Matching Jewellery – Sets without being sets


Today I’m off to speak to a group of business women, and my topic is accessories and how to choose them.  One topic I will talk about is how to match jewellery, without being matchy-matchy (unless you’re very classic in your personal style, matching sets tend to look old and fuddy-duddy).

I’ve done up a polyvore to show you some of the elements of design I may look for when choosing jewellery that goes together, without it being a matching set.

matching jewellery


Top left – a matching set – feels contrived

Top middle – Wendy Brandes swear rings – they are made as a matching set, but because they are each different it’s not old fashioned.

Top right – the circle element of the earrings works well with the plain simple gold bracelet without extra detail.

Bottom left – the filigree bracelet, the delicate curled pattern works with the feminine nature and detail of the earrings.

Bottom middle – the angles of the star necklace and the sparkle work with a simple plain diamond stud that has an angled finish.

Bottom right – the industrial and modern feel of the earrings needs a strong and large scale cocktail ring, that is also angular in design, it wouldn’t work well with a curved ring.

So just remember, look for elements of the designs that work together rather than clash, and you can create a great personal style with your jewellery.


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  • So much more helpful to see examples than just be told "stay away from matchy-matchy," but be left wondering what that means!

    A question: I see that the larger earrings are paired with ring / bracelet, not a necklace. How do I tell when my earrings are "too much" to be worn with a necklace?

  • I love your comment on Wendy's rings. Just by the subject matter they are so not old fashioned 🙂 (Of course, I see what you mean…)

  • I wear silver jewelry almost exclusively. I have one jacket with noticeable gold buttons, and I just don't know if the silver works. I've thought of changing the buttons, but that would be too much work. Should I just drag out some of my gold when I wear that jacket, mix it up with the silver or buy something new that matches the dominant color (green)?

  • How do I tell if earrings are flattering for me? My ears are not pierced, and I am wondering whether to get them pierced … it sounds painful … I've worn clips, but these squeeze the ears and hurt so I take them off quickly.

    – tall & slim anon

  • Clip-on earrings can be adjusted. If you like vintage styles & flea markets/antique stores/resale shops, screw-back earrings are an options.

  • Donna, you could try wearing some silver jewellery that has a little gold (two tone) so that ties the buttons in, or alternatively pick a coloured rather than metal piece.

    If you love the jacket, replacing buttons isn't all that hard!

  • Heh heh…those rings of mine are definitely "new-fashioned."

    I have worn my Hathor earrings and ring together,I must admit. I do like a matching earring and ring…or necklace and ring…I just don't like necklace and earrings. They're too close to each other!

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