What to Wear NowHow My Obsession With Rings Became a Style Trademark
One man’s journey to becoming a true lord of the rings.
It all started with a pinky ring. Although , I can't confirm that it's an actual pinky ring. Most likely it's a woman's ring that'll spend the rest of its life on my hand posing as a pinky ring. I'm not sure why I purchased it really. The wrinkle- faced man at Brooklyn Flea Market gave me the you've-tried-it-on-now-you-have-to-buy-it look. (Plus it was only 15 bucks.) So I handed him a twenty and joined a fraternity of dandys, pimps, and disco-men who sport pinky rings. I was prepared to dislike it—to wear it once and abandon it. But after awhile, it left the house with me everyday like my wallet and keys.
The first day I wore it I ran into Bob Melet—vintage legend and consultant to brands like Ralph Lauren and films like Fury. After examining my 15 dollar ring, he asked where I got it. I told him the flea market—he didn't scoff. Not only did he confirm that the ring is real sterling silver but it's also real turquoise. The pure luck of this purchase only enhanced my enthusiasm. (Bless that wrinkle-faced man.) And above all, it looked damn cool.
A few months later I started itching for another one. But two rings is, um, kind of excessive, right? A friend randomly gave me a signet ring with Marc Antony's profile on it one late night in Paris. It had to be sign, right? My mother named me after this dude! And it fits. How could I not wear this? I put it on my left ring finger. Now every time I got a compliment, I could tell the story of Paris and my mother's misspelled attempt to name me after Marc Antony. It had real value.
Kind of like tattoos, one lead to two. Two lead to four. And now I wear six to eight rings everyday. Some are vintage and cheap. Others are from fashion brands like Saint Laurent and Margiela. They cost a bit more but there's no worry of inheriting a past owner's bad mojo. My digital centerpiece is a damn near life-size native american skull from the artist Wes Lang. 80% of all the compliments I receive are from people noticing the craftsmanship of that single ring. (The other 20% are usually some statement about me being able to lift my hand despite its massiveness.)
Is it uncomfortable, adorning your knuckles with so much hardware? At first. But now I kind of feel naked without them. My hands are heavy. And shiny. Seven days a week. Start like I did: with a single low-stakes ring. And feel it out from there. You might be surprised how natural it feels.