Ringfilter: How to wear this ring?
March 18, 2007 1:23 AM   Subscribe

How does one wear a ring with lettering?

We're having a debate here. I'd like to defer to you guys 'cause you're all so smart!

Should the lettering of a ring be facing the wearer (so it reads right side up) or the other way around?
posted by hannahq to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
LOL. I actually agree with you, Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America. But my boyfriend won't let it go. We really need to settle this.
posted by hannahq at 2:03 AM on March 18, 2007 [1 favorite]

Do rings follow the same rules as knuckle tattoos? If so, you have your answer.
posted by IvyMike at 2:14 AM on March 18, 2007

It depends upon what it says and to whom. If it's a ring you received as a gift that says "I love you" or "best friends 4ever" or something similar, the lettering should face you because that's a message/reminder intended for you. If you've bought yourself a ring that says "punk 4 life" or whatever, that's a message you're wanting to convey about yourself to others--it should face them.
posted by Martin E. at 3:34 AM on March 18, 2007

I used to struggle with this one because I have worn a ring for decades that has writing on it. On one hand, the writing was for me. But I always thought you were supposed to wear it facing out towards other people so that's what I've always done. Now I'm all confused!

I know that you're supposed to wear graduation rings with the name facing outward to symbolize that the graduate is "ready to face the world" or some junk like that. I think that might be where I first got it from.
posted by miss lynnster at 4:19 AM on March 18, 2007

Lynnster -- that's correct at least for the ultimate in university graduation rings, the Aggie ring. Aggies wear them facing in while they're still in school, and out once they've graduated.

My family has a tradition of the head of the family wearing a family ring with the family crest in it (and that son of a bitch IS gonna leave a fucking dent in someone's head), and all other men older than thirteen wearing a signet ring with their initials on it. When the head of the family 'steps down' so to say, the oldest male replaces his signet ring with the family ring.
posted by SpecialK at 5:51 AM on March 18, 2007

I have a ring with my son's name and birthday on it. I wear it so it faces me.
posted by Lucinda at 6:12 AM on March 18, 2007

I got my partner a ring for our anniversary that reads around the outside. She's wearing it so she can read it, which I like, so I'll go with the, "if it's a message to you, make it so you can read it."
posted by atayah at 8:34 AM on March 18, 2007

Have you heard about Claddagh rings? It's a ring with a heart in it. When the heart points out, it means the wearer is available and looking for a relationship. When the heart points in, it means the wearer is in a relationship and not open to dating.

So...I guess it depends on who the lettering on the ring is for? If it's a private message for you, wear it towards you. If it's a message for the world, make it face outwards.
posted by hooray at 9:10 AM on March 18, 2007

Hold your hand up like you're going to show someone your ring. Now turn your hand around so it faces you, as though you're looking at it yourself. It's the same orientation either way! So there is only one right way, and one upside-down way.
posted by kindall at 11:12 AM on March 18, 2007

I often wear a gold signet ring that my father gave me for my sixteenth birthday, and I've always worn it so the letters faced me. After all, if one were to wear it the other way and someone were to ask to see it one would have to do that stereotypical "gay" handflop.
posted by orange swan at 5:40 PM on March 18, 2007

Initial rings are descended from signets, which were meant to make an impression on sealing wax by "punching" down without awkward wrist-twisting. So yes, it should look like a knuckle tattoo.

When someone asks to see it I show her the business end of my fist, or let her take my hand and hold it up. It doesn't matter that it often looks upside down to me, I already know my first initial.
posted by davy at 8:26 PM on March 18, 2007

I have a school ring with a crest on it, and I have been instructed that it is proper to wear it facing out, with the bottom of the crest pointing toward my fingernail.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 7:43 AM on March 19, 2007

Which way you wear your ring would also be dependent on how you look at your ring, wouldn't it?

If you have your ring on your finger and you look at it with your palms open, fingers pointed up, back of the hand toward your face, the ring would be in one direction.

But if you look at your ring with your hand in a fist, fingers poitned at you like you're going to punch yourself, it would be in another direction.
posted by nakedsushi at 4:06 PM on March 19, 2007

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