In this article we're going to share some tips for choosing jewellery to go with your outfit.
We'll cover colour co-ordination, what gems go with which colour and how to pair jewellery to go with certain outfits...
So, let's start with colours and how to figure out what colours go together...
We scoured the internet to bring you info from some of the best fashion experts around and put it all together for you in one piece. So, grab a beverage of your choice and let's begin!
All credit where credit is due is underneath the images or content from the particular writer for you to read more if you like.
How to co-ordinate your jewellery to your clothes
"The ABC’s of Primary and Secondary Colors:
Before we get into what colored outfits look good with what colored jewelry piece, we have to start with the basics. Primary colors are Red, Blue and Yellow which is the foundation of any color. This means when you take a look at your shirt, blouse, or pants... one of these colors is sure to be the primary. Even if you look at your black pants... some black colors have more of a red or blue hue to it.
Primary colors should be carefully coordinated with secondary colors to bring out the best in you and your look. What you want to do is take a look at the overall color of your outfit and from there you can then review your secondary colors in the ensemble.
The secondary colors are made by mixing equal parts of any two complementary. The secondary colors include: green (yellow and blue), orange (yellow and red) and purple (blue and red).
Gemstone Jewelry Coordinated
Ruby, sapphire, emerald, citrine and amethyst gemstones have a distinguished flavor and appeal that can be easily added to your style and look. These red to gold tones look best next to cool colors such as blues to purples. For example, a beautiful citrine necklace goes very well with a purple top, brown Jacket or beige shirt.
As discussed in the previous example cool tones (greens, blues and purples) look good next to warm colors such as yellow, orange and reds. Blue gemstones work well with blue, navy and yellow attire. These gemstones include; blue tanzanite, blue topaz, and blue sapphire.
Gold jewelry and Onyx gemstones work beautifully with with Black dresses or White dresses. Black and white has always been a classic color choice and will be here to stay.
Also, some colorful gemstones are perfect for wearing in spring and summer seasons; this includes the green peridot gemstone and the blue topaz gemstones. Matching these bright and brilliant colors with more soft neutral wardrobes makes it a perfect spring or summer look!
Diamond and CZ (cubic zirconia) jewelry works well with any colored outfits:
Some Quick Rules on Color Coordination:
The color wheel is really a great tool for beginners. You use the color wheel to determine what colors coordinate well with each other and what doesn’t. Start with a color of your outfit or gemstone... look across from the color wheel to see the ideal color tone that you should wear to contrast the color.
Example, if your outfit is blue, wearing yellow toned jewelry and gemstones will be a perfect wardrobe!
These are the basic rules to coordinating your wardrobe and jewelry:
- Blue and Green Outfits: white pearls
- Purple outfits: go with citrine, gold tone jewelry & even green emeralds
- Red outfits: go with emerald jewelry
- Black outfits: go with any color!
- Neutral outfits: go with diamonds and black jewelry
- All outfits go well with diamonds!
3 Steps to choosing jewelry for your wardrobe:
Figure out the main color of your outfit, if you are wearing a yellow top with grey pants, yellow is your main color.
Look at your main color on the wheel.
Look across from the main color of your outfit and see the complimentary colors of what you should add as an accessory.
Example: If your outfit is on the most part blue, look across the color wheel and see that yellow and orange hues are complimentary choices for jewelry. Use citrine gemstones to give your attire the touch it needs to make it look amazing! We at LeVive Jewelry recommend citrine pendants, citrine rings or yellow topaz jewelry.
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We have an article about matching your jewellery to your face shape and skin tone which you can read here.
It also covers rings and bracelets for different hand and wrist shapes.
How to mix and match jewellery
"A big jewelry trend right now is to wear a lot of it. It’s sort of an eclectic approach to accessorizing and, just like decorating a home in an eclectic manner, while the look can come off as random, there is actually a lot of thought that goes into getting it right and balanced. It’s sort of like the hipsters who live in my trendy Brooklyn neighborhood. They try really hard to look like they didn’t try at all. This is what is going on with jewelry right now. Between stacking bracelets, wearing multiple necklaces and statement pieces, I thought it was important to give some tips on how to mix and match your jewelry so when you accessorize this way it looks purposeful vs. looking like you grabbed a bunch of jewelry in the dark and layered it on.
Below are five different and easy ways to mix and match your jewelry shown through different outfits and tips.
Tip #1- Separate your focal points
Having one focal point piece of jewelry in an outfit is easy. You choose one item that is the standout piece. However, when you start adding multiple statement pieces it is important to create some space between them on your body. When you have too many focal points in one place, like statement earrings and a necklace, it’s too cluttered looking and the only statement that is made is a bad one. Yet, when you break the pieces apart, like wearing a statement necklace and bracelet, more balance is created. The second important point when creating more than one focal point is that the two pieces communicate and work with each other. They don’t have to match, but they should relate.
