Jewelry Tips To Help You Accessorize Every Outfit Like A Pro

July 31, 2013

Jewelry Tips To Help You Accessorize Every Outfit Like A Pro | CorporateFashionista.com

If I told you it’s possible to become a master at styling your outfits with the perfect jewelry each and every time, would you believe me?

Well, get ready to boost your accessorizing confidence!

It’s no secret I am a fashion enthusiast and a firm believer in using what you wear strategically as a tool, especially in the business world. Jewelry is an essential part of the equation.

There are so many inspiring and beautiful pieces of jewelry available in the marketplace providing you with countless styling options. The trick is to discover which pieces add the best finishing touches to your outfit.

Here are five jewelry tips and tricks, so you get it right each and every time:

  1. Each piece must add value to your (entire) outfit. As Coco Chanel infamously recommended, “Before leaving the house, a lady should stop, look in the mirror, and remove one piece of jewelry.” It’s great advice and still holds true. I also recommend checking to see if you need to add another piece of jewelry before you leave the house too – over-accessorizing and under-accessorizing are common jewelry errors. Just because it’s pretty or sentimental does not mean you should wear it with every outfit and just because you’re a serious professional does not mean you can’t have fun with your jewelry.

  2. Each piece must be proportional to your body frame and facial features. The trick to the success with every outfit is to control where the ‘eye’ goes. When done well, the focus remains on ‘you’ and your outfit complements this goal. Jewelry can support or divert this objective and the size of each individual piece or the overall jewelry layout plays a key role. For example, layering necklaces can divinely style an outfit as long as the net effect does not overpower you. Pay special attention to the length of your necklaces too – you do not want to truncate your neck. Have you ever seen someone wear real or faux diamond stud earrings that were so large they simply overlapped and overwhelmed the earlobe? Avoid this. When you’re talking with a client whose eyes are fixated on your earrings and away from your eyes, the odds of her or him paying attention to what you are saying decrease. A bold cuff bracelet may just be the perfect accessory to your shift dress, simply make sure the cuff width does not visually shorten the length of your arm. For more specific tips on statement jewelry read here.

  3. Each piece must complement your skin tone as well as your outfit. It’s so important to select jewelry that not only looks great with your outfit, but enhances you too. Opt for jewelry metals and gemstones that illuminate your natural skin tone. There is a wide color spectrum of various hues in gold, silver, rose gold, turquoise, amethyst, etcetera. Perhaps you look better in green turquoise rather than blue turquoise or shiny yellow gold verses dark matte gold. I know silver metal is a favorite for so many, but I prefer it solely on women with silver gray hair. White gold jewelry with real or faux diamonds is my exception. Overall, gold tones look best on most women even when their skin has blue undertones.

  4. Each piece must be occasion and outfit appropriate. Today’s style rules are much more lenient than times past, even at work. It’s acceptable to wear baubles during the day. For instance, a chic, sophisticated crystal necklace may be the ideal accessory for a day full of meetings, but wearing it to give your closing trial argument is probably not a good idea – the shimmer will distract rather than attract your audience. It’s also important to note the tone/vibe of your outfit and jewelry. It is okay to mix centuries and seasons. The trick is to make sure the contrast is complementary. Daytime floral jewelry paired with a black silk evening jumpsuit will likely not work, but an ornate 1920’s vintage bracelet styled with a conservative, equestrian, tweed blazer may just be the perfect contrast. Experiment and use your best judgment.

  5. Each piece must be versatile. The whole point of accessories is to add additional interest to an outfit. A great jewelry buy is when it’s not only a beautiful piece, but it complements several of your outfits. This is actually one of my pet peeves about wearing “matchy-matchy” jewelry. Ninety-nine percent of the time a matching necklace paired with matching earrings or a matching bracelet adds no additional value to an outfit – it’s not only outdated, but more importantly, it’s a visual distraction whereby people pay attention solely to the jewelry and not you. Plus a matching set is not versatile. Even if you break up the jewelry set and wear it separately, it’s not adding anything new, fresh or exciting to your daily outfits. Noisy jewelry also has its limitations. I always recommend noise-free jewelry especially on the job and since you work the majority of your week, this limits its value to your wardrobe.

Are you constantly changing up your jewelry or do you have a few go-to pieces that you wear most of the time?

Image credit: Ashley from The Teacher Diva. Graphics by Kristina Moore for Corporate Fashionista.

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  • joanheminway

    Great advice. Thanks so much for giving it. The Coco Chanel rule is a tried-and-true one that my daughter and I both use–we were just talking about it yesterday! One additional tip that I will pass on that I got at an administrative leadership conference a number of years ago: when seeking a high-level administrative post in education or industry or presenting at a meeting with the same kinds of folks or in court as a lawyer, do not wear dangling earrings. They are distracting and may be interpreted by some as a sign that you lack the seriousness required for the job. Exceptions? Creative fields, perhaps.

    Again, thanks for this very useful posting!

  • Lena Penteado

    Great post, and I absolutely agree with the matchy-matchy jewelry being outdated, I don’t like to see that at all 😉

  • Thanks, Joan! How could I forget the dangling earrings tip?! It such a good one! You’re awesome! I completely agree that their movement is a visual distraction and I actually recommend always avoiding them for every occasion unless your hair is long enough and thick enough to prevent them from swinging around every time you move your head or hands or any part of your body.

    Another workaround is to select drop earrings that have a stronger and more supportive or even a stiff design, thereby allowing for only a slight movement or none at all. There are so many beautiful ones available that will work – I would hate for us to miss the opportunity to wear them unless absolutely necessary.

  • joanheminway

    Good point on long-haired folks and also on stiffer, smaller drop earrings (often, these are post earrings, in my experience). Thanks for the reply.