Jewelry Etiquette 101

Jewelry etiquette isn’t just about showing off your bling; it’s also about understanding the subtle nuances of when, how, and what to wear. So let’s dive in and learn a few tips that will help you get the most out of your jewelry collection.



Well, it’s the set of unspoken rules and guidelines you should follow when wearing your jewelry. For example, you might wear a statement necklace to a fancy dinner party, but you would never wear it to the office. Understanding jewelry etiquette will help ensure that you always look great and make the right impression.


Jewelry Rule #1: Make sure your jewelry is in good condition before leaving for an event. This means no missing stones, tarnished metals, or bent links. If you don't have time to get your jewelry professionally cleaned, at least give it a quick once-over with a soft cloth before heading out the door. While it may seem like a minor issue, trust us when we say that you don't want to be the person with the dull diamond in the room!
Jewelry Rule #2: Don't wear fake jewelry to an event where real diamonds are more appropriate. For example, don't wear costume jewelry if you attend a black-tie fundraiser at the Met or a night at the opera. Likewise, don't wear rhinestones if you're attending a formal event that calls for pearls. Formal events mean formal jewels—and there's no way around it. Black-tie events call for real, genuine pieces.

If you must wear faux jewels to a formal event, make sure they are good fakes that look like the real thing. Also, don't overdo it—a few well-chosen pieces are all you need. And avoid looking cheap by mixing and matching different types of fake jewelry. So, for example, if you're wearing a faux diamond necklace, don't pair it with fake pearl earrings. The mismatch will be obvious to everyone and cheapen your evening look.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. If you have an amazing piece of costume jewelry that you simply must wear, go for it! After all, fashion is all about having fun and expressing your personal style. So if you love your costume jewelry, don't be afraid to show it off—even at formal events.

Jewelry Rule #3: Don't borrow jewelry from friends or family unless you are sure you will return it in the same condition. Even if your friend or family member insists, remind them that it is still their jewelry, and you wouldn't want to damage something so valuable to them. Jewelry etiquette isn't just about how you wear jewelry; it's also important to remember to respect the belongings of others! 
Jewelry Rule #4: Don't wear attention-grabbing jewelry that might compete with your guest of honor or hostess. For example, If you're attending a cocktail party, don't wear an enormous ring that will constantly knock glasses off tables or a pair of earrings that will get tangled in the hostess's hair when you hug her hello. If you're going to a seated dinner, avoid long necklaces that might dangle in the soup or get wrapped around your neighbor's fork.

We may be exaggerating a bit here, but you get the idea - use good judgment when it comes to your jewelry choice and try not to outshine the event's special guests.


Jewelry Rule #5: Avoid wearing anything that might be considered controversial or offensive. This includes religious symbols, political statement pieces, or anything else that could potentially cause a stir.

It's best to keep your jewelry simple and tasteful, so you don't make any unintended faux pas. And if you're unsure about what is or isn't appropriate for a given occasion, err on the side of caution and leave it at home. You can always wear it to another event where it might be better appreciated!


Jewelry Rule #6: It is ok to compliment another party-goer on a lovely piece of jewelry, but never ask for its price. Even if the jewelry in question is something you would like to own, asking for the price is considered rude in most social circles. Instead, use your charm and wit to turn the conversation away from price points. After all, some things are better left unknown. 


Jewelry Rule #7: Be mindful of how much noise your jewelry is making. Chunky bracelets and jangly necklaces can distract others, so try to keep them to a minimum. Remember, it's all about looking stylish, not sounding like you're the lead in a mariachi band. As always, be mindful of those around you and their comfort level. That's what jewelry etiquette is really all about.

Jewelry Rule #8: Don't play with your jewelry when speaking to someone, as this is horrible social etiquette. Not only is it distracting, but it sends the signal that you are not listening. While you may think it's harmless, others might find it irritating or distracting. So, avoid fidgeting with your jewelry and pay attention to the conversation at hand! After all, good communication is key in social interactions.


Following these jewelry etiquette rules will help ensure your look is appropriate for the event, that you are not offending anyone, and that you are not distracting from any conversation or moment. Be sure to keep these tips in mind next time you attend a formal event so that your evening can be as perfect as possible! Happy accessorizing!