Before you step out the door and give yourself one last look, are you making sure your jewelry complements your outfit? It may slip our minds just how impactful our jewelry choices can be. But there's no truer saying in styling than - It's all in the details.
Some will say your shoes or handbag are the accessories that make your look, but I beg to differ. Jewelry adores the most noticeable areas of your body - your wrists, fingers, ears, and neck. When worn correctly, jewelry will bring out your sense of style while leaving a lasting impression. I'm not saying there are set rules to wearing jewelry "correctly," but there are certain guidelines you should follow when styling it. By all means, you can wear what you want, but when you know what pieces look good on you and with each other, you can instantly take an outfit from basic to stylish.
Since this is the ultimate guide to choosing jewelry for every outfit, let's get into what you need to know about choosing the right pieces and how to accessorize with jewelry!
In this article:
- How to Choose the Right Jewelry for Every Outfit
- Styling Tips and Tricks
- Consider Your Undertone
- Be Dramatic and Stack Your Jewelry
- Stay True to Your Personal Style
How to Choose the Right Jewelry for Every Outfit
Mastering the art of styling jewelry should be learned by everyone. Trust me; you'll spend less time second-guessing your final look and more time enjoying the process of getting ready. You'll also learn to appreciate the fact that jewelry is more than just little accessories. They're a finishing touch that will compliment your features, show off your style, and bring your look together. With all that being said, how do you choose the right jewelry for every look and occasion? Where do you even begin?
In this section, you’ll learn how to use 3 simple questions to help you pick the right pieces every time.
Question #1: What's the Occasion?
The same way you picked out your look, you'll need to keep in mind what kind of occasion you're going to when styling your jewelry. Some pieces are too casual for a formal event, while others are too extravagant for every day. So you need to ask yourself, "Where am I going?" If you're getting ready to take on daily errands, pick out classic low-key jewelry (think studs and a simple bracelet ) or on-trend pieces. Heading out to dinner or a dressier occasion, then you need to line up all your sparkling pieces and choose from there.
Question #2: What colors are you wearing?
Now it’s time to get into the color scheme of it all. This is extremely important if you’ve chosen to wear striking gemstones or metals to the occasion. Why? The visuals, of course! No matter what you’re wearing, if the color of your outfit clashes with your jewelry, it will throw off the entire color scheme. Ask yourself, “What are the major colors in my outfit?” Does it feature cooler colors like sky blue or lilac? Or warmer tones like bold red or orange. Once you know what colors you’re wearing, the general rule to follow from there is to wear cool jewelry with cool colors and warm jewelry with warm colors. These tones flatter each other, and if your undertone matches too then that’s even better.
Question #3: What’s the Statement?
The last question you have to answer is, "What's the statement of this look?" Is it boldly colored, detailed, or features a dramatic cut? If your outfit has any one of these key statements going on, it's best to keep the accessories simple, classic, and not too over-the-top.
Otherwise, it can give off a clumsy finish. If there isn’t a statement, make your jewelry the statement. Finish the look with layered, textured, or colorful oversized pieces.
Styling Tips and Tricks
Once you’ve answered the 3 questions above, use these styling tips below while narrowing down the jewelry choices for your outfit. These extra tips will also help you highlight your unique style and features.
Necklines & Necklaces 101
We often overlook the importance of our necklines. It’s a blank slate you can style with the right necklace to make a statement. Since there are so many different necklines out there, it can be difficult to know what jewelry to wear with what neckline. That’s why I divided them up into 5 categories with tips on how you can perfectly style them in this mini necklace guide for necklines.
Oh, the classic square neckline. The only thing you have to remember when picking out necklaces for square neckline(s?) is to not pair them with a square necklace. Other than that, you can add interest to your look by pairing it with a dramatic or heirloom pendant necklace.
Plunging necklines are, of course, the easiest to style. If your neckline is strapless with either straight across, off-the-shoulder, or a sweetheart cut, you’re free to pair it with any kind of necklace. I’m talking long, short, large pendant or small and everything in-between. They all work to draw attention to your neck while accentuating your neckline. But, if you happen to be wearing a plunging v-neckline with a very low or high cut, you need to keep your look simple and opt for a small pendant necklace. The v-neck is already a statement, and you don’t want too much going on in one area.
Rounded or scooped, whatever you prefer to call them, work so well with many different styles of jewelry. The necklaces for round necklines can be small or large pendant necklaces or layered with 2-3 necklaces together. The Bateau neckline - that’s higher in the front and lower in the back - pairs well with necklaces that are designed to fall on the back. This type of style is pretty unexpected and looks great while making an exit. You should also consider wearing a choker if your rounded neckline is cut a bit higher on the neck. I know they’re not so trendy right now, but they work perfectly with this neckline. If that doesn’t convince you enough, you can always finish this neckline with small statement earrings or a bracelet.
