Good news, ladies! Even if it sounds daunting, figuring out how to do office-appropriate jewelry is not an impossible task. Pull yourself (and your style repertoire) out of the rut with the help of a few well-chosen items and watch your mood transform! Throwing on a few random pieces right before you walk out the door simply doesn't cut it – and you know that. Instead of YOLO-ing it every morning, strategize your accessories and give them center space in your look. Let us guide your steps with these 9 actionable suggestions...
Tip #1: Make quality your top priority.
This one's non-negotiable, so let's get it out of our way, shall we? Simply put, high-quality pieces may cost more up front, but you really get what you pay for: they look better, shine brighter and add a certain impact to your ensemble. Plus, they'll last longer. Now, for the next step…
Tip #2: Consider dividing your jewelry box in two.
Go about this by applying the same strategy you use for your clothes. If you're working a 9-to-5, you most likely have two separate stacks: one for your office clothes and one for your, well, normal ones. Similarly, separating your office jewelry pieces from your casual ones will make it easier to stay organized and within the same stylistic guidelines. Not to mention, it'll take the head-scratching out of the process. Nothing office-appropriate in the designated space and no idea where to start from? No problem: read below!
Tip # 3: Build your collection from the ground up.
Meaning: don't dive head first into the shiniest pile of jewelry you see. Instead, think strategically and start with the essentials. From a sartorial perspective, a white shirt, a perfectly fitted pencil skirt and an impeccably tailored blazer are workplace basics. Their correspondents in office-appropriate jewelry? A pair of timeless stud earrings, a simple necklace with a discrete, yet elegant pendant and a wear-with-anything bracelet. Once you have those, you're ready to branch out.
Tip #4: Craft your unique vibe.
Easier said than done, eh? Don't get discouraged, Rome wasn't built in a day either! Discovering your signature jewelry style will take a bit of time, but it's well worth it. To start off, review your favorite pieces and picture them as part of a bigger landscape: if you have short hair or love wearing chignons or low ponytails, slightly longer (but still discrete earrings!) will look fantastic on you, as they'll counterbalance your 'do. Are you a fashionista at heart, but the office code puts a cap on your experimental drive? Then strut your style by wearing slightly brighter jewelry to work. A fancy ring or a reasonably-sized pendant will do the trick. So chic!
Tip #5: More is definitely less.
Don't be surprised, you've read that right. We're talking about quantity and about style. When it comes to jewelry for office wear, two or three discrete, minimalistic pieces are preferable to a single, oversized accessory. In a professional environment, making a subtle statement with quality, matching jewelry is preferable to wearing a single piece which screams “Notice me!” at the top of its lungs.
Tip #6: Know when you can step it up – and plan accordingly.
Raise your hand if you love a good, shiny necklace or some shoulder-grazing earrings! Spoiler alert: we all do. However, be responsible about wearing them and strive to always keep your look appropriate for daylight. If the chandelier earrings you've been eyeing could look great with an evening gown, but not with an office look, forgo them altogether. It hurts to hear it, we know. But...
You can go wild whenever your company has a more relaxed dressing code – if it's acceptable to set foot in the office in a pair of jeans and sneakers, then it should also be appropriate to wear a more daring piece of jewelry to work.
Tip #7: Jewelry for office wear should never be restrictive.
It just shouldn't. We live in modern times and even if neutral color schemes with blacks, grays and blues are still going strong in the office environment, you should also be able to let loose every once in a while. As long as you keep it in good taste and avoid sparkly items, you can get away with bolder choices. Attaching a small cluster of brooches to your lapel or wearing a thick, statement bangle should be fine if you don't overdo it. Know when to use an attention grabber, but don't let it become a habit. For example, consider stepping up your office jewelry game if you're presiding over an important meeting. Impressive jewelry will unconsciously give you the higher ground in your partner's mind. Which bring us to...
Tip #8: Consider the day's activities.
Hey, check out your agenda the night before and see what's coming up! Will you have a board meeting the next day? A one-on-one with your boss? Or will you be at your desk the entire time? Whatever the occasion, wear office jewelry that can empower you. For example, if you're going to give a presentation, wear a piece with a stronger presence. It will make you more visible and it will seize your audience's attention. They'll be scanning your look anyway, so use this to your advantage! A one tone necklace will add some shine, without being overbearing. Just don't go for bangles, as they'll cling loudly and make random sounds, distracting the audience. If you're going to have a one-on-one for that well-deserved raise, bet it all on a stunning pair of earrings and clip your hair out of the way. They'll make your partner more focused on your face and eyes and on what you have to say. Last, but not least, rings will be perfect as jewelry for office wear on any day, since they are usually discrete. You could, of course, go slightly overboard if you're going to use your hands (pointing, arranging items, writing, editing etc), while working with many people at once. An oversized ring will reroute attention to your hand, giving your gestures added weight and authority.
Tip #9: Have fun! Trends don't really exist anymore.
Just remember not to let your freak flag fly too high during office hours. The struggle can be real, we feel you, but take consolation in knowing that there are perfectly acceptable ways of straying off the beaten path. Mix gold and silver jewelry, layer a couple of the daintiest necklaces you own for a multi-dimensional effect or wear designs that nobody else has. You'll find them easily enough, just by searching for handcrafted pieces – they can make even the simplest of the office looks memorable. Browse online, train your eye to spot out unique shapes and don't hesitate to spend a bit more for high-quality, office-appropriate jewelry. Calculate the cost per wear and go for it – you'll have the most remarkable look in the entire building! Getting ahead in your career and looking fabulous while at it? Turns out you CAN have it all.