Tip #2- Bracelet stacking is where you can be the most random
Stacking your bracelets is probably the acceptable way to mix and match in a haphazard manner. I have been all over this trend lately and when I do it I literally just grab a bunch of bracelets and layer them on. I mix metals, bracelet styles, and more. Sometimes I even thow a watch into the mix. What is important to keep in mind when stacking bracelets is that, depending on how many bracelets you layer, this will likely be the biggest focal point of your outfit. While I have been known to add another piece of bold jewelry to my outfit when wearing stacked bracelets, typically, when I do this, my outfit is on the more basic and understated.
Tip #3- Update classic pearls by adding a second necklace
Personally, I am not a fan of pearls. They have just never been my thing. However, what I am liking is the idea of adding a second necklace layer to a string of classic pearls. The look is just more updated vs. too traditional.
Tip #4- Consistent color
In this outfit you have two very different styles of jewelry in one outfit. The bib necklace from Kate Spade is more ornate and the bangle is more sleek and modern. However, the two of these pieces work together. The reason is that there is a consistent color theme between the two, the blue shade. When it comes to eclectic jewelry styling, there has to be something between the pieces that connects them. In this case it is color.
Tip #5- Layered necklace metals in all the same shades
Like bracelet stacking, many people are stacking and layering their necklaces. It isn’t uncommon to see someone wearing a very short necklace with a very long one. You can add as many layers and lengths as you want. As long as the metal shades are the same, you can have fun with the shapes and styles of the necklaces you choose. Here, for example, I used a long tassel necklace and a more modern necklace. If I wanted to, I could even add a third gold necklace as a bib to fill in the neckline of this shirt.
With all this necklace layering going on, I kept the earrings simple and added this pair of studs that relate back to the necklaces but don’t detract, and, while colorful, kept the rest of the outfit clean with a pair of teal skinny jeans, a pair of Mustard colored Tieks and a burgundy handbag.
Play around with mix and match jewelry
The true key to mixing and matching your jewelry is to play around. It’s sort of like cooking, add a little here, take away there and don’t overdo it. However, don’t under do it either. Also, make sure that the amount of mixing and matching works with where you are going. In some instances a lot of layers will make sense whereas in others you may want to hold back. But that’s the beauty of this way of accessorizing, you can tailor it to the day ahead."
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Of course, the trick is to look co-ordinated rather than have all the same colour on. You can co-ordinate by changing the colour of your shoes, bag or other accessory.
How to look co-ordinated vs matchy-matchy...
"There aren’t many guides that show you exactly how to accessories because, really, there are no rules. What makes an accessorized outfit look good has to do with aesthetics, personal preference and style. Even as I give my tips here, I realize that some people might disagree with my viewpoints because it is all a matter of personal taste.
So, while there may not be any exact rules, what I will be sharing are some common pitfalls that I have seen and what can be done to save them. The beauty of accessorizing is that it’s really easy to correct a mistake. If you’ve been failing at accessorizing, trust me, all is not lost.
Matchy-Matchy vs. Coordinated
Let’s first discuss the difference between looking matchy-matchy vs. coordinated. When someone looks matchy-matchy there is usually just too much repetition of a color, theme or accent and it starts to look repetitive, overdone and monotonous. What winds up happening is, instead of looking accessorized and enhanced, the person looks flat and boring. It’s just too much of the same. Of course, there are some who would disagree with the negative connotations I am giving to this style of accessorizing, however, for me, it’s just a bit boring. Sorry, matchy-matchy lovers.
Coordinated, on the other hand, means that a look is accessorized in a cohesive manner. The pieces that are used work together and relate to one another but are more distinct. A good analogy to compare the difference between a matchy-matchy outfit to a coordinated one would be like walking into a room where everything is one color vs. walking to a room that harmoniously has pops with different colors, textures and features. Both harmoniously work, but the coordinated room is probably a lot more interesting.
Below are five different outfits shown two different ways. On the left you will see the matchy-matchy version and on the right, with just some subtle corrections, the coordinated versions.
How to Look Coordinated vs. Matchy-Matchy
Matchy Matchy Issue #1- Jewelry sets and too much of one color
Okay, you may not agree with this one, but I unequivocally cannot stand necklace and earrings sets. To me, nothing is more uninspired than when earrings and a necklace match. The only time I find it works is if one of the pieces, either the necklace or the earrings, is subtle, while the other piece is bold. However, when it comes to both the necklace and earrings being stand out items it’s just is way to overwhelming because the two pieces fight one another and pull focus from the face.
