There are no official rules on how to wear jewelry, but there are some guidelines that you can follow when selecting which necklace or earrings to wear with which outfit. The right selection can be a great style statement and figure enhancer. The wrong selection is a real detraction from your appearance.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that your jewelry – like your clothing – is more flattering if it is the appropriate size for your body. If you are a short or petite woman, stay away from long necklaces or earrings that will diminish your height and drag your look down. If you are a curvy gal, do not wear fragile, diminutive pieces that will only get lost on a larger frame.
Also, as in clothing, fit is key. If you have a round face or short, heavy neck...stay away from shorter necklaces. A necklace with some length, 24 inches or longer, can draw the eye away from the chin and neck area creating a leaner appearance. If you want more style, then layer the necklaces or choose a multi-strand necklace. Long earrings can also appear to trim and lengthen this area, but not recommended for short women. What is important here is to keep it longer than it is wide. If you have the opposite body type, a long thin neck or if you are short in height, then you would want to wear shorter strands or collars around your neck and shorter earrings for the most flattering look.
Necklaces come in a variety of lengths, from 14 inch dog collars that wrap high around the neck to dramatic 45 inch long (or longer) ropes. What necklace you wear depends not only on what type of neck you have but also on what clothing you are wearing.
A wide open neckline or strapless top can be the most versatile, but usually looks best with a 16 inch choker, 17 - 19 inch princess length necklace or 20 to 24inch matinee length if your neck is larger. A collar or bib style or a trendy statement necklace that fills the space can be the most dramatic look with a simple evening look or even a basic white tee …just don’t wear it with prints or other jewelry. That would be too much going on. If you prefer to wear large chandelier style earrings to dress up this sort of outfit, then you should skip the necklace. You can always add a bracelet with the earrings if you like.
If you are wearing a button down blouse or simple t-shirt, then a 16 to 18 inch necklace with a pendant is the most flattering for a simple everyday outfit. You can also wear a longer strand (20 to 24 inches) of simple beads or a chain by placing it under the collar. The longer, matinee or opera (28 to 34 inches) length can be a slimming accent by drawing the eye in a vertical line on the body. If you really want to punch up the style for work or a special event, wear a bold layered or multi-strand necklace with lots of gemstones under the blouse, with the collar pulled wide or flipped up in the back.
When wearing a turtleneck sweater, stay away from shorter necklaces. This neckline calls for a strand that is at least 24 inches long. I think they look best with an opera length strand of 28 to 34 inches. I would stay away from necklaces when wearing a cowl neck. The two items just don’t go together. Try a smaller pair of earrings that aren’t competing with all the fabric around your neck and pile on some bangle bracelets or cuffs.
Tunic tops are a popular trend right now. Try a lariat with that style. Most of them run 36 to 48 inches but can be wrapped around multiple times, leaving one strand shorter than the other or knotted at the bottom. For a stylish twist, I like to fix mine so that there is a single strand hanging down the center like a tail. A long chain with an oversize pendant is another fun accessory for a simple tunic.
One final suggestion…don’t worry about wearing all silver pieces together or all gold. That is an old rule. For a modern look, it's ok to mix your metals. Experiment with the jewelry you own and decide what looks best on you. When you find a style that makes you look terrific, you will also feel terrific because you will be expressing your own unique you.