How to Mix and Match Jewelry

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Do you spend hours meticulously matching your jewelry to create cohesive looks? Or, do you prefer creating one-of-a-kind looks by mixing and matching your accessories? Are you tired of sticking with the same style and ready to change up your look? 

Whatever the case may be, we’ve got you covered! Mixing and matching jewelry is an art and something that many folks find challenging. Fortunately, it’s not as hard as you might think! From basic techniques like combining various styles of women’s gold chains to more advanced strategies, you’ll find all the help you need in this definitive guide to mixing and matching accessories. Keep reading to learn how to mix and match jewelry like a true fashionista. 

Start with a Single Focal Piece

The biggest mistake would-be fashionistas make when mixing and matching jewelry is going overboard. It’s hard to make a statement with your look when every piece is a statement piece. Avoid this all-too-common mistake by starting with a single focal piece that will serve as the foundation for your entire look. Maybe you have a gorgeous cocktail ring, or perhaps you have a stunning pendant that people compliment every time you go out. Whatever the case may be, choose a piece you love and know you can pair with more understated pieces. 

Think of your focal piece as the star of the show and the rest of your accessories as the supporting cast. Ideally, you want pieces that complement the statement piece rather than compete. 

Embrace Layers

Who said you can only wear one necklace at a time? Sure, a single 14k gold chain is a versatile option appropriate for work, date nights, casual evenings with friends and more. But there is also nothing wrong with layering chains to create a one-of-a-kind look. Select necklaces of varying lengths and styles, and experiment to see which ones look best with each other. Another option that works well is pairing necklaces of the same style with different lengths and thicknesses. For example, a shorter rope chain paired with a longer one is always a solid look. 

Necklaces aren’t the only way to layer multiple pieces to create a unique look. If you have multiple ear piercings, select earrings that look great together, even if they don’t necessarily match. Or, try filling your wrist with a stack of all your favorite bracelets. Just be careful not to overdo it. Stick to layering only a single type of jewelry and take a good look in the mirror to ensure you haven’t selected too many pieces. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Mix Metals

Don’t Be Afraid to Mix Metals

Source: Carlos andre Santos/Shutterstock.com

Whether you’re layering multiple pieces or choosing jewelry for different parts of your body, don’t be afraid to mix metals. Though mixing metals was once a major fashion faux pas, times have changed and this eclectic look is totally in. In fact, mixed metals are among the hottest fashion trends, and you can find this look everywhere — from the streets of your hometown to runway shows put on by the hottest designers. 

Aim for balance when mixing metals. A single gold chain might not look right if the rest of your look is white gold. Instead, try to wear roughly the same number of pieces in each color. Also, consider the overall style of each piece to create a cohesive look. Once you learn how to mix metals, you can develop a signature style that reflects all of your favorite things. 

Mix Special Pieces with Everyday Jewelry 

Do you have a watch or ring(s) that you wear every day? There is no need to change them up just because you have decided to start creating mix-and-match looks. Instead, use them as part of your style for the day. When laying out clothing and accessories, plan to make your daily jewelry part of the look. 

Also, feel free to mix and match fine and costume jewelry. There’s no rule preventing you from rocking your favorite boho earrings while wearing a diamond solitaire pendant. Wedding and engagement rings, heirloom jewelry and other sentimental pieces can be worn with less-special pieces, too. 

Choose Pieces with Similar Shapes

Choose Pieces with Similar Shapes

Source: Ayman alakhras/Shutterstock.com

Choosing pieces with similar shapes allows you to create cohesive looks without being too matchy. Try combining multiple square- or round-shaped pieces to form a motif. The jewelry doesn’t all need to be the same metal or have the same overall aesthetic. Just focus on the shape. 

One important thing to note: This technique works best with simple shapes. Circles, squares, teardrops, triangles, etc. all work well. Overdoing it is pretty easy with more detailed and unique shapes, like hearts, stars, etc. These shapes are best for days when you’re only wearing two or three pieces with the same shape. Stick with more traditional shapes when mixing and matching several pieces. 

Pay Attention to the Details

Jewelry with interesting details is the perfect accompaniment for your simpler pieces. Create visual interest by pairing a chain with an ornate link, like Cuban or mariner, with a couple of smoother chains, like box or cable. Or, if you have something like a fully blinged-out Rolex, pair it with delicate rings and bracelets. You get the idea.

Avoid combining multiple detailed or ornate pieces. Let the details of a single piece shine by making sure the rest of your jewelry is simple and won’t compete for attention. Overdoing it with detailed pieces muddies your look, and instead of making you look cool, it makes you look like you’re trying too hard. 

Closing Thoughts

It takes some practice to get the hang of mixing and matching jewelry. Fortunately, fashion rules are a lot laxer than they were in past decades, so you don’t need to worry too much about committing a major fashion faux pas. Experiment with a variety of styles and pieces and, with patience, you’ll discover your personal style.

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