10 Rules for Wearing Jewelry - And Why They’re Meant to be Broken

It’s 2022, and people are still talking about fashion rules, like there is some ancient order written in stone, guiding generations of women down a path free from fashion faux pas. Some people may see fashion rules as statements written in sand, to be washed away and rewritten as the seasons change. And then there are those of us who know that fashion, like art, is subjective and highly personal. We know that there truly aren’t any rules for wearing jewelry when it comes down to it.

Fashion trends come and go and then come back again. Personal style ebbs and flows throughout a person’s life, and frankly, life is too short to worry about “is there such a thing as too much jewelry?” Lucky for all of us, fashion rules are not written in stone. The way you style your clothes and wear your jewelry should be done in a way that makes you feel confident, comfortable, and beautiful. So here are a few jewelry etiquette rules we believe are meant to be broken. 

Take one thing off 

Coco Chanel is famously quoted as saying, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” This is based on the idea of minimalism, that less is more, and that elegance comes from simplicity. However, we’re big fans of idiosyncratic dressing and dressing in what makes you feel like yourself. If you love layering bling, go for it. We’ve seen a lot of great maximalist accessorizing come out of the last few years. 

Don't mix metals

Mixing metals is another common rule for wearing jewelry we love to break. We love styling different metals together, even paired together in the same piece. Mixing silver, gold, and even rose gold is a fun way to experiment with different styles, purposefully freshen up your jewelry, and get the most wear out of your entire jewelry collection. 

Dress your age

Breaking this rule doesn’t just apply to wearing jewelry. Saying that women over a certain age shouldn’t wear jeans, have long hair, wear short skirts, or wear large hoops is an outdated and frankly harmful narrative. There is no age cut-off for wearing playful, bold, and eye-catching pieces, and anyone of all ages should be able to wear clothes and jewelry that speak to their personal style.

Don't mix different prints and patterns

The person who invented this myth likely lived a boring life. Not only can prints elevate simple staples, but mixing different prints has become so common, many people don’t even think twice about it anymore. In fact, some print patterns are so commonly paired together, they’re basically staples—think stripes, polka dots, plaids, and even florals. Mixing prints is also a great way to maximize your closet and ensure every bright and bold piece you love gets used over and over again. 

Don't wear black and navy together (or pink and red together or white after Labor Day)

Rules like these beg the question of, what colors can you wear? Time and time again we’ve seen models and celebrities breaking these archaic rules about which colors are appropriate to wear together, and they look great doing it. Adages like these have been around for so long that they seem credible, but really no one is going to bat an eye at you for wearing your favorite colors any time of year. 

Save shiny materials for evening wear

Bold statement pieces are a great way to elevate everyday wear, but who says that means you can’t show up to the office in bling? Even a simple pair of gold or silver hoops can help pull together a casual athleisure outfit and give you a confidence boost as you go about your day. You don’t need a formal occasion to enjoy a little sparkle.

Don’t wear big earrings with a statement necklace

This one goes back to breaking the “less is more” rule. Of course, your jewelry should be functional, but there’s nothing wrong with pairing large earrings with a statement necklace. Lots of people think statement necklaces mean large and chunky pieces, but many times, you can still pack a statement with a simple necklace. Take our Monogram Necklace, for example; there’s boldness in surprise and individuality.

Only wear one bold color at a time

Someone probably came up with this rule out of fear of dressing like a circus clown, but in reality, mixing complementary colorways and patterns can bring a refreshing new take to many of your favorite pieces.  

But don't wear too much of the same color

Jewelry etiquette rules love to contradict themselves. If you should only wear one bold color at a time, but also should avoid matchy-matchy styles, then what should you wear? Instead of trying to keep up with these contradictory rules, wear the colors you love to wear. Monochromatic styling is fun and experimental and is a great way to show off your personal taste.

Diamonds over everything

With so many gorgeous stones out there to choose from, you shouldn’t limit yourself to one person’s definition of luxury and beauty. MACHETE’s gem link earrings are a great testament to this; with several different styles of Swarovski crystals to choose from, you’ll find a pair that matches your individual taste that you’ll want to wear again and again. 

It’s fun to challenge and reinvent rules for wearing jewelry and put your own spin on it. At the end of the day, if you feel like you just stepped off the runway every time you leave the house, you’re doing something right. We’ve seen trends lately toward bold expressionist styling, mixing colorways and patterns for really unique looks. Jewelry etiquette has never been a black-and-white issue, and here we’re seeing people defy jewelry-wearing rules in tasteful and individualist ways. So have fun exploring new styles and mixing and matching different pieces as individual as you are!