With a beautiful dress, what else does a girl need to feel like a million bucks on a very special day? Jewelry!
Jewelry is a great confidence booster – and an instant beauty makeover tool.
When you place a piece of jewelry somewhere, you make people look there, and you tell them what to see. Jewelry helps create an illusion that your eyes are brighter, your neck more delicate, your face more symmetrical, your skin more smooth. Yes, jewelry is the pixie dust right there in your dressing table.
You may say, pixies don’t exist, and we’re young enough not to believe in fairy tales any more. But don’t underestimate our gullible eyes.
Remember optical illusions? Things arranged with tight spaces between them look bigger, and things arranged with wide spaces between them look smaller. Something surrounded by bigger things look smaller, and vice versa. Something will look longer if it’s vertical rather than horizontal, and something will look longer if you put something else on top of it.
In fashion and styling, these translate into real-life effects. A big hair or a large hairpiece makes us look taller, sleek flat hair makes us look shorter, large print makes us look smaller, whereas tiny polka dots make us look bigger. A long row of buttons lengthens our look.
Let’s see what jewelry can do.
Remember, vertical lines lengthen, and big things dwarf everything around them. On the picture to the right, the woman’s thick long necklace and oversized ring create a very winning look.
On the other hand, if you can imagine the same woman wearing circular earrings, a choker necklace or a wide sash, you’d probably begin to notice her rounded cheeks, and it might look like she’s a bit on a plus side.
Now, being plus size is great. You get to look proportionate with big hair and big bosom. Own that body & use that body. What’s the point of living if you’re not having fun? What’s the point of looking good if you’re not having fun? We talk a lot about loving ourselves, but it’s an important conversation to have in our heads as well.
If you’re looking for ideas to try and explore, we got lots of style tips, and you may quite like the look of some of them. If you have any particular beauty goals, aligning your jewelry with those goals will be a good idea. Just, as Gabi Fresh says, keep being kind to yourself.
A look at the jewelry box
Earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and brooches. The veil and a tiara. Just because you got ’em, or can afford ’em, doesn’t mean that you should plan to wear them all.
Here’s the first difference about styling a wedding dress: with the lace, sparkles, folds or other embellishments that catch the eye, most wedding dresses are, themselves, wearable pieces of jewelry.
Coco Chanel advised: “before you leave the house, look at yourself in a mirror and remove one piece of jewelry”. We don’t actually suggest that you take off your dress and go out… but we do believe in avoiding the Christmas tree effect by narrowing your jewelry options.
Coordination of the jewelry.
This can be a little tricky, but when you get it right, it looks magical. For example, take a look at the picture to the right, and notice how the line of diamonds on the necklace echoes the ring and the hair vine, perfectly balanced by the absence of earrings.
Whatever you wear should go well with your hair accessories including the veil, with the dress, and with your eyes. The colors, shapes, and style should be coordinated. Colors of your metals should match, and shapes and patterns should subtly echo each other.
And, finally, balance. Once you get the basics down, jewelry styling is all about balance. A prominent piece should be balanced by… naked skin, or perhaps by modest, complementary ‘supporting actors’ around it. So, for example, be careful with matching ‘necklace + earrings’ sets. Although it’s great to have matching shapes, you may see that together, they look unbalanced. Both are often too small, and get lost in the overall look, or they are too big, and compete with each other for attention.
If you hate the thought of not being able to wear a piece of favorite jewelry because it looks a little busy together with the other pieces, consider switching between different jewelry looks throughout the day. Changing your jewelry will make your dress look a little different, too.
Earrings are the bride’s best friend. They can open up your eyes and shape your face in the most flattering way. We summarized a few tips about choosing earrings elsewhere, and if you’re not sure where to start experimenting with your bridal style, consider starting there.
Other than earrings, what else? It really depends on your dress, your bridal style, and your other accessories – and here is the selection to choose from.
Bracelet to adorn your bare arms.
A great choice for a sleeveless wedding dress, a bracelet will highlight the slimmest part of your arm and direct the eyes towards your engagement ring and wedding band. You can be sure that your photographer will take many pictures of your hands!
