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How to Wear Jewelry for Almost Any Occasion

BY: Maddie Freeman | Nov 17, 2016

Brunette modeling assorted jewelry, gold bracelet, emerald earrings

Even if diamonds are a girl’s best friend, the sparkly stones don’t have to be your only accessory option. More affordable pieces abound in the form of pearls, gemstone pendants, crystal solitaire rings, tennis bracelets, and beyond—and they’re versatile enough to work with almost any outfit. But knowing how to wear jewelry isn’t always intuitive. Learn more about the different types of baubles at your disposal and how you can combine them to match any occasion.

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Types of Jewelry

Fashion Jewelry

Also known as costume jewelry, fashion jewelry makes a bold statement, and it’s generally the most affordable option. There’s no easier way to add personality to an outfit than with a whimsical trinket or a piece of novelty jewelry.

Fine Metal Jewelry

Fine metal pieces are ideal for tying together an outfit when you want to look sharp. The key words here are “subtle” and “sophisticated.” These are the hallmarks of jewelry staples that go from day to night to weekend, and you’ll be able to wear them for years.

Gemstone and Pearl Jewelry

When you need to add a pop of color to an outfit, or when you feel like you’re missing that certain je ne sais quoi, seek out gemstones and pearls. Like diamonds, these pieces dazzle, but they’re primarily accent pieces that can be mixed and matched with other jewelry.

Casual Occasions

Brunch | Weekends | Outdoor Activities

Brunette modeling gold jewelry, bracelets, and rings

Some jewelry you’ll wear only once or twice a year; some you’ll find yourself wearing almost every day. To up your style game on those days when you have to dash out the door, keep a number of easy-to-wear, not-too-flashy pieces on hand.

Assorted gold and silver jewelry with bracelets, necklaces, and earrings
V-neck tees and high-neck sweaters are tailor-made for showing off a stack of fine metal necklaces. Layer two or three chain and pendant necklaces of various lengths for an effortlessly cool vibe. Again, stacking multiple pieces is the way to go. Stackable rings look especially chic when you incorporate a couple of midi rings, which are made to fit at the middle of the finger. Elevate casual outfits with a few basic fine metal bangles. They add structure to a look, helping you appear put together even when you’re in a tee and your hair’s in a messy bun.  When you want to add a dash of color, gemstone stud earrings are an easy option. Smaller studs around the 3mm mark are especially on-trend.


The Office | Lunch Dates | Job Interviews

Brunette in floral shirt modeling earrings

When you need to look polished, choose subtle, complementary pieces that don’t distract you or others. You don’t want to sit through an office meeting fidgeting with a jangly bracelet; likewise, showy pieces aren’t generally considered appropriate for buttoned-up settings.

Silver jewelry, necklace, rings, and earrings
Few things look better with a blouse and blazer than a gemstone pendant. Choose one in a color that matches a number of pieces in your wardrobe so you can wear it often. This is where a simple fine metal band comes in handy. It adds a little something without demanding too much attention. Sleek metal bracelets look professional with blouses and office dresses, as long as they don’t get in the way of working with your hands Once again, highly versatile fine metal stud earrings look right when you need to make a good impression by adding just a hint of subtle shine.


Cocktail Parties | Dinner Parties

Brunette modeling assorted jewelry, gold bracelet, emerald earrings

This is when you can dig out that fashion jewelry. Chunky statement pieces add pizzazz to cocktail dresses and LBDs that would look too sparse without some flashy objects to jazz them up. However, be sure to stick to just one or two pieces at a time to avoid looking over-the-top, unless that’s what you’re going for.

Assorted jewelry, gold bracelet, necklace, ring, with emerald earrings
When dressing for a casual night out, go for a thick statement necklace. Or if you want to wear multiple pieces of jewelry, opt for a minimalist necklace that adds shine without being overwhelming. A cocktail ring works for all kinds of party ensembles. The bigger the ring is, the more it will catch people’s eyes. A chunky bangle (or three) makes you feel like you stepped off the set of a soap opera—in a good way. Pair design-heavy bangles with a couple simpler ones for good measure. Colored-gemstone statement earrings add a fun pop of color to black dresses, preventing looks from being too one-note.

Formal Event

Weddings | Galas

High fashion glamor brunette modeling silver jewelry, bracelet, ring, and earrings

A few timeless pieces—the classics—are essential for those occasions where you need to look your best. Channel Hollywood glamour icons like Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly, who knew how to add the perfect finishing touches to formal looks and wear them with confidence.

Fashion silver jewelry, bracelets, necklace, earrings, ring
A long pendant with a solitaire diamond is the definition of timeless elegance, and it goes with everything. Fashion girls mix high- and low- pieces all the time. Take inspiration from them and pair a crystal solitaire ring with real diamond jewelry for a cohesive look that doesn’t break the bank. Similar to a crystal ring, a tennis bracelet can be made with crystals and still give off that luxe vibe. Earrings will complete your formal look, especially if you’re rocking an updo. Crystal earring jackets or ear climbers add just enough edge to keep a formal look from being too stuffy.

Photos by Philip Campbell


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