Sunday, 28 April 2013

What Jewellery to Wear with Formal Attire

Closet Content Analysis: Complementing the Formal Gown with Jewellery

For the most part, it's all about the dress and its details. The more embellishments the dress or gown has, the simpler the jewellery should be or possibly no jewellery at all. The simpler the style of the dress or gown, the more liberty can be taken with the jewellery. 

Jennifer Lopez in hoop earrings and multiple bracelets
Photo Source:
December 12, 2012

NiceA winning combination is a gold/silver bangle or cuff and hoop earrings. The wrist and the ears can always be adorned with any gown - with gowns strapless or one-shoulder, with or without sleeves, with metallic or glitzy bling, with one solid colour, with billowy chiffon, even with floral.

However, if you'd like to glam it up a bit more, here are some dress  categories and jewellery suggestions:

Michelle Obama in blue. Photo Source: Sylelist 
The Simple Long Black/Single-Solid-Colour Dress:
Nice: Because the dress is simple and of one solid colour, a statement piece of fashion jewellery can make the difference. Try on a variety of crystals and whites, black, metallic or colour and you will see the varying degrees of formality you can achieve just by changing your jewellery. Of course, real diamonds, real pearls are classic but not many of us have significant pieces that incorporate precious gems.

Halle Berry in Versace accessorized with gold hoops and bangles at the
Golden Globe Awards, 2013
Photo Source: Anything Hollywood

The One Shoulder Dress: 
Nice: Concentrate on the wrists and the ears with a one shoulder dress.
No Thanks: to any necklace. Because of the assymetry of the one shoulder dress, necklaces don't work. Depending upon the amount of bling or decoration on the shoulder, significant drop or chandelier earrings might create too much "happening" from the shoulders up. As with all clothing coordination, it'a a matter of proportion. Bracelets, cuffs, or bangles create balance when worn on the opposite wrist of the shoulder strap.

Doutzen Kroes in Elie Saab
Photo Source: Evi Karatza Adores
The Sequined-Embellished or Full-Sequined Top or Full Metallic Gown:
Nice: For the most part nothing at the neck unless the top is strapless or a deep V. For balance, drop or chandelier earrings and something at the wrist makes perfect sense. The greater the coverage with sequins on the gown the more delicate the bracelet/s and earrings. With just a smattering of sequined coverage, you can add more significant bracelet/s/cuff/s and earrings.
No Thanks: big oversize jewellery pieces that are competing with the dress bling.

Filmy Billowy Chiffon
In the same way when there are many sequins, when there are billowing mounds of material, the jewellery should be understated.

When the dress is the focal point, you can hold back on the jewellery. That is of course unless the jewellery is the focus and that only happens when the diamonds are worth their weight in diamonds.

There are those who proclaim that one should always wear "real" jewellery to formal events. That rule is becoming as archaic as not wearing white after the fall equinox. Clothing rules are becoming more democratic and although you may not want to wear a really trendy piece, it's heartbreaking to think that someone would sneer because someone was not wearing "real" jewellery.

Of course, there are many opinions on this very topic. For your information, here is what was written in WikiHow about wearing jewellery to a gala:

It's not a good idea to wear faux-jewelry or bijoux to a gala. It's best to wear real jewelry if you can. Rather than emphasizing current fad fashions with loud fake pieces, aim for a subtle, simple and elegant approach. (retrieved April 17, 2013 from WikiHow)

What jewellery to wear with formal attire is very much a matter of opinion.

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