“Women should never go without earrings. Passing on them is an opportunity missed.” - Jennifer Lopez
Jewelry can make or break an outfit. Being able to successfully accessorize is an important skill in a women’s style arsenal. This means accentuating a neckline with a necklace, adorning a bare arm with a cuff bangle, or matching the perfect pair of earrings with the perfect outfit.
Your jewelry should look an effortless part of any clothing ensemble whether you’re wearing a white t-shirt and jeans or a little black dress. The wrong jewelry can look clumsy and draw more attention to itself than your overall look.
Knowing how to accessorize for your everyday look or a formal event is about understanding how everything works together. It’s about knowing how to work with your skin tone, understanding a little about the color wheel, when to be understated or go bolder with a statement piece and how to curate a jewelry collection that fits any occasion.
Choosing the right earrings is as important as choosing the right shoes. Earrings add the final touch so you’ll need to consider the fit and color of your clothes, your makeup, the occasion, and your personal style. Read on to learn how to combine earrings of all types, shapes, sizes, and colors with your outfits.
Types of Earrings
How to accessorize with earrings begins with knowing the different types of earrings.
Studs: Mostly, studs are small earrings that sit snuggly on the ear lobe. There’s a huge variety from a simple single gemstone in a claw setting to the fun character and picture studs.
Cluster Earrings: These decorative earrings sit tightly on the earlobe and come in the form of a stud or with a slight drop. They are comprised of numerous gems or stones grouped to form a cluster.
Drop Earrings: This type hangs below the earlobe and the length varies. Drops tend to be more delicate than other hanging earrings and more stationary.
Dangle Earrings: Usually longer than a drop earring and hanging further below the ear lobe, danglers are also typically intricate in design and have more movement.
Chandelier Earrings: Considered a luxurious style, this earring type is ornate and intricate and resembles a fancy chandelier with aggregated levels.
Hoop Earrings: Hoops loop from the front of the earlobe to the back. The most usual form is round but hoop earrings can also be oval, square, or triangle. They can be small or really large - the larger they are, the more dramatic the effect. Larger, ornate hoops are often referred to as gypsy hoops and are associated with a boho look.
Huggie Earrings: A type of hoop earring, huggies sit close to the earlobe, wrapping snuggly around it.
Cuff Earrings: This snug style sits around the edge of the ear (over the cartilage). They can be large or small, of a solid form or a more intricate design.
Threader Earrings: An unusual and minimalist style of earring, threader earrings are a thin piece of metal or chain that threads through the piercing hole to hang on both sides of the ear lobe.
Ear Climbers: Providing the opposite effect of drop and dangler earrings, climbers start at the base and climb up the ear. By nature, they are more rigid than drops and danglers.
Jacket Earrings: Possibly the most unique type of earring, this design is where the main part of the earring hangs down behind the ear lobe anchored by a stud or stone in the front of the lobe.
Now you know every possible earring type, we can move on to style tips for picking and matching earrings to your outfit.
What’s the Occasion?
The occasion drives your outfit choice so ultimately, it influences the pieces of jewelry your choose. sometimes, it’s just a matter of common sense applied to the style. Let’s look at a few simple examples to demonstrate this principle.
A casual dinner party with family or friends doesn’t warrant your best dress-up clothes and most expensive diamond earrings but they would be right for a very formal occasion/major celebration.
Those expensive diamond earrings are also not totally appropriate for a night out at a local bar or club with your best friends.
Some basic rules you may wish to adopt are:
Casual/everyday outfits: For most of us, casual implies comfortable. It might also be playful and colorful, miles from your workday wear. If you’re lounging about at home you probably won’t even consider jewelry, but if you’re running errands, meeting friends, or doing something with the kids, it’s the chance to play with your jewelry. Be daring, choose pops of color or something bold you wouldn’t wear at other times. The right jewelry for casual wear is whatever feels right so if you want to wear showy but fun chandelier earrings or some simple rose gold studs, go for it.
Business wear: In some circumstances, what jewelry you can wear for work is dictated by a dress code. If you have to wear a uniform, allowable jewelry may be specified. If workwear is a business suit or similar, you can’t go wrong with a pair of discreet, elegant stud earrings. Otherwise, work earrings should be appropriate to your overall look.
Night out/date night: Choosing earrings for a night out depends on your outfit choice which might depend on your destination. You can glam up a fairly plain outfit with some statement earrings or choose something subtle and complimentary if you want to focal point to be on your clothes rather than your jewelry.
Enhancing Your Physical Features with Earrings
Two features can affect the impact earrings have - your skin tone and the color of your eyes. Paying attention to both will help you achieve maximum synchronicity between clothes and jewelry and the overall look you want to achieve.
Best colors for skin tone:
Cool skin tone - earrings of white metals like silver, white gold, and platinum and colors like blue, red, and purple
Warm skin tone - earrings of yellow gold, rose gold, brass, and copper and colors of red, yellow, and orange
Neutral skin tone - earrings of white or yellow metals and all colors.
