the rules of jewels: jewelry 101 [part 2]


Big. Big bracelets are great! My problem is that I have 5-year-old-boy wrists (I’m talking really tiny here) and a lot of these big bracelets don’t fit me. A cure to this problem is the ones with clips or the bendable half-circle bangles. I can almost never wear the full-circle bracelets, but if you can, go all out! But beware of overloading your arms.
Small. Small bracelets are nice and simple and add just a little extra shine to an outfit. These are good if you’re a bit shy with the accessories or are a very small person (although I’m small and I still rock enormous bangles… there I go again, flouting my own rules).
Layering them. The key with mixing big and small bracelets is making sure they don’t overlap each other. If you have a big bangle, chances are it’s going to fall down your arm. And if you have small bracelets, chances are they are too. But your big bracelet will often fall on top of the small ones, making it totally pointless. Experiment with your bracelets! Mix and match! The easiest trick for me is to keep 90% of my jewelry metal, and 10% coloured. That way I can throw on a black (or red, or turquoise) bracelet with a few random gold ones and I’m good to go. Problem solved.

My favourite jewelry. Not only are rings chic and fabulous but they are the easiest of all jewelry and they can make you look put together instantly. Whereas a certain necklace or set of earrings must be worn with a specific type of clothing, rings can be worn with everything and anything and they always look good. The key with wearing a ring every day (besides you married types) is that it should be a statement piece. This is especially true if it’s the only piece of jewelry you had time to throw on.
Where to buy? Places like Forever 21 have great, cheap statement rings – but beware, because a) going into the store is like going into boxing day shopping at Wal Mart, except it’s like that all the time, and it’s full of teenyboppers instead of moms b) their rings are cheap, and after a while, it shows. The finish rubs off and you’re left with a pink ring instead of a gold or silver one. I wear them anyway and pretend it’s a new finish that’s so trendy nobody’s seen it yet.
Layering them. Mixing and matching rings is an art, because often it can look very haphazard. I personally would not mix gold and silver, unless you are very practiced in the art of mixing metals (for example, if a ring is both silver and gold, you can wear it with silver or gold jewelry). I find it more appealing to wear one very large ring on one hand, so it stands out as a statement piece, instead of wearing 10 rings or even a few big ones. They can overwhelm you very quickly.

Short. Short necklaces are best for shirts that are open to show your d├ęcolletage. Boat-neck, drapey, whatever you want. They’re pretty versatile as far as necklaces go. I prefer chunkier ones, like Cleopatra necklaces - just because they're small doesn't mean they have to be boring!
Medium. Medium necklaces I find are best for everyday wear, and if they are simple and versatile enough, can be worn over almost anything – a blouse at work, or a tshirt on the weekend. I have a medium-length necklace that I wear almost every day, because it's so easy to throw on and immediately look more polished.
Long. Long necklaces add a bit more drama to the whole ensemble, so I keep them for dressier occasions. Be wary of where the necklace is hitting you though – if it’s a big bauble at the end and it’s hitting your stomach, it’s going to draw the attention there. And if it’s hitting your belt (or god forbid, lower) it’s too low!
Layering. It is possible to layer necklaces, but this should be done with caution. It’s best to layer either lots of simple ones on top of each other, or a few simple with one complex. Matching plain chains of different lengths can add a new dimension to a single-string necklace. Try twisting them around each other to make it look like one piece of jewelry. I usually layer necklaces that are similar in shape, size and colour but are all in different lengths.

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