A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO BALANCING JEWELRY

OUTFIT 2: similar dress | similar sandals | rings 1, 2 | earrings | necklace | watch | teal bracelets | similar gold bracelets 1, 2
*photos by rad and happy
Jewelry is always the cherry on top for each of my outfits, and until I add that bit of sparkle to my look I feel like the outfit isn’t complete. But when it comes to adding jewelry, it’s really easy to go overboard and look too overdone or even costume-y if you’re not careful. So I’ve put together a little guide below that gives you direction when wearing your jewelry that corresponds with some of the gorgeous pieces I’ve paired together in the photos above.

The four most commonly worn pieces of jewelry are earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, so those are the ones we’ll cover today and talk about which ones to wear together and when. Here’s the key — you absolutely can wear all four of these pieces at the same time. It’s just all about striking a balance between all of them and letting them compliment each other.

Rule #1: Choose one statement piece and keep the rest subdued. 

  • if you choose a statement necklace, pair it with a simple and small pair of delicate earrings (or no earrings at all!), a watch or small bracelet, and a few delicate rings. Do not add any other statement pieces. Gorjana is my favorite for small, delicate, beautiful jewelry.
  • if you choose statement earrings, pair them with a tiny, delicate necklace. You can add more than one bracelet, but keep them subdued enough that your wrists don’t compete with your ears. And then keep your rings simple and subtle as well. 
  • if you choose a large wrist cuff or stack of bracelets, keep your earrings more subtle (although you can choose something more bold than a pair of tiny studs), your necklace thin and delicate, and your rings super simple (especially if you have a ton of bracelets right next to your hands)
  • if you choose a statement ring, keep the rest of your fingers empty. One or two super delicate rings is the most you want to add to your hands. Since rings are so far away from your ears and neck, statement earrings and necklaces are okay, just as long as they compliment, and don’t compete. 
Rule #2: Mixed metals are okay, but it’s all or nothing. 
  • mixing a wrist of gold and silver jewelry, or a few rose gold and gold necklaces is really beautiful. But if you are wearing all gold jewelry and then one random piece in a different metal, it looks out of place and not cohesive. 
Rule #3: Pick an arm. 
  • When it comes to bracelets, one arm is usually the one that holds them. Both wrists full of jewelry is too much. But if you feel unbalanced in your wrists (when one is stacked high with bracelets), you can add a couple to your empty arm. Just make sure that one arm is obviously the hero arm and you keep the balance. You could also do a watch on one arm and a stack of bracelets on the other (although I personally like to mix my watch right in with the bracelets!)
Rule #4: Layer, layer, layer, but keep the proportions. 
  • Jewelry is fun when you can layer pieces together. Just remember to create balance within each group of jewelry. Mix thick and delicate bracelets together. Mix regular and midi rings on the same finger. Layer short necklaces with long necklaces. It’s so fun to create personalized stacks of jewelry, just as long as you keep the proportions. 
Rule #5: Less is always more. 
  • Once you’ve decided on all your jewelry, put it on. And then take one thing off. Sometimes I get a little layering happy, but then I just look overdone. Keep your look practical and simplistic as you play with your jewelry. Less is always more!
a huge thank you to Nordstrom for partnering on this post