When it comes to how to match earrings to your eyes, there is no rule of thumb: all colors are allowed. Advice on this issue is quite ambiguous. Some stylists will say that the most impactful effect will be from shades closest to the color of your iris. Other stylists will say that contrast colors are better as they subtly highlight the natural eye color. In face of this, the best thing to do is an experiment and decide for yourself which color of earrings works best to make your eyes pop.
Choosing Earrings by Outfit Color Scheme
A, let‘s call it technical, way of choosing a pair of earrings is to follow a color scheme. And the easiest way to achieve this is using the color wheel. It can get complicated when you start digging deep into color theory but there are two basics - complementary colors are next to each other on the wheel and contrasting colors are opposite each other.
So simply, take the basic color scheme of your outfit and choose to complement or contrast for a pleasing visual effect. Within this premise, also give some consideration to color saturation and hue. Outfits in muted tones are complemented by earrings in muted tones and be contrasted by earrings in vivid jewel tones and neon colors.
How to Coordinate Your Earrings With Your Outfit
Choosing the Right Color
Unless it’s a specific look you are trying to achieve. clashing colors can be a distraction. Equally, trying to directly match the most dominant color in your outfit with your earrings can produce a harsh effect.
The most effective way to match clothing color to earrings is to pick out one of the minor colors of your outfit and choose a pair of earrings in that color.
If your outfit is made from solid colors, complementary color for your earrings will harmonize the look.
Matching Print Shapes
The simple rule here is that the shape of your earrings should match the prominent shape of any design on your clothes., specifically a short, top or dress (because your earrings are in close proximity to these garments).
For example, you shouldn’t choose circular hoop earrings with angled stripes.
Keep it Stylish
Basically - keep it tasteful. Think about your overall look and yes, we dare say it, consider factors such as your age. Don‘t wear earrings that are too young for you. Bright plastics, neon colors, big clip-on, and overly elaborate earrings are really pre-teen and teenage territory.
That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with your earrings. You will just need to look a little harder to find a pair that are fun, unique, or clever that fits your look.
So now you know about the importance of color in choosing earrings for your outfit, let’s take a look at some other considerations of demonstrating your style and personality with your earrings.
Can You Layer Earrings?
The most on-trend jewelry look is that of layering. Everyone who is everyone knows that wearing necklaces of different lengths, a stack of rings, or bracelets are great ways to have fun with style. Different shapes and order of placement along with mixing textures are things you can play around with to create different effects.
You can achieve a layered look with earrings too. If you have multiple piercing holes, you can build your own stack. Try a stud, cuff, and dangler together, or choose graduating studs.
If you don’t have multiple piercings, climber earrings can provide a similar look to layering.
Can You Pair Bold with Basic?
You’ve learned that the general rule of thumb is that basic, simple jewelry works best with a bold outfit but that doesn’t mean the rule can’t be broken.
Don’t be scared to experiment but be prepared for some catastrophic looks that you have to discard. You can wear dangly earrings with a boldly printed dress if you find the right pair. The right pair means colors and shapes that are complementary to the dress.
Choosing a Focal Pair of Earrings
Not picking jewelry that works together can result in a choppy, uncoordinated look. It is best to choose one focal point rather than have pieces of jewelry competing with each other for attention. A pair of statement earrings can be a focal point when worn with a simple necklace. Other jewelry should complement your statement piece.
A pair of statement earrings can really make your outfit and maybe even earn you a second look. if you want the focus to be on your flashy and eye-catching earrings, keep your outfit simple. It will also draw attention to your face.
This can be powerful. For example, wear a simple white dress with some silver and blue statement earrings. The neutral base of the dress will highlight the silver and blue and this bold but beautifully simplistic look will accentuate your smile. It’s also a look that will suit multiple occasions.
Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend
If there is one pair of earrings that every woman should have in their jewelry collection, it is a pair of diamond studs.
Diamonds match just about everything, When you can’t decide on what earrings will go with your outfit, you can trust your diamond studs or another favorite pair of diamond earrings.
Diamonds are beautiful, bold, and shiny and can highlight or work with just about any color. They work with any precious metal and also with different colors of gemstones. They’ll highlight your skin tone and be a stunning addition to any look.
Earrings should not be a final thought! They are an important facet of any outfit and you should think about the part you want them to play in your style story every time you put an outfit together.
When you want to be classically elegant and understated- there’s a pair of earrings for that. When you want to be obviously glamourous - there’s a pair of earrings for that. When you want to be effortlessly casual but carefully curated - there’s a pair of earrings for that.
Have fun with your earrings. Try to build a collection of different metals, gemstones, shapes, colors, and sizes to give you many options so you’ll always find a pair to suit any outfit and any occasion.