How to Mix and Match Jewelry

Mix and Match Jewelry A big jewelry trend right now is to wear a lot of it.  It’s sort of an eclectic approach to accessorizing and, just like decorating a home in an eclectic manner, while the look can come off as random, there is actually a lot of thought that goes into getting it right and balanced.  It’s sort of like the hipsters who live in my trendy Brooklyn neighborhood.  They try really hard to look like they didn’t try at all.  This is what is going on with jewelry right now.  Between stacking bracelets, wearing multiple necklaces and statement pieces, I thought it was important to give some tips on how to mix and match your jewelry so when you accessorize this way it looks purposeful vs. looking like you grabbed a bunch of jewelry in the dark and layered it on.

How to Mix and Match Jewelry

Below are five different and easy ways to mix and match your jewelry shown through different outfits and tips.

 Tip #1- Separate your focal points

Having one focal point piece of jewelry in an outfit is easy.  You choose one item that is the standout piece.  However, when you start adding multiple statement pieces it is important to create some space between them on your body.  When you have too many focal points in one place, like statement earrings and a necklace, it’s too cluttered looking and the only statement that is made is a bad one.  Yet, when you break the pieces apart, like wearing a statement necklace and bracelet, more balance is created.  The second important point when creating more than one focal point is that the two pieces communicate and work with each other.  They don’t have to match, but they should relate.  You can learn more about this in my tips on how to look coordinated vs. matchy-matchy.

In this cocktail look, using a velvet dress from eShakti, I added a bib necklace and stacked bracelets, both from Bauble Bar, that relate to one another.  With both these big statements, I added simple stud earrings from Stella & Dot.  Next, it’s important that the rest of your accessorizing components work with your focal jewelry pieces, not against them, so I added a grey clutch and black Jessica Simpson platform pumps with small rhinestones.

Tip #2- Bracelet stacking is where you can be the most random

Stacking your bracelets is probably the acceptable way to mix and match in a haphazard manner.  I have been all over this trend lately and when I do it I literally just grab a bunch of bracelets and layer them on.  I mix metals, bracelet styles, and more.  Sometimes I even thow a watch into the mix.  You can read more of my tips on how to stack your bracelets in a post that I wrote for Wantable.com.   What is important to keep in mind when stacking bracelets is that, depending on how many bracelets you layer, this will likely be the biggest focal point of your outfit.  While I have been known to add another piece of bold jewelry to my outfit when wearing stacked bracelets, typically, when I do this, my outfit is on the more basic and understated.

In this outfit, the base of the look is a pair of French Connection leggings, an oversized chambray shirt from Madewell and a Navajo inspired cardigan from Modcloth.  To give this casual look a little pop, I layered a bunch of bracelets from Lauren Ralph Lauren, Max & Chloe and LOFT and a watch from Modcoth.  The outfit is finished with a pair of earrings from Nordstrom, bag from Botkier and cognac boots from Frye.

Tip #3- Update classic pearls by adding a second necklace

Personally, I am not a fan of pearls.  They have just never been my thing.  However, what I am liking is the idea of adding a second necklace layer to a string of classic pearls.  The look is just more updated vs. too traditional.

In this outfit, a of pair of J. Crew boyfriend jeans, a basic black top and long burgundy cardigan is the base for this double necklace strategy consisting a long pair of Bauble Bar pearls and long double strand gold necklace from Stella & Dot.  For a final punch, I added these too-cute-for-words heeled leopard mary janes from Boden and a blue Tory Burch handbag.

Tip #3- Consistent color

In this outfit you have two very different styles of jewelry in one outfit.  The bib necklace from Kate Spade is more ornate and the bangle is more sleek and modern.  However, the two of these pieces work together.  The reason is that there is a consistent color theme between the two, the blue shade.  When it comes to eclectic jewelry styling, there has to be something between the pieces that connects them.  In this case it is color.

This accessorizing method is working with a blue Modcloth dress, black belt from Nordstrom, black booties from Macy’s and a studded black bag from Nine West.  For bare legs, I would add a pair of black opaque tights to the look.

Tip #5- Layered necklace metals in all the same shades

Like bracelet stacking, many people are stacking and layering their necklaces.  It isn’t uncommon to see someone wearing a very short necklace with a very long one.  You can add as many layers and lengths as you want.  As long as the metal shades are the same, you can have fun with the shapes and styles of the necklaces you choose.  Here, for example, I used a long tassel necklace and a more modern necklace from Banana Republic.  If I wanted to, I could even add a third gold necklace as a bib to fill in the neckline of this J. Crew shirt.

With all this necklace layering going on, I kept the earrings simple and added this pair of studs from Max & Chloe, that relate back to the necklaces but don’t detract, and, while colorful, kept the rest of the outfit clean with a pair of teal skinny jeans from Boden, a pair of Mustard colored Tieks and a burgundy handbag from Kate Spade.

Play around with mix and match jewelry

The true key to mixing and matching your jewelry is to play around.  It’s sort of like cooking, add a little here, take away there and don’t overdo it.  However, don’t under do it either.  Also, make sure that the amount of mixing and matching works with where you are going.  In some instances a lot of layers will make sense whereas in others you may want to hold back.  But that’s the beauty of this way of accessorizing, you can tailor it to the day ahead.

  • Pat

    Thank you, Bridgette! Every time I look in my jewelry box, see a beautiful strand of pearls languishing, I feel guilty. Guilt, no more, layering here I come!! The pearls come out to play!!

    You are the best!
    A faithful fan,
    Pat

    • Cynthia Peterson

      Great suggestions here, Bridgette. I have all this jewelry that I never wear because I get in a rut wearing the same pieces all the time. You’ve inspired me to get creative, especially since I already have everything I need!

      • I love the fact that it is all right there, Cynthia! Sometimes we can’t see our own forests (or accessories) through the trees. Have fun looking good!

    • Ha, pearls guilt! I am glad they will be coming out to play!

  • tgchi13

    I’ve always been a stacker. I feel too ‘girly’ with just one bracelet unless it’s a really bold one. And as far as pearls go, unless I wear them with playmates, they just aren’t me (see too ‘girly’)…

    • You and I have similar accessorizing styles. I am not girly either!

  • Good point about the pearl stacking. I’ve got some lovely (but conservative) pearls that I must have a play with. Maybe I can get more wear out of them…

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