While the first criteria for jewelry is beauty, even the most gorgeous pieces of jewelry can be worn to distract from either the jewelry itself or your outfit. The occasion frequently dictates the rules of fashion. You should be the center of attention, not your jewelry. Jewelry is an accessory – an adornment.
Too Much Jewelry
Perhaps the most common jewelry faux paux is wearing too much jewelry. It can confuse the eye and blend your pieces into the appearance of only one piece of rather gaudy jewelry. A stack of bangles worn with layers of bead and chain necklaces and large dangly earrings and several rings is just too much of a good thing.
Along with too much jewelry, is usually inappropriate. An arm load of bracelets that clanks or tinkles at your every move is distracting and even irritating!
Your jewelry should coordinate with the fabrics in your clothing. Heavy shell or wooden beads don’t work with a thin silk blouse. You would be better with several thin chains or a strand of pearls. Pearls are not usually shown at their best with heavy denims or tee shirts. Wear those heavier cork or stone beads with your heavy denims or bulky sweaters. Along the same lines, the length of the necklace should coordinate with your collar. A choker can be worn with a very deep neckline, but if you wear it with a turtle neck or high neck shirt, it looks crowded.
Jewelry can be made of anything from gold and silver with pearls and diamonds to copper washers with natural stone beads. The gemstones and materials used in your jewelry should coordinate, not clash with each other. A skilled designer can coordinate even seemingly incompatible materials for a unique and striking look.
Wrong Sized Jewelry
If you are a larger sized person, tiny jewelry will get “lost” on you and can make you look even larger. If you wear jewelry in proportion to your body, it helps unify your look. A tiny person in huge jewelry or too much jewelry can look almost like a child playing dress up.
No Focal Point
A large necklace, bangle, earrings and ring eliminates the focal point you need for your ensemble. One piece of jewelry can be the focal point and the others can accessorize that piece. Along the same vein, too many matching pieces is just too “cute” to wear. Earrings that match a bracelet or a necklace and matching bracelet look good. If everything matches exactly as a set, it becomes too predictable and lacking in imagination.
Earrings seem to cause the most frequent faux paux in jewelry. A well-fitted dangling earring calls attention to your shoulders, which is the last feature to age on most women, but a tiny earring on a large woman can give her a “fat-neck” look and long dangling earrings on a woman with long hair can look disorganized and messy. Multiple ear piercings have become fairly common, but the earrings need to be coordinated with each other using the largest in the lowest piercings.
Dirty jewelry is frequently seen. Earrings and necklaces can be affected by hairspray and cosmetics while cleaning products and lotions can affect rings and bracelets. Keep your jewelry clean by using the cleaning methods recommended for each type of jewelry you wear and your jewelry will create a wonderful accessory for your outfit and your own look.