How to choose office appropriate jewellery

How to choose office appropriate jewellery

Show you mean business!

 

If you work in a creative environment this may not be an issue for you but for many who work in an office environment where the ‘uniform’ can be fairly restrictive, often monochrome, your ‘out of office’ choice of accessories may not be appropriate. Maybe because of this you tend not to bother, or you just throw on something randomly just before you leave home but if you want to make an impression, look polished and sophisticated then jewellery really is worth taking seriously.  A few well chosen, quality pieces can set you apart, make you look more together, feel more confident and pull you out of a rut!

Organise your jewellery box

 

Just as you probably have one space in your wardrobe for your work clothes and one for your ‘weekend’ clothes, consider doing the same in your jewellery box/drawer.  Separating the workplace items from the more casual ones will make it easier to get dressed in the mornings – no more head scratching or delays while you rummage and you will be able to keep to the style guidelines with absolute ease even if, like me, you are always running late!    

Start to build your collection

 

Think strategically and start with essentials.  A white shirt, perfectly fitted skirt or trousers and an impeccably tailored blazer are the workplace basics – you need the equivalent in jewellery.  A pair of studs, a simple necklace or a discreet, yet elegant pendant and a delicate bracelet.  These will form the basis of your capsule workplace jewellery collection and from this you can branch out.  

 

 

Top:Penny Levi Studs, Rachel Jackson Sunday Bracelet
Lucky Eyes Chelsea Short Necklace, Muru Feather Pendant
Hone your own style

 

Just because this is for the office doesn’t mean you can’t have a signature style even if its very different to your weekend style.  Consider your hair.  If you have short hair or wear your long hair in a chignon or ponytail to keep it out of your way in the office, then consider slightly longer (albeit still discreet) earrings as a counter balance.   They’ll look really elegant!  If you are normally flamboyant and feel constrained by the work environment, try wearing a piece that’s slightly bolder or brighter but still understated. 

Top: Collette Waudby Leaf Drops,  Pearls of the Orient Tear Drop Pearls
Lucky Eyes Gold Pave Necklace, Rachel Jackson Serenity Necklace
Less is not always more

 

It may seem surprising but quantity in the area of corporate wear can mean style!  However I’m talking minimalist pieces here.  Making a subtle statement with quality matching/complementary jewellery items can be preferable to one ‘loud’ statement piece if you want to get noticed for the right reasons.  However choose your larger piece carefully and wear alone and you can look very chic!

Rachel Jackson Serenity Collection, Chris Lewis Geometric Necklace
When to step it up

 

Do you have a Board meeting the next day or a 1-2-1 with your boss or are you just going to be at your desk all day? Whatever the activity office jewellery can empower you.  Think strategically.  If, for instance, you are going to give a presentation, wear something with a stronger impact.  You know you’re going to have people looking at you so take advantage of the situation wearing something that will add some ‘shine’ without being overbearing.  Wear as large a necklace as your frame allows which can emanate a sense of power (many of the worlds most powerful women wear chunky necklaces);   choose a bold cuff over bangles that clink loudly as that will be distracting for your audience;  wearing a stunning pair of earrings will get people focussing on your face and therefore what you are saying;  if you will be using your hands to point at the screen/whiteboard, a statement ring will route attention to your hand adding weight to your gestures.  

 

 

Bcharmd Faye Black Sate and Abalone Shell Statement Necklace
Bill Skinner Bee & Honeycomb Cuff
Lucky Eyes Large Filigree Ring
Lucky Eyes Baroque Pearl Hoops

 

You spend a lot of time at work!

 

Cost per wear is an oft used term for deciding the value of items in your wardrobe – the same principle can apply to your jewellery and as we all spend a lot of time these days working,  the cost per wear can be great value indeed!  Buying good quality pieces will be a good investment.  I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘dress for the job you aspire to, not the one you’re doing’; well,  go for it – a few thoughtfully chosen pieces will mean you always look good, and look as if you mean business.  Carefully chosen jewellery can enhance your outfit,  your image and your confidence so whatever your style personality after hours or at weekends,  if your workplace is more conservative,  reigning it in, being clever in your choices will be well worth the effort. 

Jewellery for a Classic Style

Jewellery for a Classic Style

 
Are you a Classic?

 

Do you wear Classic pieces that have stood the test of time and become staples in many women’s wardrobes?  These pieces get an update every now and then and even sometimes find themselves the height of fashion on the catwalk but essentially they are timeless,   they don’t date but remain chic, smart and in many ways empowering.   Many women find themselves with a dual personality style as the Classic look works well in a corporate environment but may get ditched for something completely different at the weekend.  Don’t think for one minute though that the Classic look can’t handle days of leisure.  Those who have mastered this style look trés chic and pulled together, whatever the occasion.  

