We’ve had so many conversations about whether something is “right” to wear with something else of a different color or texture. Are drop earrings too dressy? How many layering necklaces are “too much?” How many bracelets can I/ should I wear at once? Many of you tell me about Coco Chanel saying “get dressed, look in the mirror, and take one thing off.” Hmmm, maybe not.
First, there are no rules anymore about what “goes together.” In fashion, anything goes. People wear all kinds of things, avidly mixing textures and periods, hair colors, and lengths. People do what they want in the interest of self-expression and freedom of expression. Purposely ripped stockings? See-through shoes? Taxidermied alligator handbags? This group may not look so good from a design perspective, but they are really comfortable in their own skin, or feel more secure in following trends or both.
In the opposite corner, there are many people who like to coordinate all the things they wear and are not comfortable straying. Matching shoes and purse, for instance, or all monochrome. I mean, look at Queen Elizabeth! She’s got head-to-toe uniformity. Hat, gloves (sometimes), purse, dress/suit, corsage. All one color. Of course, she has the world’s best jewelry collection, so there’s that.
So, we have the anything-goes group and the matching group, but most of us fall in between. We want to be distinctive, comfortable, and creative. We want our style to be easy and a la mode without being too crazy. We want it to last till we are sick of it and we mostly prefer quality with some junk thrown in for good measure.
You know where I’m going with this… our jewelry should meet the same criteria. However, I think we have way more latitude to mix our jewelry than we do our clothing because jewelry takes up much less area than the clothing we wear. Jewelry is also so personal. Some days, you just “need” to wear these particular hoops because they make you feel confident or look great on a good hair day.
Maybe you want to wear an heirloom brooch one day which you normally wear with something else but you also must wear a particular outfit because your tummy is a little bloated and that outfit feels more comfortable. I’m here to tell you to wear the brooch or the giant bead necklace or the silver choker with the unlikely outfit and the hell with it. Jewelry is meant to be worn all the time, for no reason other than you want to. That’s what confers your patina and it's what your family will remember.
In my next installment, concrete design advice on mixing and layering.