The other mistake that you have to be careful about is too much of one accessory color. I love pops of color, but you have to watch for repetitiveness. In this first example, I took a burgundy and white dress. I love the way the yellow pops off the rich wine shade. However, on the left with the matching earrings and necklace, it’s just too much. In the coordinated outfit, all I did was pull back on the earrings and changed them to basic studs.
Next, the yellow bag and shoes. While it can work to have both the shoes and bag in the same shade, it’s looking too matchy-matchy with the yellow jewelry. My suggestion, in this case, would be to pull back and choose either the yellow shoes or the yellow bag, not both. On the right, I swapped out the yellow shoes for a pair of gold metallic Kate Spade pumps.
Alternatively, if you wanted to keep the yellow shoes and the yellow bag, I would then eliminate the yellow jewelry and do something in gold.
Matchy-Matchy issue #2- Too much of the same color
This next matchy-matchy issue when there is just too much of one color used in an outfit. It’s like what I talked about earlier, walking into a room where everything is the same color. We all have favorite colors that we like to wear, but when we wear them too repetitively in one look it’s too much sameness. Plus, you run the risk of becoming known as the <blank color> lady.
In this example, the matchy-matchy outfit on the left, the color red is just used way too much. With this red sweater from The Gap, it is styled with these red shoes from Style & Co., this red bracelet fro Blu Bijoux, red earrings and a red bag. While it is colorful, it’s also flat and terribly uninspired.
On the right, I cut the color by adding in an additional one. You don’ have to go crazy with this additional shade. Here I just added grey, to balance out all the red, using this Banana Republic bag, grey flats from Born and, instead of a red bracelet, used basic gold bangles. With this solution, you can still enjoy your favorite colors without going overboard.
Matchy-Matchy Issues #3- Too many pops of the same color
You start with a neutral base, like in this outfit comprised of a basic Boden v-neck, charcoal cardigan from Athleta, grey Frye bag and grey KUT jeans. Looking at your accessories, you get excited that you have so many pop accessory pieces in the same color and adorn yourself accordingly. But something looks off and you can’t figure out what it is. The problem? You have gone overboard with too many pops of the same shade.
While there is no universal rule on how many pops are too many, before you ditch the outfit completely, remove one of those pop pieces and see if it looks better. As you can see in the matchy-matchy outfit, the orange flats from Nordstrom, orange Marc Jacobs bracelet and orange bib necklace from Max & Chloe is just too much when compared to the coordinated outfit on the right where I simply took away one orange pop and traded it for a basic gold bracelet from Banana Republic. Sometimes all it takes is one minor tweak or subtraction to look accessorized in a balanced manner.
Matchy-Matchy Issue #4- When accessories match too closely to the outfit
I’ll admit it, there is nothing more satisfying than when a piece of jewelry works perfectly with a print. Okay, that is a bit hyperbolic, but you get my point, it’s quite a find. However, be careful with this, sometimes it can be a bit much. As tempted as you might be to wear that colorful necklace that works perfectly with your favorite print, you may have to use some restraint.
Now, I am huge proponent of prints being wonderful road maps in how to choose colorful accessories, however, when you do this you don’t want to do it in a matchy-matchy manner.
Take this outfit on the left. This necklace from Bauble Bar is so incredibly perfect in color with this shift dress, however, it is too much and it makes the outfit look pedestrian and forced.
What also doesn’t help is how the look is finished with the pink Ivanka Trump shoes, a pink Michael Kors bag, and pink Kate Spade, bracelet. So, in addition to the matchy-matchy necklace, the matchy-matchy use of pop pink is killing this look too.
On the right, with just some subtle tweaks, instead of looking matchy-matchy the outfit is more coordinated looking. Instead of the necklace used in the outfit on the left, I traded it out for one from Stella & Dot that still works but isn’t so identical looking to the print of the dress. Next, to break up all that pink, I changed the shoes for cobalt blue ones from Bandolino. These two small changes make a world of difference.
Matchy-Matchy Issue #5- coordinating your outfit exactly to the color of your jewelry
I love this necklace. It seriously stopped me dead in my tracks. As you know, I think that, like prints, accessories can also be wonderful road maps for learning how to combine color. However, you can also go too far with this as well.
In the outfit on the left, this is exactly what is happening. While it would make sense to pair it with something like this turquoise sweater and brown skirt, both from J. Crew, it’s just too much, especially when finished with these turquoise Stuart Weitzman shoes, brown bag from Coach and gold and turquoise cuff.
