How to Wear Jewelry in the Workplace

 

In the workplace, jewelry can say a lot about you. You want to look professional and chic but not under or overdone. It's a delicate balance depending on what industry you work in.

Here are some tips for wearing jewelry at work:


1. Know Thy Workplace


Before placing your jewelry on, it's essential to consider your workplace and office dress code. Underlying this, however, is the type of work you do and the industry or sector you work in, such as financial or creative. For instance, workplace jewelry is best subtle if you're in a conservative environment. In contrast, bold accessories are more acceptable if you're working in an artistic field.

Creative businesses will usually have a way of doing things that are unique and individualistic. This environment is the perfect opportunity for women to show off their sense of style by wearing statement jewelry. However, remember that too much is never a good thing, so perhaps wear just one statement piece per outfit to avoid going overboard.

 


2. No More Than Three Earrings Per Ear


Most experts agree that too many earrings can make you look like a teenager, not to mention distracting co-workers and making your outfit look disorganized. If you want to get away with wearing more than one pair of earrings, allow two months for your colleagues to adjust.

When it comes to office wear jewelry, keep the design classic and the color simple to look purposeful rather than fun. A classic pearl or diamond stud is always appropriate in an office environment, while a jangling chandelier earring probably isn't. Plus, we bet your co-workers don't want to hear a cacophony of chains every time you move your head.

Jewelry for office wear should be:

Subtle - Keep jewelry simple and classic, so it doesn't overshadow your outfit or distract from your work.

Purposeful - Choose classic designs in simple colors to make sure your jewelry looks professional.

Appropriate - Consider your workplace's dress code and the type of work before selecting jewelry.

Minimalistic - Don't go overboard with multiple piercings or chunky pieces. Less is more when it comes to office wear jewelry.


3. Layer Your Necklaces Carefully


Just because you can find a thousand and one ways to wear layered necklaces doesn't mean you should do it every day at the office -- or even every week! Save this look for Saturday nights out, but when you pull it off at work, make sure no layer is longer than two inches.

Another tip for wearing jewelry at the workplace is to wear a statement necklace as the top layer, so it's visible from the neckline of your outfit. Try to layer multiple slim chains underneath to add interest to your ensemble without overloading your co-workers with too much bling. When it comes to jewelry at the workplace, slim chains always work well because they don't compete with your outfit and are still visible when layered.

If your layered necklaces are too long, not only will they distract others, but you'll be aware of them the entire time – and you probably don't want the unnecessary hassle of having to think about yourself during a board meeting.

A multi-chain necklace is ok, as long as it is the only piece of jewelry you are wearing. If it is not, keep the other elements simple with small stud earrings and a delicate ring or two. Also, please make sure the multi-chain necklace doesn't have a busy pattern or too many colors, as it will compete with the rest of your outfit.

 


4. Avoid Oversized Statement Rings


Skip the oversized statement rings that draw too much attention and take away from how you present yourself as a whole. The worst kind of rings to wear at work are rings with glitzy bling on the sides or patterned ones that flash. You don't want your colleagues distracted by your flashy rings and not hearing a word of what you say.

Another tip for wearing jewelry in the workplace is to keep your rings the same color as your outfit while choosing one or two that make a statement. For example, you can opt for an on-trend look by wearing them on alternating fingers. This way, your ring accessories are seen but not overpowering.


5. Accessorize, But Don't Overwhelm


Overly flashy jewelry doesn't look professional. A loose diamond or gemstone in your necklace, a ring that looks too much like a cocktail ring, or a bracelet that's more glitz than it is business can make you look like an extra from "Sex and the City."

The purpose of wearing jewelry at work is to show that you care about your appearance. You don't want people thinking that you're more preoccupied with impressing them than impressing the client, so tone down the bold accessories. Save the flashy jewelry, although beautiful, for special occasions.


6. Select Jewelry That Doesn't Dangle


When choosing earrings, bracelets, and necklaces for work, select pieces that aren't too large and don't make too much noise when they rub against each other. It's not a good idea to have your office jewelry rattling around while typing on a keyboard or operating machinery; it is distracting and dangerous, depending on your work.

Before typing on a keyboard, try to remove any rings that make clanking noises and any other jewelry pieces, such as a charm bracelet that will jangle. If you can't take off your rings for work, make sure they aren't too noisy or bulky. For example, you might want to leave your snowflake ring at home and wear something with a little less detail on your fingers.

Another thing to avoid is bulky multi charm necklaces that get in the way of your work or hit you around the neck every time you move your head. Although adorable, multi charm necklaces can be a nuisance if you are trying to be professional. Opt for a very dainty, lightweight style if you want to wear one. Bulky necklaces are best for after-work fun; instead, opt for office-appropriate jewelry like slim chains that easily tuck under shirts or blouses for the workplace.

