Nothing adds a breath of life to an outfit like two or three carefully selected pieces of jewelry. Through jewelry, you can experiment with different colors, shapes, and styles to find your own signature look. But badly chosen jewelry or jewelry that tries to talk about your outfit can be its downfall. How do you know when you’ve crossed the line from experimenting into clashing? Here are ten common mistakes:
Matching Everything Perfectly
Sometimes in an effort not to clash, people go to the other extreme, taking careful pains to ensure that everything matches. The color of the jewelry matches the color of the shirt matches the color of the shoes. Long chains with v-neck tops or collar necklaces with crewnecks. This can be a mistake as much as an outlandish mismatch. It looks boring and contrived. You should always try to mix things up a little: instead of matching colors, go for complementary colors. Find a necklace in a slightly different style from your top for a touch of character.
Over- or Under-Accessorizing
If you’re putting on jewelry, presumably you’re about to leave the house. Where are you going? To work? Out to dinner with friends? To a fancy cocktail party or the opera? Each situation calls for a different dress code. If you’re wearing a t-shirt and jeans and you’re about to head to the park, you don’t need a pearl necklace, and if you’re going to a fancy cocktail party, plastic panda shaped earrings probably aren’t your best bet.
Even if you want to play with styles, you’re probably going for an overall tone. If you’re wearing a softer outfit, like a sundress, avoid anything too angular and harsh. If you want a chill, effortless sort of look, you don’t need long, dangly earrings or statement necklaces.
Statement Pieces with Loud Patterns
You want your statement piece to make a statement, not to start an argument with the rest of your outfit. It should be the only part of your outfit that makes a statement to help it truly stand out. So if you’re wearing a leopard print dress or a ruffled blouse, go with a simple, thin chain, nothing too bulky and flashy. On the other hand, if you’re wearing a top with a plain pattern, a statement necklace is just what you need to give it more personality.
Too Much Jewelry
Just because you have 10 different pieces of jewelry that all go with that outfit doesn’t mean you need to wear all of them at once. Too much jewelry, even too much jewelry that matches the outfit, will look tacky and loud and no one will notice your cute outfit. Instead, choose 2-3 pieces that really enhance your favorite aspects of the outfit.
Forgetting the Weather
Is it cold and blustery out? You’ll probably need a scarf, which is going to cover up that thick but short turquoise necklace, and if you’ll be wearing a sweater the whole time only loose bracelets will do you any good. On the other hand, if it’s warm, you’ll be wearing less so there’s more to accessorize.
So, you don’t want to be matchy-matchy, but you do want to look coordinated. You should certainly mix colors, but don’t clash them. One big no-no is the combination of red and green any time that’s not the holidays. As a rule, anything more than 3 colors is too many.
Wearing the Wrong Neckline
Coordinating your necklace and your neckline is vital. If you want to wear a statement necklace, avoid collars or tops with too much detail close to the face and instead try crew necks or v-necks. A long, thin chain or a lariat, on the other hand, looks terrific underneath a Peter Pan collar.
Shirking Professional Dress Code
Just because jewelry and an outfit come together attractively doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to wear that everywhere. Many professional workplaces have rules against types of piercings or large hoop earrings. You should also avoid wearing bangles to work–they’re loud, unprofessional-looking, and disruptive to coworkers.
Wearing Jewelry Out
Finally, it might be that your jewelry is simply past its prime. If it’s started to chip or rust or it’s just fallen out of fashion, it’s time to send it off to Goodwill (or retire it in your jewelry box if you feel it may be coming back soon) and find new jewelry. Try something like Harrisons Collection jewelry that will stay in style for years to come: classy and elegant, but full of personality. It looks great with any outfit and especially looks great layered.