You open your wardrobe before an exciting upcoming event, you need a sharp outfit, but you’ve not got much time to get it right. You discover that although you have plenty of clothes you have nothing to wear. A common problem but one that can be solved by merely turning your approach to selection back to front. Rather than choosing your outfit first then selecting jewellery to match that, do it the other way round choose your jewellery first then clothes to go with it.
Tricky wardrobe moments like this are frustrating, especially if you are a bit pressed for time. Back from work with a quick turnaround time, getting the kids to bed, train to catch? Mostly life happens, and we don’t have time to plan the perfect outfit. Frustration and mild panic ensue as you realise that you have got nothing in that matches how you want to feel going out today. Damn! I always used to have this problem when I was trying to sort out what to wear. In fact, I’m going to have this exact quandary over the weekend as I’m going to an evening wedding reception. It wasn’t until I changed the emphasis of my style choices from clothes to jewellery that I found the process of finding the right thing to wear became much more relaxed. When you get your jewellery right, it becomes the reliable anchor of your style. While my wardrobe can be a source of frustration, my jewellery box is a happy place of treasures. Why not start planning your outfit from the happy place? These are my top 8 tips for using jewellery to make your outfit feel special and you confident as you walk (or rush) out the door.
1 Collect the Good Stuff
Collect jewellery that makes you feel good. If you don’t feel a magnetic attraction to a piece, don’t buy it save your money for something that grabs you by the heart. “It’ll do” won’t do when it comes to jewellery.
2 Avoid Meaningless Purchases
Avoid buying trashy fashion jewellery just because it is the right colour to go with a particular outfit. I worry about high levels of consumption and attitudes to disposable fashion. So much fashion jewellery is made, bought, broken and thrown away. Do you want to be buying future landfill?
3 Invest in Pleasure
Invest in jewellery that you can return to year after year decade after the decade, jewellery that will give you great pleasure in the future. Buying fewer better quality pieces will mean you respect your jewellery and it will last a long time if cared for properly. You will have chosen it with care, and it will serve you in the decades to come. You don’t need to buy expensive jewellery, just well-made jewellery. A bronze ring will last as long as a gold one.
4 It’s Your Identity
Take control, what is right for you? This post is not a didactic style guide on to how to wear jewellery, more a set of thought process nudges. I get very bored of being told what to wear by the fashion industry. You are the expert on you and adornment is an essential part of self-identity so don’t let someone else choose your identity for you.
5 Follow the Love
Have a collection of jewellery containing pieces you actively love, and you will choose your style for an event with more attention and presence. Jewellery you buy and have taken care in buying will have meaning; maybe they remind you of somewhere or someone, perhaps they were passed down to you by family members, or they made by an artist or craftsperson whose work you appreciate and respect. Maybe you just bought the piece because you loved it.
6 Same Problem Different Angle
Starting with jewellery is doing it backwards, surely? Isn’t jewellery just an accessory? No, it’s just coming at the same problem from a different angle, my wardrobe can be a source of frustration my jewellery box is a happy place of treasures. Why not start planning your outfit from the happy place?
7 What Energy do you Need?
Choose your jewellery first and set the overall tone for your style before choosing the rest of your outfit. Decide on pieces that have the right energy for who you want to be. How do you feel? Do you want to make a statement, do you want to be comforted, do you need to tone it down or bling it up, do you need some armour, do you need some magic? Pick as many or as few pieces as you need.
8 A Canvas for Your Personality
Allow your clothes to become a canvas onto which you can paint your personality with the help of your chosen jewellery. Find a neckline to go with the necklace, a colour to go with that stone, a sleeve length to show off your bracelet, a shirt to frame your belt buckle, a scarf or lapel to display your brooch a collar to emphasise your earrings. What about rings? They go with everything, even gloves, small ones go underneath, big ones on the outside for that 1930s opera vibe or go weird with a gothic-clerical style! By deciding on the jewellery first choosing the rest of the outfit becomes so much simpler and quicker.
Finding your style is a personal journey. As we move through our lives, we wear many different styles as our priorities change. By changing your emphasis away from clothes and onto jewellery as the starting point for your style that journey will not rely so heavily on the purchase of new clothes to make you feel right. Jewellery is kind; it will always fit and flatter, a brooch will pin on, earrings will slip on to your ears and necklace will hang around your neck. Well chosen pieces will always make you feel good. I find that having a coherent jewellery collection means clothing choices become more straightforward. I make my style statements through the shapes, colours, materials and moods that my jewellery communicates. I have found that knowing what jewellery I want to wear means I am more confident in selecting the clothes I want to wear. Jewellery is not only the finishing touch to an outfit; it can be the anchor for your entire style if you let it.