Likewise, bracelets should be delicate and not make too much noise when typing or moving your hands. For example, if you're looking for a bracelet to wear at work, a tennis bracelet with small, quiet stones is always a good choice. You could also try wearing just one bangle bracelet that doesn't jingle around too much.


7. Avoid Badly Set Jewelry


If you're wearing a ring, make sure the gemstone is secure and not going to fall out. A loose diamond or gemstone in your ring is distracting and dangerous as it may end up in your food, on the floor, or in someone else's drink. A loose stone spells disaster not only for your jewelry but also for your workplace.

You don't want to lose a $3,000 stone from your favorite heirloom ring while sipping tea with clients, so ensure your gemstones are tight and secure before wearing them or leave them at home. Imagine spending hours looking for a tiny diamond while your meeting is in full swing!

Likewise, tighten all necklaces, so they don't move around and bang against your chest with each step you take. They shouldn't be too tight either. It should be a comfortable fit that doesn't cause difficulties when trying to type or move around.

Similarly, choose earrings that are well-fitting and do not constantly fall out of your ears or become loose. The last thing you want is to clutch at your ears each time an earring falls out or slinks away and spend 20-40 minutes looking for a missing stud earring. Again, your employer will not appreciate the time you're wasting.

Next, badly set rings look cheap and can damage your clothes over time. The prongs pick at delicate fabrics and eventually cause small tears. If you're not careful, these tiny tears can turn into big ones, and your clothes will start to look tattered after just a few wears. So, it's essential to set your rings correctly and have them regularly checked by a jeweler.

If you have broken jewelry or jewelry that doesn't fit properly, repair it before wearing it to the office. It's not professional to wear jewelry at work that constantly needs fixing.


8. Be Careful With Costume Jewelry


While costume jewelry is fun and funky, it's not always office-appropriate jewelry. If you're going to wear it, make sure it is high quality, designer costume jewelry, and doesn't look like something you would wear on a night out. Designer costume jewelry is usually better made and more polished than cheap costume jewelry that tends to look less professional.

One way to incorporate costume jewelry into your work wardrobe is by wearing small, subtle pieces like stud earrings with fake diamonds or a fake pearl bracelet instead of large necklaces dripping with fake jewels. Avoid giving the impression you are trying too hard at being fashion-forward.

Also, avoid any costume jewelry that might look too gaudy or make noise. These styles might include anything with bells, sequins, or big dangling pieces. Not only will it distract you during the day, but others can hear your office jewelry jingling when you walk past them in the hallways.

Regardless of what costume jewelry you wear to work, be sure it is clean and sparkling so people will not question its authenticity.


9. Maintain An Even Color Palette


Wearing one red accessory, such as a scarf or ruby studs, is acceptable as office wear. But wearing an all-red ensemble is too much; it will detract from the rest of your outfit and look unprofessional. Instead, you want to create a well-coordinated look by sticking to an even color palette. This way, you'll look pulled together and polished, not as though you've just thrown on a random assortment of colors and patterns.

If you're wearing a brightly colored shirt, choose one or two other colors to complement it and avoid clashing colors. If you have a patterned shirt, select jewelry and other accessories that contain one of the colors in the pattern. This way, everything will coordinate nicely without being too matchy-matchy.


10. Keep Bright Colors To A Minimum


It will draw too much attention if you wear a brightly colored necklace, earrings, or bracelets. People shouldn't have to look at your outfit and think, "Wow, she's making a statement with her over-the-top accessories!" Instead of very bright colors, wear pieces with light pastel tones. Try wearing clear pieces instead of colored ones, or choose pieces that are mostly silver or gold in color with just a hint of color from the stone.

A bright red necklace might sound subtle, but it's too much color for business wear, especially if you have a conservative office environment. The same goes for wearing head-to-toe turquoise or acid yellow. So if you want to wear a bunch of colorful jewelry to work – choose two different pieces and leave the rest of your workwear neutral.

If you are daring enough to wear an exciting necklace in bright colors or unusual jewelry pieces, make sure that it's not the first thing people notice when they look at you. If the colorful necklace is the first thing, people see, tone down what you're wearing until people focus more on what you have to say instead of how loud your bold accessories are.

If you wear a bright necklace, wear simple earrings that won't compete. Or, if your outfit features patterns or is printed, keep your jewelry pieces solid in color to compliment the look instead of detracting from it.


11. Make Sure Your Jewelry Is In Tip-Top Shape


Your appearance speaks volumes about how much time you spend on yourself, so think twice before leaving the house in wrinkled clothes or scratched jewelry. Sparkling jewelry that is clean with a bright, high-polish finish sends the right message to your co-workers, i.e., that you respect yourself and take pride in your work and appearance.

 

Wearing dirty or scratched jewelry is like admitting that you don't care about yourself or your appearance. Plus, wearing shabby accessories can make people wonder if they get a similar response from you, such as "It's ok, I'm not interested in what you have to say. I'd rather be at home with my dingy jewelry".

