A few months ago, I listed questions that can help narrow the search for a handbag. They fell into Know Thyself questions, and Know Thy Bags questions. Know Thyself is key for all purchases! Accessories covers a lot of ground, but for simplicity, I’ll limit this post to jewelry. Frequently, a client will ask me about choosing jewelry to complete an outfit. Most women have no issues with putting together a top and bottom they like, but find themselves flummoxed when it comes to completing an outfit with accessories. This is a pity because accessories can give you variety with very little investment.
The reason I love accessories is that they can change a look in just a few seconds, and are a great way to play with your style, or try on a new personality. If it’s time to let out part of you that normally doesn’t see the light of day, fashion jewelry is a great way to go! Now, if you are a woman who wears only fine jewelry, and genuine stones, this kind of play may not be for you. The expense of your preferences makes experimentation less likely, but I would still encourage you to try out some fashion pieces for a travel jewelry capsule. Taking your heirloom pieces on a cruise, or to the beach is not always good for your piece of mind or wallet.
As with all other fashion items, your personality should be the main driver for what you buy and wear. What is popular at the moment, or will be next year shouldn’t be much of a concern, unless trend chasing is a sport you enjoy. If you have a very feminine and relaxed/natural personality, biker bling and skulls are probably not for you. Likewise, the rebel is unlikely to feel called to wear a delicate pearl drop on a fine chain. Jewelry is very personal as it is often worn right next to the skin, so if a piece doesn’t reflect an aspect of your personality, it’s likely to stay in your baubles box.
Levels of Refinement
Many clothing items are wearable across levels of refinement. We see jeans everywhere from hiking trails to offices on Casual Friday, but it’s what you wear with it that makes them fit in either environment. The accessories we wear tell the world what our level of refinement is for the day. The single strand pearl bracelet above with the leather lacing is far more casual than the the triple pearl necklace. In the watches illustration, you can see how the sparkly evening watch would look out of place on the hiking trail, and the red silicone could be worn to the office, but may not have enough gravitas to keep your jeans looking professional. The leopard band women’s watch is deceptive. The gold finish and leopard band look more Level 2, but the cat ears and kitty collar bling give it a more juvenile feel.
What is your personal coloring like? Do you look better in silver or gold? Cool colors or warm colors? An outfit of warm tones will look more harmonious with warm toned jewelry. Last spring, I watched a bride-to-be shop for a pearl necklace to wear with her wedding dress. The bright white pearls were too cool for her warm coloring; they didn’t look right on her. The coloring disconnect make them look cheap. The ivory toned pearls she tried on were lovely with her warm skin and honey hair. She was struggling, because the ivory pearls would look “funny” with her white gown. (Lesson for brides: Buy the dress that makes your skin look amazing! Not just the bright white because that’s what you (or mom) thinks the bride should wear!) Is your personal color lower color contrast, or high? Colored jewelry is a great way to add extra color to your outfits. If you are a lower color contrast woman, colored jewelry may work better with clothing in a similar shade, or with neutrals for balance.
A second color aspect to consider is the colors already in your wardrobe. Do you have a defined color palette? Do you own more neutrals or colors? Are most of your tops colored? If so, you may want to focus on finding metallic and/or neutral toned jewelry. On the other hand, if most of your tops are neutral, colored jewelry is a fabulous way to bring attention to your face where it belongs! I find that I wear more neutral colored tops in the summer because neutrals “feel” cool to me, so I try to remember to bring out my colored jewelry for summer. Other people wear more neutrals in the winter, so should look for those colored pieces to bring some brightness to grey winter days.
Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry? Are you a jewelry lover, or does it never make it onto your body? Please share in the comments below; I’d love to hear from you!