 

 

Staples items for the Classic Wardrobe include:

 

A well cut blazer worn as a suit or with jeans; crisp white shirt paired with an elegant skirt;  tailored trousers or jeans;  cashmere jumpers (roll necks, v necks, crew necks and cardigans!);  the Little Black Dress for a business look or sassy date night; the Breton top (made mainstream by Coco Channel in 1917, now stocked by just about every High Street brand); ballet flats (made famous by French film star Brigitte Bardot in the 1950’s and still going strong); simple black heels (from kitten heels to stilettos); trench coat and so on.

 

So what are the classic pieces of jewellery?

 

 

1. Diamonds (or Crystals)

They say that diamonds are a girl’s best friend but not many of us have the occasion to wear a diamond necklace; earrings however are a different thing.  A pair of diamond studs will see you through important meetings, weekend outings and even special dates.  However these are not in the budget for many and to be honest, at the risk of upsetting people, CZ these days is such good quality that I defy almost anyone to tell the difference and for a mere fraction of the price!

2. Pearls

Pearls are as iconic as diamonds and a great alternative option.  Pearl earrings can take you anywhere, whether a stud or a beautifully elongated symmetrical drop and with a little black dress you can’t go wrong with a string of pearls.  Of course you can pay a fortune for the roundest South Sea Pearls but today the standard of Freshwater Pearls, found in the lakes and rivers of China has dramatically improved making rounder, lustrous pearls available to the more modest budget;  Baroque pearls, a slightly elongated irregular shape, are widely used now in Designer jewellery due to their unique character.  You can even combine pearls with sparkle for the best of both worlds.  

3. Pendants

Sometimes subtlety is called for, a simple chain with an interesting pendant for that pared back look or something with just enough sparkle to add a bit of glamour for day to evening.   

4. A long necklace

There is always going to be an occasion when a long necklace is needed, whether something with a long chain and larger pendant or a long string of pearls/precious stones.  With jeans and a t shirt or over a cashmere jumper a long necklace can look stunning and they are perfect with high necklines or to jazz up a very simple outfit

 

5. Bracelets

Often overlooked but a bracelet or 2 should definitely be part of your Classic collection. In the office some bracelets are not always practical so consider this when making your choice but a bracelet can make more of an impact than you think even if it’s a simple pendant bracelet.  Choose one to be your ‘signature’ bracelet that you can wear with pretty much anything.  

 

6. Statement

It’s always good to have a really fabulous statement piece in your collection for that really special occasion.  Of 

 

So ladies, if your style is classic you have much to choose from to complete your look with timeless pieces like these.  Be inspired!

 

 

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Why wear jewellery?

Why wear jewellery?

Many of us wear jewellery without thinking about it.  We perceive it as an essential part of our wardrobe; that an outfit is just incomplete without it.  You won’t be surprised to hear that I’m one of these! Others though see it as just a superficial adornment, frivolous, superfluous!  So just why should we take jewellery seriously?

Where did it start?

Let’s first explore when we first started to wear jewellery.    Its history began c 75000 years ago with the earliest pieces made from animal hide, leather or reeds decorated with things like animal teeth, bones, feathers, pebbles, shells etc. Many animals have inbuilt displays to attract the opposite sex so it may be that early jewellery was the equivalent of peacock feathers!  Over the centuries we graduated, as they were discovered, to using precious metals and gemstones.  From the Ancient Civilisations to the Royal Courts of Europe the designs became more elaborate and the workmanship more complex with ‘competitions’ to outdo each other as they displayed their symbols of wealth and status.   Jewellery also became a symbol of love and the ability to provide for the chosen recipient.

Of course religion too played a big part in the design of jewellery with strict rules governing who could wear what in the worship of the Ancient gods, leading to the very specific symbols of faith used by the religions more prevalent today.  As our ancestors became more self aware jewellery became a means of self expression and communicating identity and so here we are today still making jewellery out of almost every material known! Wherever you are in the world you will see jewellery with dramatic differences in style and appearance dependant upon the country, the culture and the materials available locally.

The power of jewellery

As well as being a status of wealth, for 1000’s of years jewellery has also been worn to gain from its energy and power – through talismans, healing crystals, amulets, chakra jewellery and so on.  Ancient beliefs that still exist today suggest jewellery can protect, bring love, energy,  luck and healing.  Religions down the ages have used jewellery to express faith, to honour certain gods and be integral to various ceremonies.  Symbols on pieces of jewellery can also project a message about the wearer to the world, a declaration of intent, love or family connection. Giving jewellery can serve as a very personal way of expressing love, affection, pride or admiration.

 

 

Major religious and other spiritual symbols

 

 

Muru Talisman pendants

Left to right Talismans for Prosperity, Love, Positivity and Intuition 

 

Rachel Jackson Mantra

More than just an adornment

It has stood the test of time and shows no signs of ever going away.  As a species we are conditioned with various needs.  The basic being food, drink and shelter, followed by the need to reproduce but we also have ‘higher’ social needs which include romantic interaction, the need for social and self esteem.  Just as wearing certain types of clothes can project an image, make the wearer look and feel more confident so too can jewellery. It can take an outfit from boring to fabulous.  Designs can be delicate or bold, colourful or subdued, intricate and expensive or simple and economical.

