1. Match without Being Matchy
Think about how you put together your accessories. There is no need to buy a matching set (and it can look kind of contrived in this modern age), so think about matching:
2. Level of Refinement Rules
What are you wearing the jewellery with? Casual jeans for a trip to the supermarket? Dressy jeans for a lunch out with friends? Dress Pants and a blouse for a day in the office? Cocktail frock for an evening event? Each of these outfits needs a different level of refinement with your jewellery.
Casual: Wooden beads, polished stones (such as turquoise or lapis lazuli) sea glass, plastic, resin are all great materials to consider
Smart Casual: Silver and gold, either with sheen or brushed, stones (as above) and resin too.
Smart Work: Metals or a mix of metals, shiny or brushed. Stones with some sparkle, but not over the top
Evening: Sparkle away to your heart’s content!
3. Relate it To Your Outfit
What are you wearing? What kind of details does the outfit have? Lace? Marle? Ruffles? Floral pattern? Leopard Print? Boiled wool?
Whatever the details choose jewellery that relates to elements of your outfit.
Floral pattern dress – then look for jewellery that has curves rather than angles. It may repeat the floral patter by also being a floral (or stylized floral) shape.
4. Personality is Key
Who are you? How do you express that with your jewellery?
- Feminine and delicate jewellery works for a nurturing, warm and caring personality
- Bold and colourful jewellery works for a dramatic and dynamic personality
- Understated and refined jewellery works for a mature, professional and responsible personality
- Quirky and unusual jewellery works for a creative and innovative personality
Who you are is key to choosing jewellery. In fact jewellery is a key way of expressing who you are through your outfit. If you really want to discover how your personality influences what you wear (and I can tell you this alone will save you a fortune in mistakes) then do my 7 Steps to Style program.
5. How Much is Too Much?
The age old question. This in part comes down to personality (see number 4 in this list) and also where you’re going (number 2) and the rest of your outfit (number 3).
Going to the gym – then keep your accessories to a minimum, without any fussy detail (such as a pair of stud earrings).
Going to work – think professional not party levels of accessories.
6. The Three Ss – Shape, Scale and Sheen
Relate the shapes of your necklaces to the shapes of the necklines you are wearing them with – which I wrote about here.
Relate the sheen – so sparkles with sparkles or polished with polished.
Consider the scale of your bust and facial features to ensure that you flatter your assets. If you have larger facial features or bust, then opt for larger scale jewellery.
What’s your body shape? What do you want to draw attention to or away from? Where you end your necklace will also make a difference – discover more here.
Read: The Art of Reminiscence – how to choose jewellery, co-ordinating jewellery to necklines, 5 quick tips for choosing necklaces, How to wear long and large scale necklaces, Which is best for your Matte, Sheen or Shine
7. How You Wear Your Hair
Short hair – use earring to balance and flatter your face shape – check out my tips on each of the face shapes here.
Longer hair – if my hair is down bigger earrings can be worn with a statement necklace as you just don’t really see them. If my hair is up I often make a choice between so they aren’t cluttered.
8. What’s the Weather
Summer requires lighter in construction and “feel” jewellery. You may prefer to avoid necklaces and play more with earrings if something draped around your neck makes you feel hotter.
Think about light and airy pieces that don’t weigh you down.
In winter you can choose more dense and heavier pieces. Play with felt or other “warm” materials which relate to the rest of your clothing.
9. Colour and Pattern Matching
What colour earring to wear with coloured beads? Do you have to match the earring to the bead or can you go with a metal? Is a question people ask me frequently.
You can mix metals with colours – but there still needs to be a relationship between the two elements. If there is any metal in between the beads, then choose that same metal in your earrings or other pieces. Add in a third piece such as a bracelet that includes both the bead colour and the metal you wish to wear with the outfit to create a relationship between them.
Patterns such as straighter geometric shapes look best with more angular beads or accessories. Whist curved shapes are better with curved accessories.
10. What Do You Want to Communicate?
Where are you going? What do you want to communicate?
Thinking about the occasion and what is appropriate will tell you about what kind of accessories to choose.
For example, you may want to be seen as professional and credible at work. If so, avoid dangling, chandelier style earrings with lots of beads as they read as “fun and playful” which is not the message you’re after.
Instead choose something that is more refined or understated, more smooth and sleek which has a more professional and credible message.
Going to a party? Then pop on those oversized chandeliers, that multiple layered blinged up necklace and express your fun and joyful side.