How To Wear Jewellery
Getting the Hang of Necklaces
How to wear jewellery
- when it comes to jewellery some people have the knack and some
don't. Some women can put together amazing combinations of beads,
and some just put on the piece that's closest to hand or that
has sentimental value. Stylish women in the past like Jackie
Kennedy and Coco Chanel were famous for their signature jewellery.
When it comes to choosing a necklace to wear with a certain outfit
there are a few rules and guidelines you should consider. Don't
be afraid to mix styles, chunky colourful beads can redeem the
plainest clothes a classic piece can add polish to a fussier
outfit. Jewellery is subject to the same fashion as clothes,
because of this it is important to keep experimenting with colours
and silhouettes. If you need help then look no further, in this
next section I will give you examples and advice on how to wear
different kinds of necklaces.
The Charm Necklace
There has been a massive craze recently
for charm jewellery, and this craze shows no signs of diminishing.
Bohemian-style pendant necklaces with tiny charms and semiprecious
stones, are still a key look and a fun relaxed way to wear a
necklace without feeling too formal or dressed up. You will also
be surprised at how many items of clothing they go with, anything
from a plain white t-shirt to a pretty evening dress.
Jamie Rubin's necklaces which are stocked at Liberty are typical
of this style - dripping with antique curios and colourful stones,
they are utterly versatile. You can wear them casually over a
billowing peasant top or more dressy with a lace dress. You can
also create your very own personal pieces, using items on your
jewellery box such as old rings, antique charms, and lockets
look sweet and nostalgic when strung together on a simple chain.
Links of London have introduced a charm bar, which includes a
selection of vintage charms, while old charms are also easy to
pick up from antique shops and flea markets.
Remember that although women used to be very particular about
what jewellery they wear, these days anything goes. So, for a
less formal and a more up-to-date look, feel free to mix different
metals and stones on your charm necklace, or combine a number
of different necklaces in a pretty jumble.
The Statement Piece
A bold piece can
make an instant impression, so the statement necklace is not
for the faint hearted. The more confident you are the more exuberant
you can afford to be - and there's no reason why you shouldn't
mix this kind of necklace with lavish clothes. For the less intrepid,
it is safer to keep the outfit simple.
It is easy to buy attention grabbing items from jewellery
boutique such as Erickson Beamon, it is most often vintage pieces
that can look truly stylish. Merola has necklaces with big chunks
of semiprecious stones, as well as more dressy ones with glittering
rhinestones. At Cristobal dealers come from all over the world
to buy antique pieces renowned jewellers such as Miriam Haskell
and Stanley Hangler. It is important that you think about proportion
with larger pieces of jewellery. Petite women should stick to
neater, smaller shapes, where as taller women can carry off big
necklaces. Keep everything balanced with a statement necklace,
and avoid bold earrings or rings.
A simple strand of pearls transcends
time and trends: it is the little black dress of the jewellery
box. It goes with virtually anything, adding elegance to the
simplest outfit. From short debutante strands to long, flapper-style
strings, pearls can also be worn in myriad ways.
Shorter strands worn against the skin will add a luminous
glow and work brilliantly against the texture of a cashmere cardigan
or T-shirt in a soft colour. Wear a length that sits across your
collarbones but avoid matching earrings, which could have an
ageing (and dated) effect. Vintage pearls have more of a creamy
glow than newer cultured pearls. If you are buying new, the French
jewellery boutique Agatha always has a good selection.
Wear larger pearls Jack O-style with a neat shift dress, or
longer strands for a modern edge. They also look stunning with
a little black dress that has a round or boat neck and, in the
spring, look out for the simple dresses in bold colours or monochrome
prints. For even more of a statement, generously pile strings
of pearls together. Think Louise Brooks, the 1920's silent-film
star, with her graphic bobbed hair, plain black dress and a chic
strand of pearls hanging to her hips. There are a few rules when
it comes to this style - just play with different lengths and
sizes, keeping the backdrop simple.
Recently, the pearl necklace has been reborn thanks to Lanvin
designer Alber Elbaz, who encases then in fine lengths of tulle
or threads them on to silk ribbon. This has been picked up by
the high street and you could also do your own version at home.
They might not at
first seem like the most versatile of necklaces, but pendants
will go with virtually anything in your wardrobe - and they are
making a big comeback at the moment. There are endless variations
on this theme, from short cameos to pendants that dangle anywhere
from your cleavage to your navel. Some can be adjusted to what
ever length you choose - Lola Rose sells pretty flower and heart
pendants on a leather thong, so that you can make them as long
or as short as you wish. Having said that, if you have a large
bust, avoid a bold pendant that sits directly on top of your
Shorter pendants that sit just below the collarbone look good
with round necks and strapless tops, and should be worn against
the skin. A longer necklace is more flattering, as it will draw
the eye down in the same way a deep V-neck can, and will lengthen
the body - making you look slimmer, taller and more elegant.
Chunky versions - such as the dazzling costume jewellery by
the Ameroican designer Kenneth Jay Lane - look great worn over
black or chocolate polo-neck sweaters. Look out for Lane's bold
gold pendant necklaces with big coins or antique seals, which
you can buy on www.net-a-porter.com. More subtle are the pendant
necklaces at links of London - the new Petrovna gold and jade
pendant is feminine and very beautiful.
Layered Fine Necklaces
and necklaces are more subtle and feminine and one of the easiest
styles to work into your wardrobe - whether it is exuberant and
bohemian or clean-cut and minimal. Layering finer necklaces will
also bring a fresh, youthful edge to your clothes and, as with
virtually any longer strands, there are few restrictions when
it comes to age or shape. For wide necks and busts, fine layering
can soften the neckline, but don't wear large earrings as they
will look incongruous and upstage the necklace.
If you plan to layer a few plain chains together, they tend
to look best against the skin, rather than sitting in a confused
jumble amid your clothes. The only point to consider is that
there should be some kind of contrast in the lengths you are
wearing. Laura Lee has fine chains speckled with semiprecious
stones, which look stunning when worn in this way - camisole
and jeans, or setting off a more formal party dress.
Some jewellers even do the thinking for you by working a few
strands together in a cool mesh - Lee Angel's necklaces, which
can be found on www.net-a-porter.com, blend lengths of gold chain
with leather and jewelled drops. Another great source of jewellery
by a range of designers is the newly launched www.manjoh.com.
This site features a mix of contemporary designers, including
Izabel Camille and Tomoko Furusawa, who both use layering in
their jewellery to great effect.
These may be the most attention-seeking, sexy, dramatic
necklaces to wear, but they can also be the most challenging.
Deep, stiff chokers - those intricate constructions of metal
and faceted beads that jewellers such as Butler & Wilson
make so brilliantly - should be worn only by women with the most
graceful long necks. They can also look unsightly on older necks,
so its best to avoid this style if you are beyond a certain age.
There are, of course, plenty of alternatives to these showy
pieces. If you prefer a more subtle effect, Angela Hale has delicate
ribbon chokers with tiny jewelled heart drops that are much softer.
It is very easy to mimic this style by simply attaching a small
broach or pin to a length of lushly coloured velvet ribbon from
any haberdasher. For an eye-catching touch, buy vintage ribbon
and attach a small antique belt buckle to the centre.
Deeper chokers tend to draw unflattering attention to a round
face or short neck, although you can soften the look by layering
matching strands of beads below your choker, as the Edwardians
used to do to great effect. Chokers need room - they look best
when worn with the very simplest strapless black dress, subdued
corset or bustier top and, preferably, with clothes that have
as little decoration on them as possible, but make sure you keep
your hair tied back or lifted up and away from the neck.