Jewellery can be seen as a reflection of a personality, expressing who you are (or who you would like to be!).  It is personal and meaningful, a communication of style.  It can create memories, be transformative.  It is so much more than just an accessory, it is an art form and one of the most important and nowadays affordable, components of your wardrobe but don’t take my word for it.   Here’s what some other say…….

“Jewellery is the most transformative thing you can wear” …………                                       

Iris Apfel, accidental icon

“Jewellery has the power to be the one little thing that makes you feel unique”……….

Elizabeth Taylor,  actress and icon

“Jewellery is like the perfect spice – it always complements whats already there”………

Diane Von Furstenberg, Belgian American fashion designer

“Accessories are what, in my opinion, pull the whole look together and make it unique”……..

Yves St Laurent, French fashion designer

“Jewellery tells a story without even a single word – a non verbal communication of style”………

Michael, Rosey West, jewellery designer

“I see bold accessories as a woman’s armour”……..

Rachel Zoe, fashion designer

“I’ve always thought of accessories as the exclamation point of a woman’s outfit”…….

Michael Kors, fashion designer

“Clothes without accessories is like sex without orgasm!”…….

Robert Lee Morris, renowned jewellery designer and sculptor

“Jewellery is the last thing left of most civilisations”……..

Theo Fennel, British jewellery designer

 

Now tell me what YOU think!

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Bracelets and how to wear them

Bracelets and how to wear them

photography credit - kerry j photography

 

Bracelets are not something I always wear, unlike earrings (wouldn’t leave home without those!) and for a lot of people they are often an afterthought but they are a wonderful way to enhance your outfit and add individuality.   If you find it difficult to choose the appropriate style here are a few tips and ideas:

Simple, sophisticated office style

The office isn’t necessarily the place for noisy bangles clunking together nor large chunky bracelets that are obtrusive and irritating clinking against your desk, so choose a stylish single bracelet that will add some sophistication and charm to your corporate outfit, that sits well at the end of a jacket sleeve.

A simple chain bracelet with a single charm will do this job very well or go for something with a little more interest and texture,  with understated sophistication.

Hummingbird bracelet from Sophisticato.uk

Muru Feather bracelet from Sophisticato.uk

Tara Kirkpatrick bracelet from Sophisticato.ukPictured above left to right Cinderela B Hummingbird, Tara Kirkpatrick Wire Balls & Muru Feather Talisman

For something that will take you seamlessly from the office to a bar or restaurant add a little sparkle with something like these pretty cz bracelets from Nour London

Nour London Bracelets from Sophisticato.uk

Stacked bracelets for casual chic

Bracelet stacking is a continuing jewellery trend that is likely to remain with us for some time. It allows you to showcase your individual style and can be great fun mixing colours, widths and styles to team with most outfits.

Getting started with stacking is effortless;  just start with 2 or 3 and build up!  First, choose a theme such as colour or materials and choose bracelets that complement each other but don’t match each other perfectly. Take care when mixing different metal colours as this can look haphazard if not done thoughtfully. However, if you have gold rings (wedding/engagement rings for example) don’t feel you have to stick to gold on your wrist or anywhere else for that matter.

Large stacks of bracelets ideally should be worn with much simpler outfits so as not to look cluttered. A good rule of thumb is the larger the stack the simpler the outfit.  Go ahead, experiment and have fun – the options are really endless!

 

Stacking bracelets

Muru stretch bracelets from Sophisticato.uk

Pictured  left Boho Betty and right Muru Talisman 

Quirky or sparkly – bracelets for elegant date nights and glamorous parties

For high impact but no fuss try a cuff such as Chris Lewis Wound Silver Cuff (featured at the top of this blog) which would add a touch of class to any outfit for that special dinner date, as would the beautiful Keisha Pearls bracelet pictured below along with a couple from Bill Skinner for a slightly more quirky but nonetheless ‘dressed up’  look.

Bracelet selection from Sophisticato.uk

Above left Bill Skinner Scenes of Nature, Centre Keisha Pearls by Pearls of the Orient, Right Bill Skinner Honeycomb & Bee

Sometimes though you just have to go all out for glam and sparkle for those extra special dates or party nights and Nour London have the perfect solution without breaking the bank!

Sparkly bracelets by Nour London available et Sophisticato.uk

 

I hope this helps you to wear bracelets with greater ease and will be front of mind the next time you’re looking to put that finishing touch of chic to your outfit. Choosing timeless bracelets will give you tons of options as they can be worn again and again!

For more ideas and alternatives use this link

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