How To Carry Off A Thumb Ring Stylishly

To some of you, the thumb ring might be an odd accessory, reminiscent of the outlandish and often bulky rings favoured by your friendly local neighbourhood “uncle”, you know, the type who also tend to sport an extra-long nail on their pinky fingers (eek).

Fear not — the kind we are talking about today are nowhere in the tacky territory of those. We are here to tell you that the thumb ring is officially a fashion thing, and they might just be the accessory you need to jazz up your finger candy.

First of all, let us briefly go into how thumb rings came to be. Yep, they used to be an accessory worn exclusively by men in earlier times — specifically upper-class types from both Western and Eastern cultures — to signify their social status. The higher one’s status and social rank was, the more ornate and chunky his thumb ring was (guess those “uncles” caught on to something).

In 16th-century Europe specifically, they were worn by doctors to identify themselves as members of the medical profession (a handy indicator should anyone require the help of a doc in public, we can imagine!), while in medieval times, they were meant to be functional accessories, worn to shield thumbs from injury in archery.

These days, no one really cares where you wear a ring, with the exception of the left ring finger, which is still commonly reserved for a wedding/engagement ring. New ways to wear rings have also emerged and trended — case(s) in point include the midi ring and those fabulous ring-and-bracelet hybrids.

The thumb ring, however, hasn’t quite become as big a trend as it has the potential to be. If the way you are accessorising is looking a little ho-hum, why not shake things up with a boho-chic or classic thumb ring? Take a cue or two from the celebs below who evidently love theirs.

Mark it with a V: A chevron design adds interest to this ultra-slim ring.

Chiara Ferragni (@theblondesalad) goes for quirky and matchy-matchy with her bright-red mani.

Yoyo Cao (@yoyokulala) styles her fingers with multiple Chanel Coco Crush rings.

K.Stew stacks a wide piece with a slim ring.

It’s all in the details: Yoyo sports one with rivet accents.

Vanessa Hudgens puts on a gilded band of medium width.

thumb ring

Nicole Richie likes to stack on a few slim rings.