This reference list will take the confusion out of jewelry styling. No matter what you are wearing there is a necklace length and a jewelry set for every outfit.
Jewelry to wear with a turtleneck. The more luxurious the jewelry you pair with your turtleneck, the better. Wear longer chains and medium-length chains with one or two pendants per chain. The necklaces enhance your shape and draw the eye up to your beautiful face. Bracelets over your sleeves will draw attention to your hands (which is great for giving presentations). If you wear thick chains go for thin earrings, and vice versa. Chunky earrings and dainty chains look great with turtlenecks.
Jewelry to wear with a button-down. If your button-down shirt is buttoned to the very top, limit yourself to one princess-length or one matinee-length pendant necklace. One necklace is enough for this all-business look. Keep your earrings simple, either thin hoops or studs. If your shirt is unbuttoned, let the charm on the longest necklace hang one inch above the first closed button. The eye will be attracted to the sparkle then drawn up to your face. Have fun with your earrings, let your personality shine through.
Jewelry to wear with a strapless dress. There are two schools of thought regarding strapless dresses. The first is to wear a single strand of pearls at the collarbone, and matching pearl earrings, or pearl drops will complement this traditional look. In that same style, you can opt for a chunky collar with a matching cocktail ring. The second school of thought says to wear any necklace or necklaces you chose to, so long as no charm gets hung on the neckline. The charms and pendants should rest on your skin, or on the dress, but not jump back and forth between the two. As for bracelets, they look great stacked, but gloves are a lot of fun too. If you wear your hair very short or in an updo, opt for statement earrings. If your hair is long or voluminous let it do the talking and keep your earrings simple, with thin hoops or studs. The exception is when you skip the necklace altogether. Then wear your stunning strapless with those chandelier earrings or thick hoops no matter how you wear your hair.
Jewelry to wear with a mandarin collar. Like the button-down, an all-the-way buttoned-up mandarin shirt can be accented with a single princess-length or one matinee-length pendant necklace and simple earrings. Or, you can unbutton a few buttons and wear a pendant necklace that hangs one inch above the first closed button. Pair the pendant necklace with other shorter necklaces and some attention-grabbing earrings to show off your neck.
Jewelry to wear with a sweater. Sweaters come in many different varieties with many different collars, and the collar is what dictates the jewelry. A cowl neck sweater can be styled like an open-collar button-down. For a v-neck sweater wear necklaces either shorter or longer than the V but not fighting for attention. Small earrings for a traditional look and big earrings for some fun.
Jewelry to wear with a jumpsuit. Jumpsuits may have button-down collars, sweetheart necklines, turtlenecks, or scoop necklines like catsuits. The generl rule of thumb with jumpsuits is to keep your jewelry as casual as the jumpsuit. If the jumpsuit has a collar like those listed above, feel free to follow those guidelines. If it has a sweetheart neckline, a scoop neckline, or a boat neckline see the section on strapless dresses. If your jumpsuit has a bold pattern opt for simple jewelry. If you jumpsuit is black go with something daring, like a chunky choker, and an opera-length necklace with a large pendant. If it is a sleeveless jumpsuit try an arm cuff.
Jewelry to wear with a backless dress. Often, a backless dress has a simple front. Put your necklaces on backwards. I would opt for an opera length strand of pearls, or beads. Or a longer, rope length, tied in a low knot that hangs at the narrowest part of your waist. If you prefer chains, go for a medium thickness, so it is identifiable across the room and does not look like a funny shadow on your back. Gloves are a great accessory for sleeveless and backles dresses. Cuffs and bangles look great too. Chose either big earrings and little or no bracelets, or small earrings and big bracelets. Too much going on in the front will take away from the beauty that is your back.
Jewelry to wear with jeans. Jeans are casual clothing, but more put-together than a sweatsuit. You can dress jeans up like soft slacks, or dress them down. When deciding on jewelry for jeans, keep in mind the shoes you’ll be wearing. If you reach for sneakers, keep you jewelry athletic. If you reach for chunky soled shoes pick chunky, or colorful, or funky oversized jewelry. If your reach for some strappy sandles then opt for elegant jewelry like a silver link bracelet, or a tennis bracelet, or a pendant on a long chain and a silk button down shirt. Use the tips above to navigate necklines. Remember that a belt can be jewelry too, especially with jeans.
Jewelry to wear with a swimsuit. If you intend to swim, I mean really swim; to be submerged under water doing laps, then leave your jewelry at home. Chlorine, sweat, and saltwater are bad for jewelry. If you will be poolside for some sun worshipping leave the necklaces at home (nothing burns like hot metal) and wear small earrings. If you are hoping to sip some drinks in the shade, however, try a body chain, or a belly chain. These chains should not be snug. Body chains should rest on the neck and hips, connected by a vertical chain in the front. The body chain should not restrict your movement, nor should it be at risk of falling off. Put this jewelry on before you put on your two-piece. Alternatly, put on your one piece before you put on the belly chain. Again, a belly chain should not be too tight or too loose. It should rest halfway between your navel and the top of the leg opening. If body chains are not your thing, maybe some long earrings and delicate anklets are more your style, and totally poolside vibing.
Jewelry to wear to a wedding. As a wedding guest your number one job is to celebrate the couple. Do not steal their spotlight with your best pieces of jewelry. Match your jewelry to the wedding theme. Casual Beachy numptuals call for beachy and casual jewelry; keep your jewelry light. White Tie formals call for traditional formal jewelry; think modest. BBQ country weddings call for BBQ country jewelry; rock it if you got it. If your jewelry looks good with the invitation, then the couple is sure to approve.
Jewelry to wear as a bridesmaid. As a Bridesmaid you have the important job of helping the Bride with everything and anything. Early on in the planning process, but after you have a dress, chose two jewelry options based on the wedding theme, and the dress neckline (see above for ideas). Send the Bride a picture of both sets of jewelry and ask which set she likes best. Although if the Bride is more Bridechilla and less Bridezilla, you can skip the photos and follow your heart. She picked you as bridesmaid for a reason.
Jewelry to wear on picture day. As tempting as it is to wear all your, super trendy, omg like totally stellar boss (fill in the blank) jewelry on picture day, you might want to hold off. So many trends come and go. You are not a trend. You are more than any trend could ever hope to be. Trends can be fun but they don’t define us. If you have a style that is uniquely you, honor that on picture day. If you always wear a fistful of rings, then wear them on picture day. If you only wear your favorite necklace, and maybe a pair of earrings on any other day, then wear that on picture day. Picture day is about you, as you are, right now. Next year you will be in a different headspace with new thoughts and ideas. This picture is meant to capture you as you are. Next year’s picture will capture you as you are then. Be you in your pictures because you are beautiful!
We hope this helps you style your jewelry. Bookmark this page and come back to it as often as you need. If you didn’t find what you were looking for, drop a comment and I’ll get back with you!
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