Instead, on the right, to pull back a bit, and make this outfit look more coordinated vs. matchy-matchy, I just changed out the sweater for an ivory one. This sweater steps in almost like a palette cleanser, and, instead of too much repetition, all the pieces stand out while fitting in at the same time."
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Some extra tips...
"Top jewelry styling tips
- The most flattering necklace length on most women is 18 inches. An 18 inch necklace will typically drop into a “V” line that slims the face and creates a vertical line that makes you look taller and slimmer. If you are tall or have a large neck try a 20 inch necklace.
- Look for versatility in necklaces that are 36 or 42 inches as they can be doubled or secured in a lariat style.
- You can wear a lot of necklaces together if you know how to layer them. Wear 2 or 3 long necklaces together providing they are of different scale and texture. For example, wear a silver chain necklace and then compliment that with a seed pearl necklace of the same length. Wear these two pieces outside or under your collar and then put an additional necklace inside your collar, with a charm or initial. This will balance the combination of necklaces and bring the focus up, to your face. This strategy works for almost everybody!
- The best way to wear bracelets is stacked or layered, creating a personalized selection of your favorite bangles and bracelets. The possibilities of colors, scale, textures and mixing high/low are endless! And more is almost always better!
- The most updated way to wear brooches is to cluster them in groups of 2 or 3. Wear them up high on your shoulder on a suit jacket or wrap a crisp shirt at your waist and secure them off to the side at the waist line.
- Before you put any brooch on a blouse, be sure and check the prong or pin of the clasp. If it seems dull, sticky or flat at the tip, take a small file and freshen the point. This will help avoid the puncture that a dull brooch pin can impart to your brand new blouse. Also, if your brooch is a bit heavy, try using a backing to help balance and secure proper positioning of the the brooch. A good back that I like are inexpensive cosmetic pads that your can purchase at your local drug store. Simply place the pad on the back of the blouse and put the brooch on, sticking the pin in to “grab” part of the cosmetic pad on the backside of the blouse.
- A terrific way to wear a brooch is to secure it to a necklace!
- Stud:Is a very small, earring that sits on the center of your ear lobe. This style works for everyone. Choose something that will flatter your eyes and the shape of your face. Also, if you have long hair, choose a color or metal that will show up. If you have long dark brown hair, a black diamond stud will typically not show up very well. Instead, choose a white diamond, something that will offer a little pop and show up. Why spend the money if you can’t see it?
- Button:This is another very common earring style. This style can be any where from the size of a dime to a quarter. A word of caution here: if your face is round, choose a shape that is more on the angular side or a tear drop shop as this will be more flattering.
- Drop:This style of earring is usually 2 parts: one that sits on the ear lobe and one that drops down, creating a vertical line which is very flattering for most women. Select a length that is comfortable for your height and bone structure. A high heel and an updo can do wonders if you want to wear a slightly large scale earring. Choose colors and metals that flatter your skin, your hair and your eyes.
- Chandelier: The chandelier style is so named as it typically mimics a chandelier lighting fixture with a graduated silhouette and multiple tiers. The swing and sway of the typical chandelier earring flatters everybody and exudes a vibe of young and hip. Select a style that suits your height and frame. Again, you can go bigger with your hair up and a high heel!
- Duster: The Duster earring style drops so that is just touches the tops of your shoulders – hence the name Duster or Should Duster. This style is best with strapless, off the shoulder styles or boat neck tops. This style is also very dramatic so if you choose this earring style, you will most likely want to skip a necklace so that you earrings will be front and center as the focal point of your outfit. And, once again, you can go bigger and more dramatic with this style with your hair up and a high heel!
- Statement or cocktail rings are for everyone. Find a color or metal that you like and wear it with confidence. One of the ways I like cocktails right now is to wear them on your pointer or index finger. It’s best to wear no more than one cocktail ring per hand as a general rule.
- Pinky rings are also very hot right now. Stacking 2 together is a fun way to wear them.
- Bands: Creating your own mix of gems and metal to make a stack for one finger is a great way to personalize your look. Choose to combine 2 to 5 stack rings in colors and metals that flatter you.
- Please, mix your metals. It is so restrictive to live by rules of only wearing one color of metal at a time. Go ahead, mix silver with gold. It is a much more relaxed and modern approach to accessorizing your jewelry. Remember: Good stuff goes with good stuff."
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Hope you got some tips from this but at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter what you wear with what, it's your style and you wear what keeps that smile on your face!
So, if you're going out and need some new jewellery to go with your outfit, check out our website or give us a call: 01592 264305 and by bringing your outfit we can help you choose something unique for the occasion.