Why should ring fingers get all the attention? The proposals, the diamonds — even calling it the ring finger seems mildly insulting to the other four digits on your hand that are all just as deserving of adornment. The pinky, however unassuming and peripheral it may be, has a particularly compelling case for being your new de facto "ring finger." Pinky rings have a long history of association with power — powerful families, powerful people — from noblemen to Tony Soprano. Lately, women are co-opting the style and subverting its masculine past, as jewelry designers and influencers find cool, new ways to make the pinky ring trend their own.
“To me, pinky rings have kind of an old-school romance and power to them,” says fine jewelry designer Lizzie Mandler. “I love that they were originally mostly worn by men, but have been irreverently adopted by some of the chicest women since the ‘60s and ‘70s.”
Mandler acknowledges that many people are apprehensive to try the unconventional look, as she herself once was too. (Remember when women wouldn’t mix gold and silver metal tones? Adjusting to new fashion norms takes time...) “I thought you had to have super long and slender fingers to pull them off," she recalls. "But to me, a pinky ring is less about the shape of your finger, and more about if it suits you and your personality. I find a lot of my customers are sometimes intimidated by pinky rings, but when they see my stack (I wear three on one hand) they feel compelled to try them, and once they do, most feel almost empowered by them. It’s as if they always thought they could ‘never pull it off’—until they try!”
The latest wave of pinky rings includes options beyond the traditional chunky signet design, so you can try out the trend even if the heavy look isn’t your taste. “I think pinky rings can be a bold look and feel very vintage-inspired if you go with something heavier,” says Mandler. “Or they can be dainty and subtle if you choose a thin pavé band or simple gold ring.”
For Jess Hannah, founder and designer of her eponymous jewelry line J. Hannah, the bold, substantial look is what appeals her to the style. “The pinky ring, until now, was a symbol of masculine and sartorial jewelry styling," Hannah explains. "In 2014, when we started making our signet rings, we thought it was only right to rethink this outdated interpretation of the pinky ring and oust the usual gendered association of signets and pinky rings with male style. I think the weightier rings we usually wear on our pinkies at J. Hannah compliment this delicate finger precisely because of the juxtaposition of delicacy and substance.”
If you tend to wear multiple rings at once, pinky rings are a great way to add intrigue and dimension. The notion to decorate your pinky as you would any other finger is an obvious one if you ask Tania Shayan, co-creator of SHAY and avid jewelry stacker. “We have ten fingers for a reason: to stack them with diamonds — and we can't forget about our pinkies!” Shayan quips. “I love having a blinged pinky, whether it is on its own or with a stack of other rings. I feel like it always stands out and helps complete your look.” Her fine jewelry brand is all about layering and mixing-and-matching pieces to create a one-of-a-kind combination that feels modern, but still personal and heritage. Pinky rings play into this perfectly. “There is always something very special about our personalized pinkies with initials — to remind you how much you love your husband, your child, or even yourself.”
A quick perusal through your Instagram feed and it’s clear these petite fineries are having a moment. Whether you go for a classic heirloom-style signet, something delicate and understated, or a motley combination of weights and details, you’ll never want to leave your little finger bare again. Pinky promise.