Jewelry: What to Wear for a Professional Image

As an image consultant, I often get asked in regard to professional dress, “how much jewelry is too much.” The amount of jewelry you wear at any one time can be different for professional dress and every day dress. The main goal of professional dress is to create a memorable image without any distractions.

The following are some tips to help you decide what to wear and what not to wear:

  • Earrings, necklaces, pins and scarves help draw attention to your face, where you always want it for business. When your face is the focal point, your message is much stronger!
  • Metals, pearls, precious and semi-precious stones, and crystal jewelry present an elegant look without being audacious. Examine each piece for a look of quality.  Avoid plastic or enamel, or anything that looks cheap.
  • Medium-sized jewelry will be eye-catching and sharp, yet not distracting in business. Delicate jewelry is beautiful, but it doesn’t have the drawing power of a more substantial piece. Overly large pieces can be distracting.
  • One piece of jewelry should be dominant, larger or more attention getting, and the other pieces should be subordinate. For example, if you’re wearing a substantial necklace, your earrings should be smaller and simpler.
  • Pearls are an obvious choice, but certainly not your only choice.  There are a large variety of chains on the market right now. Layering necklaces of different lengths is a wonderful current trend.
  • Avoid dangling earrings when you’re giving a presentation or attending an important meeting. You never want to hypnotize anyone!
  • Be sure to wear earrings at all times for business if you have pierced ears. Skipping earrings may make others wonder if you’re intentionally not wearing earrings or whether you forgot them. It could be distracting.
  • Pins and brooches work best on jackets, cardigans and coats. They tend to come in and out of fashion, but a high quality, elegant piece can add extra panache to your look if it’s your personal style. Be cautious of whimsical pins for business, as they can appear a bit casual or even out of date.
  • Armloads of bangles are a big trend; however, be cautious of wearing too many bracelets at once. Not only are the layers of bangles distracting, they can be noisy!

Follow these tips for jewelry and add polish and power to your image. Accessorizing is fun and allows you to put your personality into your look.

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