Perhaps your bracelet could echo the shape of your earrings, hair accessories or some elements of the dress. Go for a small bracelet if you have dainty hands and a smaller, sheath dress. Conversely, go for a larger bracelet if you have larger arms/hands, a dramatic voluminous dress, or, overall, a larger body. Finally – because yes, time has no power over a girl on the day of her wedding – consider skipping your everyday watch.
Necklace to show off your neck and bare shoulders.
Word of caution. A necklace is often one piece of jewelry that stylists don’t rush to put on a bride. If your dress has a halter, strap, asymmetric or illusion neckline that comes up to your neck or shoulders, if the neckline is low but chock-full of visually interesting details, or if you are wearing a tiara or another prominent hair decoration, a necklace is not necessary.
The only thing that may surround your necklace is your bare skin and subtle earrings. Again, the bigger the necklace, the smaller the room for your earrings to shine.
Pay attention to whether the shape of the necklace flatters your face. For example, round faces and square jaws look better with long necklaces and pendants, as do some V-shaped necklines. Pointy chins look best with chokers and short necklaces, as do long faces and long necks. However, avoid chokers if you are too tall, because it leaves your length a little unbalanced. If you would like to visually enhance your bust, small, dainty necklaces are a perfect choice.
Or surprise everyone with a versatile brooch.
How about a brooch? If your dress does not have many embellishments, it can liven things up in most unexpected ways. A brooch is incredibly versatile because it can go anywhere.
For example, strategic placement can add visual interest to your bosom, the back of your dress, or even your skirt. During the ceremony, one or more brooches on your back can keep your guests’ eyes on you, whereas a dress skirt with an unexpected adornment is playful and fun.
And remember, brooches can do some optical magic, too. A large brooch is great at breaking up the expanse of the dress and making your body look smaller. A couple of brooches, strategically positioned in a diagonal or vertical line, will elongate your body with a bit of a slimming effect.
What colors should you favor?
You have lots of options when it comes to color. Metals in silver / white gold, yellow gold, and rose gold. Pearls in white and off-white shades. Precious gems in a variety of colors.
Bridal styling tends to be a little conservative, and so the classic advice is to avoid mixing metals and be selective as to what colors you bring in. Once you choose a color, perhaps one that flatters your eyes, echo that color elsewhere. For example, take a look at the picture below and notice how subtly the blue bead on the bride’s necklace matches her hair piece, earrings and bouquet, as well as the groom’s bow-tie. Each element is so subtle, yet in coordination they tastefully play each other up.
As you probably know, some people look their best in white gold, while others swear by yellow or rose gold – and some lucky individuals look great with both. Your skin tone (whether it is so-called ‘warm’ or ‘cool’) affects which metal colors look particularly good on you. The shade of white in your dress will also influence how a metal will look on you.
Here’s a quick primer on colors:
Silver and white gold look great with pure white dresses, as well as with darker ivory toned dresses. White gold generally suits ladies with skin of cool undertones (skin that tends to have pink hues, blue or purple veins, and burn easily. Cool undertones of the skin often extend to blue undertones of the hair, and eyes that are light blue, green or grey).
Yellow gold looks beautiful with creamy and darker ivory tones of dress, as well as light beige (champagne). In terms of skin tone, go for it if you have darker skin, or skin of warm undertones (one that tans easily, has green veins, dark hair with red undertones, and hazel brown eyes).
Rose gold, the ultimate vintage femininity, will look stunning on you if you have a pure white dress – or a blush (light pink) dress. Just like yellow gold, it tends to work best with warm skin undertones.
Diamonds or imitation diamonds (such as Swarovski) go well with any color.
Pearls are a classical bridal choice. They shine up your eyes and work particularly well with matte and lacy dresses. Remember that pearls come in different shades (white, pink, silver, grey and other hues), and you need to coordinate the colors of all jewelry items with the dress and with each other.
When it comes to precious gems, colorful beads and colored crystals, you have so many options! … and the job to carefully coordinate your color palette’.
Give yourself enough time!
With so much choice out there, it can seem a little difficult to choose the right jewelry. Take your time. Give yourself a few months. Select jewelry that works with your wedding style, and only buy things that you LOVE. I, personally, have a rule in buying jewelry: I walk away and sleep on it. If I spend the evening thinking back about the piece, I go back the next day and buy it. That applies to less expensive pieces, too – jewelry doesn’t have to be expensive to look great.
Most importantly, have fun!