First published: 06-07-2015

How to style up a boyfriend watch

Article date: Tue 27th July 2015 03:32 PM
How to style up a boyfriend watch

A modern trend in ladies' watches is the oversized, bold design known as the 'boyfriend watch'. Deliberately masculine in their layout, yet often sporting feminine details, such as rose gold plating or diamonds, there is a huge number of large statement watches for women that will match up nicely with your existing wardrobe.

They can be tricky to style right, since they need to balance your look perfectly, depending on what ratio of masculine to feminine you are after. This guide should help determine how and when to rock your boyfriend watch.

Androgynous appeal

Since Coco Chanel's ground-breaking designs in the 1920s and 30s, androgyny has been a consistently popular style in women's fashion. This has made its way into accessories, with watches being no exception. Chunky, masculine watches are the style of choice for many women, with much larger watch faces that sit proudly on the wrist rather than blending in.

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Nixon has a huge range of big, masculine watches for women, including this dynamic black and blue number. The colouring is rich and bold, which, combined with the 38mm width of the case, means it is a real statement piece. It has a ring of dark jewels embedded into the case, and with a water resistance up to 200m, this watch is as practical as it is stylish. You could team this up with some jeans in either black or dark blue, along with a vest and a structured blazer.

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Continuing the black-and-blue colour scheme, this watch from Holler measures at a whopping 45mm at its widest, and the black rubber strap has a chunky, textured effect that adds to its sturdy appeal. The Roman numerals and the rings of jewels make the design really interesting - bringing a classic, glamourous air to something that has an otherwise strong look. Accentuate the jewels by pairing this with some equally sparkly earrings, like these ones by DKNY, to create a balance between masculine and feminine.

Glitz and glamour

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Just because boyfriend watches are big and chunky doesn't mean they can't sparkle. Pulsar has designed lots of watches that have pretty jewel embellishments, including this one. The cream dial offsets the rich gold beautifully, and the circle of studded jewels around the circumference gives it an extra shimmer. At 37mm, it measures at a modest size for this style of watch, which might be ideal for someone with petite wrists. This watch could be worn with a lot of different styles of outfits, from something smart-casual to office-wear or even a formal dress.

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Representing the silver watches, this gorgeous design by Guess has jewels across the case and into the strap, making it a particularly glamourous timepiece. At its widest it measures at 42mm, making it quite a large model, even for a boyfriend watch, but because of the elegant design it could be worn with an evening dress just as well as with some jeans and boots. This is a real occasion item, and the colouring will match pretty much anything.

Quirky and interesting

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Big watches with more unusual design features can be the perfect way to make a statement in your outfit. While Olivia Burton watches tend to be made with very feminine styles, this dynamic brown watch makes use of contrasting colours to become eye-catching. The watch face itself maintains a perfect symmetry, and the lack of stitching on the strap makes it very clean and simple, balancing the big bold watch face perfectly. The combination of brown and rose is at once both strong and delicate, and so this might be a great watch to pair up with a dainty tea-dress to give it a bit of an edge.

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As the brand that has mastered all styles, it is no surprise that Michael Kors has a collection of really attractive boyfriend watches. This one features a really interesting tortoiseshell pattern across the strap, creating a blend between the contrasting gold and brown in the case and face. The case is 43mm wide, measuring at the larger end of the spectrum, so you can be sure that this watch will make a statement, no matter what outfit you're wearing. The pattern is subtle enough to make this a perfect watch for the office, since it will show off a bit of personality while still looking really professional.

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Speaking of making a statement, few do it better than Juicy Couture. Their watches never shy away from having a big impact, with bold designs that are sure to turn heads left, right and centre. This rainbow watch is no exception, with a 40mm wide case that is embellished all over with multi-coloured jewels. These make it very easy to match with a range of outfits, since whatever colour you wear, you will be accentuating the unique design of this watch!

There is some blue detailing within the face, so if you're looking for a prominent colour to emphasise, that might be your answer. If you want this to be the big feature of your outfit, keep everything else really simple (maybe even opt for an all-in-black kind of chic) just to make this stand out even more.

A touch of femininity

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Many boyfriend watches are made with femininity in mind, opting for rose gold metal to give them a simultaneously bold and delicate appearance. With its really minimal design, this Marc by Marc Jacobs model lets its simplicity speak volumes. The case is, at its widest, 37mm, so it is still sizeable enough to be considered a boyfriend watch, but the really gentle pastel colouring keeps it looking soft. This is a really versatile model, and could be worn at the office, to dinner, or even to a special occasion. That's the benefit of classically beautiful watches: they just go with anything.

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Caravelle New York is another brand that isn't known to shy away from a dynamic design. This rose gold chronograph watch has a ring of very delicate jewels around the case, bringing a bit of sparkle to the chunky design. This would look great paired with a cocktail dress, since it is playful and elegant, and the versatile colouring will make it easy to match.

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You don't need a lot of rose gold for it to have a big impact. This Bulova watch features rose gold in the case and face, but the strap is a bright white rubber, which acts as a great base on which the rose can shine. Thanks to its strap, this watch toes the line between smart-casual and smart, and so it will look great with jeans dressed up with a nice blouse, or a pretty skirt dressed down with some flats and a vest.

Boyfriend watches can be teamed with a huge variety of looks, since there is such a diverse range available. Whether you want to give your feminine outfit a masculine edge, or you want to finish off a strong, androgynous look, a boyfriend watch might just be the perfect solution.


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