Jewelry in the workplace is a complicated field to navigate for a lot of women. Like it or not, jewelry is one of the ways you can say that you’re professional and stand out in the workplace, but it can also hold you back if you aren’t making good fashion statements.
Like makeup, in some workplaces, jewelry is a must, while others might frown on too much jewelry or jewelry that’s too expensive.
There’s always a balance to strike, but these tips should help you create a workplace jewelry collection that works for your job, helps make you look ready for promotions, and expresses your personality simultaneously.
Get A Feel For Workplace Expectations
You first need to consider what kind of workplace you’re in and what type of jewelry will be accepted there.
Are you working in a legal office? Whether you’re a lawyer, an assistant, or anything in between, subtle, classy, and elegant jewelry is a must. But if you’re working at the front desk at a children’s dental office? Then you should go with a little more fun and playful jewelry, maybe even seasonal for holidays. Think about what looks good and what will make kids feel comfortable.
If you aren’t sure what your workplace expectations are, wear a subtle pair of stud earrings for the first few days and scope out what other people are wearing.
Are there a lot of statement necklaces and subtle earrings happening?
What about the reverse, dangling earrings with a simple pendant?
These clues will help you determine what styles are expected and what will work best with your office dress code.
Of course, if you’re working outside, that brings its own challenges. Working with your hands, stud earrings are likely to be the best jewelry you can wear, but feel free to play with different colors and designs for a little more self-expression.
1-2 Pieces Is Plenty
Too much jewelry can be a bigger problem than too little jewelry in the workplace. People can generally understand if you don’t have a large jewelry budget or just prefer a more subtle look. But, if you’re stacking on the jewelry, you might attract the wrong kind of attention, and it probably won’t look very professional.
The exception is if you’re wearing a wedding ring, engagement ring, or both. Those rings don’t count toward the total amount of jewelry you can wear, even if they’re large or flashy.
But when it comes to bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and, if you’re bold, anklets, you should only wear 1-2 types of jewelry at a time. A statement necklace and matching bracelet can be a great option, for instance, or pair the same necklace with earrings, but try not to wear all three very often.
Remember, you want to look elegant and refined, but you don’t want your jewelry to dominate your outfit or draw too much attention to itself in an office setting.
Build A Collection For Mix-And-Match
Matching jewelry is wonderful, but it’s a good idea to build a jewelry collection you can mix and match easily for more variety. That way, you won’t need to buy as much jewelry to get a versatile collection unless you want to buy more!
Natural stone jewelry is excellent for mixing and matching because there’s a little more room to play with different colors or shapes than most faceted gem jewelry. There’s less expectation that the pieces will match exactly, especially with handmade jewelry, so you can feel freer to mix different stones or different styles together.
Birthstone jewelry is one exception to this. If you’re wearing your birthstone, especially if you’re wearing it during your birth month, that’s one time you’ll want to try and match the stones if you can.
The good news is that natural stone jewelry is perfect for getting a little color and style variation while still wearing matching birthstones.
Remember what kind of work you will do in your jewelry too.
Your office might allow dangling earrings, but if you’re going to be distracted by them or need to worry about them getting caught in tools, machines, or played with by small children or animals, dangling earrings might not be a great choice.
Remember, practical fashion generally makes you look and seem more professional, so it’s important to put practicality over fashion at work.
Avoid Making Extra Noise
No matter where you work, one big office no-no is jewelry that makes a lot of excess noise. That means no belled earrings, stacked bracelets that clink and crack together while you walk, and especially no charm or belled anklets that will make extra noise.
Why no noisy jewelry?
Well, there are a few reasons. For one thing, noisy jewelry almost always feels more like party jewelry than formal attire. For another, it’s distracting, both for you and your coworkers.
The only extra noise that’s generally acceptable in a workplace is the clink of your heels on hard flooring. But even that can be excessive sometimes.
So, stick to simple handmade artisan jewelry options that don’t make much extra noise when wearing them.
Feel Free To Make Your Jewelry Yours
Birthstone jewelry is just one of many ways to express yourself in your jewelry. Wearing handmade artisan jewelry can also help you be more expressive in your work wardrobe and reduces the chances that you and a coworker will accidentally match looks!
Look for ways to incorporate subtle self-expression in your work attire. That could mean wearing your favorite color in natural stone jewelry or picking stones and gems that have specific meanings for you.
It might even be the kind of statement necklaces or earrings you choose.
The more you feel like you’re representing yourself, the more confident and put together you’re likely to seem to others. So, within reason, customize your work jewelry to reflect who you are.
Have Subtle And Statement Options
My last jewelry tip for working women is to mix and match subtle and statement jewelry in your collection. Sometimes you want something that stands out, like at a work conference or a big presentation for your colleagues, but other times simple and elegant is a better option.
Making sure you have jewelry that lets you do both things will help ensure you’re prepared for every work situation.
Natural stone jewelry is great for this because the formality of the jewelry can change depending on what you pair it with and how you draw attention to it. The same pair of natural stone earrings might look casual with one outfit but become naturally elegant when you add a blazer, matching shoes, or makeup to emphasize the color.
At the end of the day, none of this matters as much as wearing what you love. One of the beautiful things about including handmade artisan jewelry in your work collection is that you can often get unique or custom jewelry that shows off your personality and taste.
What more can you ask from your jewelry than self-expression to show off your authentic self!