Bauble Basics: Choosing Jewelry For An Event
Never neglect extras.
When putting together an outfit, the above phrase should be your mantra. Accessories, or lack thereof, should always be at the forefront of your mind. They make the look. They will tell a story. Even an absence of extras will convey something about your style and self (carefree, natural or no-fuss, maybe?). So, with that in mind, one must choose wisely, right? Especially when you’re shopping with an event in mind.
From the neckline of your dress, to the type of function you’re attending, to your overall style and personality, there’s plenty to think about while shopping for extras -- jewelry, in particular. Should you wear a wreath necklace to that luncheon? How about an armful of bangles to a gala? Consider the following questions to decide:
Where Am I Headed?
Jewelry choices will vary based on the type of function you’re attending. Obviously, you won’t be dripping at diamonds for a baby shower! In general, the more casual the event is, the simpler your jewelry look should be. This could mean less jewelry overall, or opting for basic silver or gold classics instead of beaded wreath necklaces and lots of cocktail rings.
What Am I Wearing?
If you’ve already picked out an outfit for the big event, then you’ve already done the hard part! Now, you just have to choose what accessories you should wear with your look. Think about it in these regards:
How Much Skin Am I showing?
In general, your jewelry should be used to compensate for lack of fabric. If you’re showing off your arms, neck and legs, feel free to amp up the jewelry quotient. Consider buying a bold necklace, like a bib, and some assorted bangles. If you’re working a pants-and-blazer combo that covers most of your skin, and you may want to lighten up on jewelry where you do see peeks of flesh. A little skin is still a good thing! So a great ring or two, or a slender necklace and bracelet will work well here.
What Is The Overall Feel Of This Look?
Like everything about style, cohesion is the word of the day! Think about your outfit’s overall feel. If you’re working clean lines, solid colors and structured silhouettes, you should keep your jewelry sleek, too. Think: metals and thin lines. If you’re wearing breezy garments or anything with volume and print, then you can get away with more detailed jewelry, like multi-colored and multi-shaped beads, varied lengths and quirky elements.
What Does The Neckline Of My Dress Or Top Look Like?
This idea is super-important when it comes to choosing your jewelry. You have to take into account length, style and structure of various cuts. Here are some basic ones you should think about:
Halter: Since there is a tie or connection behind your neck, it’s often awkward and uncomfortable to wear a necklace that also clasps in the same place. Skip it, and opt for a few bracelets or a chunky bangle and a pair of earrings instead.
Strapless: There’s a lot of skin on top, since you’re showing off the length of your collarbone, neck and arms. Try a thick wreath or bib necklace—making sure it hangs at least a half-inch from the top part of the dress—and a bracelet or two.
Thin straps: You’ve got a lot of room to play with this look. You can get away with nearly anything near the face, but stud earrings, a classic pearl necklace or any equivalent in terms of thickness, is always a safe bet.
V-neck: Like a halter, you don’t have to work a necklace here, unless it’s something small with a delicate chain that hangs just below the collarbone. Otherwise, opt for dangle earrings instead.
Round neck: Long or short necklaces, stud or drop earrings, thin bracelets or bold bangles—with this classic cut, the choice is yours.
Which Pieces Do I Prefer?
The most important component of choosing jewelry for an event is, of course, you! And what you like. You can always find an alternative that is just right for your personality and style.
Do you like jewel stones, but feel they’re too dressed up for the early brunch you’re attending? Then don’t go all in with a necklace and bracelet. Just choose one great jewel-tone gem to wear as a cocktail ring. Know you need to wear something up top with your strapless dress for that wedding, but dread the weight of a necklace? It’s OK. Just think about balance. A great dangly earring will add the necessary interest, just make sure to pair it with a thick bracelet, too. Most important thing is that you’re wearing what’s comfortable and what feels right.
Jewelry can be very personal, so just have fun with it and trust your instincts. Your gut will serve you well. If you have to ask if the item is right, it’s probably not. Find something else you feel 100 percent certain about.
Oh, and a few last words of wisdom. If you take just one piece of these instructions into the future with you: Just like Coco Chanel once advised, when in doubt, it’s best to take one piece of jewelry off before leaving the house. Less is more. Who can argue with a style master?