some are symbolic, some are just for decoration, but all give a little insight into the taste of the gentleman wearing them.
Wearing rings on either your left or right hand is acceptable, though engagement and wedding rings are most commonly worn on the left. As the majority of the population is right handed, this hand is seen as being more “physical”. For this reason, rings worn on the right hand are more visible and so tend to be more decorative.
Though wearing rings on both hands is acceptable, wearing several rings on both hands simultaneously will greatly increase the risk of you looking like a Mr T impersonator – beware!
Thumb rings traditionally convey the message of power and wealth. This is because for the ring to remain in proportion with ones thumb, the rings are mostly chunky and bold making them a statement often associated with the more wealthy among us. With plenty of space between your thumb and fingers, thumb rings are an effective way of wearing several rings at once without cluttering up your hands.
Index finger rings
Rings worn on the index finger are immediately noticeable. Many index finger rings will bear designs with meaning to the wearer, such as family crests and class rings. In the past, rings bearing an emblem – such as a family crest - would be used to press a seal into the wax of an envelope. Doing this would have been easiest with the index finger, thus the tradition of crest rings on the index finger.
Middle finger rings
Middle finger rings are quite an uncommon choice. This is mostly because of the index and ring finger being so close, wearing a bulky ring can rub and hinder manual tasks. For this reason, middle finger rings are generally slim and simple and tend to be favored by gentlemen new to wearing rings and wish to avoid louder rings that you would expect to be worn on other fingers.
Fourth finger rings
The right fourth finger sporting a ring symbolises engagement, whilst the left ring finger with a ring symbolises marriage. These relationship related rings are normally of plainer design in silver or gold. If a ring is being worn on the ring finger and has more substantial detail, it is very likely that the ring is being worn for decoration, rather than as a symbol of commitment.
Pinky fingers are where the boldest rings are found. Being the smallest finger, large decorative rings stand out and because they are at a distance from the dominant index and middle fingers, they cause no problem when performing manual tasks.
As with your leathers, matching your metals will bring a look together perfectly. So silver cufflinks would be best paired with a silver ring, silver watch, silver tie bar, etcetera.
It is also important to bear in mind the environment in which you will be wearing your rings. A lot of rings, or one very flashy ring will be fine with your casual or smart casual wear, but if worn with a very formal suit for the office, you may be seen as ostentatious. For office and formal wear it is a much safer bet to opt for fewer and more subtle rings.