“Your clothes do nothing for you.” This is the first thing I tell myself when I am killing two birds with one stone by brushing my teeth in my closet while trying to pick out my top and pant for the day.
“Your clothes do nothing for you if you don’t have something shiny to make them count.”
Dressing up for work, school, date night or grocery shopping is not all about the wardrobe. It’s more about picking out that little extra something that pulls the entire outfit together. Accessorizing has always been my final addition when I look myself in the mirror and say, “I’m done!” But, accessorizing has to be more than tossing a ring on your finger or grabbing any purse that’s closest to you. It’s about picking the right ring and selecting the perfect clutch, tote, or leather crossbody that you have stashed away for the just the right occasion. Accessorizing is about prepping for the lifestyle you are getting ready to walk in to.
To me, jewelry (more than anything else) makes the outfit – either keeping quiet with minimal trinkets, or going out with a bang in bombshell statements! You want to make sure the jewelry you select matches your day, but also matches your sense of self and the skin you’re in. Nevertheless, in the end, jewelry is all about you feeling comfortable when you step out that door, so have some fun with it!
I have devised 4 principle tips for picking fashionable jewelry that you can follow to make sure you are wearing your jewels the way God and your wardrobe intended.
1. Consider Your Complexion
Having a healthy understanding of your complexion will really help you in choosing the right look of your jewelry. Later on, I describe how best to choose gold or silver jewelry by knowing your skin tone and undertone. Skin tones are warm, cool, or neutral and many of our adornment (makeup, clothing colors, hair color, etc.) is decided upon knowing your skin tone. Having a warm undertone means that you look best in rose gold, copper or brass jewelry. Popsugar has a fun little quiz that helps you identify your skin tone. Once you have that done, Gulfcoast wrote a great article on how to choose jewelry that matches your skin tone.
Obviously not all jewelry rules are created equal. It is important that you feel comfortable and confident in the jewelry you wear. I have been told up and down that my dark skin and cool skin tone looks best in silver, but honestly, apart from my wedding rings, I don’t wear a stitch of silver #notashamed.
2. Observe the Occasion
Where you are headed is going to be a pretty big factor in picking jewelry for your day. Your jewelry will differ from your event gala, to your brunch outing, to your red carpet event, to your wedding guest outfit. To make sure your jewelry makes the outfit, your jewelry must match the occasion. Are you going to meet his parents for the first time? Go minimal and a bit conservative with a monochrome bangle set and post earrings. Are you going to Vegas for your BFF’s bachelorette party? Why not go big with those shoulder dusting pom-pom earrings or that bold and colorful gem statement necklace that says “Move aside, I’m here!”
What I am saying is, know your crowd and accessorize accordingly.
3. Know Your Niche
Knowing if your accessories personality is either big on fashion or best when minimal is useful when you are picking the right jewelry for yourself. You might be familiar with the phrases “statement jewelry” or “costume jewelry” and not really know what that means. Statement jewelry pieces are big and bold, they are colorful, bulky and have that wow-factor. For some, statement pieces can be far too bold, and for others, they can be the perfect conversation piece. These pieces are used to draw attention to a certain part of your physical appearance or piece of garment you are wearing. For an event, you might choose to wear a deep v-neck dress and opt for a gold chunky v-shaped statement necklace that fits perfectly with that plunging neckline and helps to show off your long neck.
However, some opt for a simpler approach. You may not want your jewelry to take away attention from the other stylish things in your look. You may like detail, but only in your wardrobe and prefer to leave your jewelry small and understated. Like your lace eyelet off the shoulder top. You don’t want to steal attention from the delicate pattern with a big statement piece. You might want to go minimal with a small pendant necklace or just a pair of post earrings that don’t compete or overshadow.
What you wear is important, but there is also the personality factor. My mom isn’t big on statement pieces. Her personality is more subtle and low key, so on a normal day, she tends to go for simple pendent necklaces or drop earrings that don’t really steal too much attention. I, on the other hand, have a more bold approach to life so I like to take more risk with my jewelry and wear items that are eye-catching with a lot of color and have a more eclectic feel.
4. Gold or Silver (or Both!)
This decision can be tricky and is very easy to do wrong. I have seen women (and men – yeah guys often make this mistake as well) try to mix colors that just end up clashing – like wearing a silver bib necklace with yellow gold bangles. YIKES! Unless you go minimal with both, these colors do not match very well.
The important thing to remember, and this goes back to my first principle, is choosing between gold and silver has a lot to do with your skin tone. If you have pale skin, you may find that you don’t look so great wearing gold jewelry as someone with a more tan complexion. A good rule of thumb is to look at your own complexion and imagine these color options on your own skin. Generally, ladies and men with warm undertones (peachy, yellow, or golden) look better in gold; and those with cool undertones (pink, or red) look better in silver and platinum metals.
So, it’s best to know which color actually makes you look more radiant, glowing and awake.
Now, you can try paring both. You can certainly combine gold and silver just like you can certainly combine two different types of patterns. The goal here is to do it wisely and with practice. But, the single most important thing to remember if you are going to combine gold and silver is to add some texture. And, I cannot stress this enough, make sure these textures match. Antique gold with antique silver, brushed gold with brushed silver, shiny gold with shiny silver, and so on. Combining a single brushed gold bangle right next to a shiny silver cuff is a great big no no.
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