The Unabashed Feminist: Jewelry (Jewellery) as an accessory

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Jewelry (Jewellery) as an accessory

Since the time mankind has learn to melt metal, women have been wearing jewelry of some shape or kind. In fact, even before metal was found to be malleable, women have used flowers, animal hide, bones, teeth, and feathers as embellishments.

Humans have various needs as is depicted in the Maslow's hierarchy:

As human beings, we tend to move higher up the hierarchy, once our basic needs are satisfied. It has been found that women wear jewelry for 4 reasons:

  • To attract men (for reproduction)
  • As a Social need (a part of the Love & Belonging section of the pyramid), to fit in
  • For self-esteem
  • To showcase creativity (or as self-expression)

What can you do to maximize the effect of wearing jewelry?

  • Remember the maxim “Less is always more”. It is easy to overdo the jewelry.
  • Identify the kind of outfit you are wearing, especially the neck line of your outfit. (Is it elegant, frou-frou, simple or fancy?)
  • Identify all the bare areas that your outfit is showing.
  • Understand where you would like to get the maximum attention.
  • Choose whether you want to wear a matching bracelet to the necklace or would you want to stick to a watch.
  • Allow yourself some leeway on wearing faux gems and not just original pieces of jewelry.(Unless of course, you have an allergic reaction to some of the metals out there). Please don’t mix and match faux and original stuff.
  • Ankle bracelets can be work, but be wary of the occasion. It doesn’t bode well to wear one, if you are at work. You don’t want the attention drawn towards your legs.
  • Treat yourself for manicures if you are sporting a ring.
  • Earrings are just as important, based on the occasion, you could pick danglers or studs.
  • Above all, ensure that your jewelry, bag, shoes, scarf all work well together.

For formal occasions such as your workplace, pearls are considered the most formal. Think about Michelle Obama or Indira Nooyi (the CEO of Pepsico) and how they carries off pearls.

Diamonds have the next highest formality followed by Platinum/Silver, but it is important to keep them simple especially if it’s a formal occasion such as your workplace or a black-tie dinner.

Some tips based on necklines:

  • Collared shirts that you wear to work, keep it simple. A string of pearls can do wonders and ensure that it sits within the shirt. It is important that you don’t draw attention to your bust at your workplace.
  • You might want to wear a longer length necklace with Cowl necks and Boat necks. Alternatively, pearls work very well too.
  • For a strapless dress/gown, you don’t really need anything at all. Try and pair them with a dangler earing and a hair piece. You could wear a choker as well.
  • For a V-neck, use something that will fill space and mirrors the shape of the neckline. Large pendants work very well as they shape the necklace.
  • For a Polo/Turtle necks, use something long that will sit on the bust. A turtle neck leaves a harsh visual at the chin and the long necklace mitigates it very well.
  • For cowl necks, a necklace with long length, creates a more flattering look.
  • For a keyhole shirt, try omitting wearing a necklace as the keyhole is a great embellishment by itself.
  • For a slot collared shirt, once again there is no need to wear a necklace as the collar itself is designed like one as is the same with a Peter pan collared shirt.
  • For a shirt with ruffles, a classic item with beads or pearls look great.

Mark Twain commented “Let us not be too particular. It is better to have second-hand diamonds than none at all.”

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In my next post, will try and describe necklines. :-)

Do keep reading and spreading the word.


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