A jewelry wardrobe is like an art collection. It is not a static thing but a work in progress, a collection of delights you develop in accordance with your own personal aesthetic. What distinguishes jewelry from most other works of art is that, while it can be appreciated quite on its own merits, it comes into its full potential only when it fulﬁlls the purpose for which it was created by the artist: personal adornment.
Well-chosen jewelry is not only beautiful in its own right; it also brings out the beauty of the wearer. The jewelry you choose and how you wear it determines what others focus on when they see you. Jewelry draws the eye, and so, as you place jewelry on yourself, think about what you want to emphasize.
This emphasis will in part be a function of dressing appropriately for the circumstances - what image consultants refer to as “situational dressing.”
In the corporate world, keep the viewer’s attention on your face. Non-dangling earrings and short- to medium-length necklaces as well as brooches worn near your face are optimal choices. Long drop earrings and other pieces with movement distract from your maximally authoritative professional look.
While participating in sporting activities, wear jewelry that gives you a bit of style but doesn’t get in the way of your active life. Stud earrings and smooth bangle bracelets are good choices.
For social events and special occasions, anything goes. Your style personality will dictate whether you want to appear classically elegant, playfully creative, or downright sultry. Your jewelry choices multiply when you allow your personality free rein.
Face to Face
In all cases, choose jewelry that ﬂatters you. To determine how to choose ﬂattering jewelry, start by looking at your face as an artist might. Photographs of your face can help you analyze the design elements that compose it. For instance, consider:
Do you have a readily determinable face shape? Most people don’t! If you do, decide if you want to emphasize the shape by repeating the motif in your jewelry. For instance, if your face is heart-shaped or is long and rectangular, you can subtly incorporate the shape of your face into your jewelry by choosing heart motifs or rectangular design elements.
Focus in particular on your jawline. Do you see strong angles or soft curves? Repeat the strength or softness of those lines in the design elements of your jewelry.
Is one of your facial features dominant? If you have a wide mouth or a distinctive nose, decide if you want to emphasize it. The more closely you match a feature in size and shape, the more that feature comes into prominence. If you prefer to downplay that feature, choose jewelry that draws the eye elsewhere.
Are your overall features small to average in size? Choose jewelry of similar size or larger pieces that incorporate intricate details rather than oversized, chunky designs. To add volume, wear multiple pieces of small- to medium-scale jewelry together for a highly ﬂattering look.
Square earrings with angular motifs repeat and highlight the square jaw of the model. Oval earrings, by contrast, soften the angular lines of her bone structure.
Dangling paisley-shaped earrings bring the eye downward and emphasize the model’s triangular-shaped face. The ﬂoral earrings, which sit on, not below, the ears, add width to the mid-point of her face, camouﬂaging its triangular shape.
Button-shaped earrings emphasize the model’s round face. The drop earrings contain curved lines that relate to the model’s face and features and also introduce vertical lines that distract from and downplay the roundness of her face.
Selecting design details that relate to your face is a technique that can be applied to all your jewelry, not only to those pieces you wear near your face. The overall consistency of the scale of design relates all of the pieces to one another and to you, making the total effect greater than the sum of its parts.
Edited & Written by Tufts Communications Cynthia Sliwa - IDC Magazine