Higher Cut Neckline
When I say higher cut necklines, I mean cowl, crew, and Sabrina type necklines. Basically, any neckline that covers your collarbone. So let’s start this off with cowl necklines. These draped necklines should be complemented with a tiny sparkling small pendant or choker. Nothing too over-the-top to compete with the already dramatic draping. Turtle-necks, high necks, and halters happen to be the complete opposite; you can be as dramatic as you want with these necklines; they’re made for it. Pair them with extra-long pendant necklaces, layered, or statement pieces. You can bring all the drama and glamour with these necklines.
If by any chance, a necklace feels like you’re just doing too much with a higher neckline, it’s okay to forgo it altogether and opt for earrings.
By designer, I mean intricate or fashion-forward necklines that don’t fall into any of these classic neckline styles. With an asymmetric neckline, you’ll want to pair them with a shorter pendant necklace that has a sparkling finish. For more dramatic necklines like illusion and Grecian that make a statement on their own, skip the necklace and choose to wear earrings or an elegant bracelet. It’s either one or the other with these two, don’t add both, or it can come off a little too costume-ish.
With this little necklace neckline cheat sheet, you should have no problem pairing the correct necklace with your neckline for the best look.
Consider Your Undertone
Besides considering the color and style of your jewelry, you also need to pay attention to how it looks against your skin. Just as some people look amazing in red and others look gorgeous in white, the color in our undertones plays a huge role in the kind of metals you should wear. With the tips and tricks below, you can finally determine what jewelry looks good with your cool, warm or neutral undertone.
How to Find Your Undertone - The easy way
There are a few hacks out there that you can use to figure out your undertone, like the white shirt test or paying attention to how your skin reacts to the sun. Personally, I think the easiest way to find out your undertone is to take a look at your veins. Are they green, blue, or green bluish?
If they’re Blue, you’re Cool
Those out there with cool skin tones tend to have red, pink, or bluish undertones.
If they’re green, you’re Warm
You’ll instantly notice that you have hints of golden, peach, or yellow undertones in your warmer skin.
If they’re blueish green or greenish-blue, you’re neutral
You’re lucky! You have the perfect mix of both cool and warm undertones.
Now that you know more about your undertone, you can pick the best jewelry for your complexion. It’s pretty simple. Gold jewelry pairs well with warmer undertones, cool jewelry looks great with cooler complexion, and those with neutral undertones, well, you look good in everything.
Be Dramatic and Stack Your Jewelry
One of the best statement-making tricks to learn in styling jewelry is stacking. Whether it's rings, bracelets, or necklaces, you can own your look just by layering jewelry together. It may sound easy at first. You just take a few pieces, put them on, and you’re done, right? Well, not exactly. Just like everything we’ve gone over so far, there’s a little bit more to it. Staking jewelry takes some time and just a little restraint to create a stylish look. For starters, you need to forget that old saying, “ Less is More.” Stacked jewelry has a refined, yet dramatic look without the costume finish. Sounds hard to recreate? It won’t be. Below, I’ll get into how you can effortlessly stack all your favorite pieces.
Stacking necklaces can be a little more tricky, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll never want to stop styling them this way. The only thing you need to pay close attention to is the length of the chain and the size of the pendants on each necklace. Make sure there’s about an inch of space between the necklaces. If there’s little to no space between them, it can come off looking clustered rather than layered. For a dainty look, try layering small necklaces, some with pendants and some without. If you want to go for a bolder look instead, pair a statement piece like a chain-link choker and a few dainty necklaces.
Stacking rings is the easiest way to keep your fingers jeweled and stylish. Go for a softer finish by stacking tiny rings on a few fingers and leaving the others bare. Or be bold, and pick out a few statement rings for every other finger. The placement is completely up to you, so go with what feels right.
I’m sure almost everyone has stacked a few bracelets in their lifetime. The art of making it look timeless is to choose one single banded bracelet, then pair it with a jeweled or accented bracelet, and repeat until you’re satisfied. Want the look to stand out even more? Try adding in a charm bracelet to personalize the stack.
Stay True to Your Personal Style
Always, and I mean always, allow your personal style to shine through. The jewelry that reflects who you are and what you love are, without a doubt, the pieces that will make your style unique. Remember, you're free to create any kind of looks with the info and tips above. But if you would like to personalize your outfit more, I highly recommend you add meaningful pieces.
We all own those pretty timeless, and well, kind of plain and mass-produced pieces. To add something special to your jewelry collection, you need to choose unforgettable designs that connect to you in some way. It can be jewelry that reminds you of moments from your past, what you’re loving right now, or who you’re striving to become. If you’re thinking you won’t ever come across jewelry like this. Then you need to check out these pieces below.
With this being the end of the article, you are now more than ready to confidently pick and style your jewelry with any look!
If you want to read more interesting topics on jewelry from us, check out these articles
- Top Earring Styles to Try in 2022
- Our Tips on Storing Jewelry
- What are Huggie Earrings?
- Poison Ring History
- How to Wear Mismatched Earrings
- What is Dainty Jewelry