 

Make sure your accessories are in tip-top shape. For example, if you have a faded pearl necklace, break off the loose pearls and restring it. If you have a favorite ring that has lost its luster, take it to a jeweler to get it replated. The same goes for earrings and bracelets.

 

If your bling has seen better days, give it a good cleaning:

  1. Use a small amount of dish soap and warm water and wash with a soft cloth or toothbrush.
  2. Let the piece soak in the soapy water for about five minutes.
  3. Rinse it thoroughly to remove all of the soap and air-dry.

 

If your jewelry is in bad shape, consider replacing it or repurposing it somehow. For example, a jeweler can take an old necklace and turn it into bracelets by stringing them together through the clasp with an additional chain. Or you can take an old pair of earrings and use them as embellishments on a new piece of clothing or even your shoes.


12. Go For Quality Over Quantity


If you want to wear accessories in the workplace, it's essential to pay attention to quality over quantity. It's better to settle on one or two high-quality jewelry pieces that you love and take care of well instead of buying lots of cheap costume jewelry that will get damaged in short order. This will save you money in the long run, and high-quality jewelry also reflects better on your professional image.

When choosing earrings for work, go for sleek and simple high-quality earrings such as a pair of solid gold hoops. They are professional and understated but still make a statement. You can still show your creative side by choosing a pair of solid gold hoops with a unique texture (such as hammered) or through tiny details like a pattern of flushed stones.
A good rule of thumb is to choose a pair of high-quality earrings that are the same size as your ring. This sizing style lets you create a cohesive look and gives off a classic impression.


13. Add A Watch


While bracelets, rings, and necklaces might be a no-no, watches are considered office-appropriate jewelry. A watch is always a good idea for work, as it shows that you're punctual and reliable. However, if your watch is big and flashy, it might be best to leave it at home. If you have a more subtle watch, go ahead and wear it.

If you're looking for something more creative, you could go for a watch with interesting details or a unique color. For example, a pop of color (like a bright blue watch strap) can add some fun to your look without appearing unprofessional. If you want a more subtle look, go for a watch bracelet or strap in varying shades of white and silver. Some brands even make watches with interchangeable straps that allow you to switch up your look regularly.

Having a watch with you in the office is like having an umbrella on hand when it starts raining. It's just one of those things that will save your day, make life easier, and draw less attention to itself than other accessories.


14. Stay Away From Bold Chains


If you're going to wear a necklace for work, avoid anything that is too long or has very bold chains. It is distracting, especially if the chain is rattling on your desk or is too loud when you sit. There is a fine line between an exciting necklace and one that's distracting, so err on the side of simplicity. Bold chains can also give off the impression that you're trying too hard.

Instead, a delicate silver chain with a pendant or two is an excellent option for work, especially if you want to show that you're creative and stylish without stealing the show. A delicate silver chain with a pendant or two is versatile and is easily worn in professional and casual outfits.


15. Make Sure Jewelry is Properly Secured


The last thing you want is to be fidgeting with your jewelry all day or have it fall off and get lost. Make sure that your jewelry is properly secured before you leave for work, so you don't have to worry about it throughout the day.

Make sure you properly latch earrings when wearing them. This means that the earrings are secure and will not fall off easily. There are a few different earring closures, but postbacks or latched styles are the most popular.

Likewise, make sure you adequately secure necklaces and bracelets with a strong clasp, such as a lobster closure. Nothing looks worse than a necklace falling off in the middle of a meeting or during an important presentation and slinking away to adjust it.


16. When In Double, Leave It Out


If you're not sure whether a piece of jewelry is appropriate for work, leave it at home. You don't want to be the person who's constantly wondering if her outfit is too flashy or her accessories are too loud. It's better to play it safe with a simple piece such as a classic diamond necklace and leave the more daring pieces for when you're not at work.

Plus, a classic diamond necklace is not only office-appropriate jewelry, but it always goes with anything. In contrast, a more trendy piece might only go with a few things in your closet, which means you'll probably end up not wearing it as often.

The key to office-appropriate jewelry is to keep it simple, classic, and understated. You want your jewelry to accent your outfit, not steal the show. If you're unsure about a piece, it's always a good idea to ask your office manager or human resources department what is appropriate for workwear. This way, you can avoid guessing and still come off fashion-forward!


FINAL THOUGHTS


We hope these tips help you navigate the world of workplace jewelry. It's tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, you'll look like a pro.

Just remember, less is more when it comes to jewelry for work. Stick to simple pieces that are well-coordinated and in good condition. Avoid loud or attention-grabbing pieces, and stick to an even color palette. Make sure your jewelry is sparkling clean and free of scratches – you want to send the message that you take pride in your appearance. Finally, think quality over quantity – it's better to have a few high-quality jewelry pieces than a lot of cheap jewelry that will only last a few wears. Follow these tips, and you'll nail jewelry for work every time!