To bejewel or not to bejewel? That is the question. Shakespeare clearly understood the dilemmas of accessorising. Trivial though it may seem, jewellery has had an important role throughout the ages both in embellishing appearance and as a symbol of power and status.
For thousands of years, various types of precious stone have been carefully matched with corresponding metals to create accessories to complement looks of all kinds. The range on offer has never been as varied or as exciting as it is today, both in terms of materials – which have come a long way since prehistoric times, when the first incarnations of jewellery were made from things collected in nature – and in terms of shapes and styles.
Whether it's a piece of costume jewellery for a special event or occasion, a gift, a birthday present, a little splurge or treat, or perhaps a more expensive diamond, something made from gold or platinum, a necklace, bracelet, earrings... jewellery now exists in all shapes and sizes.
Everyone likes to wear a little bit of jewellery. And although your choice will depend on the occasion and your specific style – which can be very personal and vary widely – there are certain tips that generally apply, just like in fashion.
To give one example, the longer the necklace you wear, the taller you appear but it’s not generally advisable to wear a necklace that hangs below the navel. V or Y shaped necklaces, including solitaire necklaces, elongate the silhouette of the wearer.
If you want to divert attention away from your waist, it's best to choose a short necklace that rests on the collarbone. Choker necklaces can make you look less slender. When choosing a necklace, it's also important to think about volume and size.
Women who are tall or have a fuller figure might prefer a necklace with a bit more volume, for example with large stones or thick links. Those with a slight build might opt for something a little more delicate.
Likewise, different types of earrings may or may not suit different face shapes. Depending on the shape of your face, certain earring styles will emphasise certain features.
Almost any style of earrings will suit an oval face. If you have a round face, on the other hand, you won’t want to accentuate it by wearing large button earrings or hoops. Long, square or rectangular earrings can have the effect of elongating your face. Triangular or chandelier earrings are recommended for heart-shaped faces, while smaller earrings tend to suit long or rectangular faces.
Often, when you are talking or sitting down, you hold your hands close to your face. It’s therefore advisable to choose a bracelet or ring that complements your face in the same way.
Again, it’s a good idea to choose jewellery to suit your facial features and morphology. If you’re petite, big bracelets might look a little awkward, so opt for a smaller, more delicate bracelet.
On the other hand, those with wider wrists might feel more comfortable wearing chunkier bracelets or several at the same time.
When choosing a ring, you need to think about the shape of your fingers. Are they long or short? In either case, you’ll need to make sure the ring doesn’t protrude beyond the knuckle, as not only will this be uncomfortable, it also rarely looks good.
Rings with an oval setting tend to be the most attractive but if you have long fingers, round or wide rings might look better on you. When you’re choosing jewellery for yourself, don’t forget it’s also about choosing what you like!
Finding flattering jewellery that you feel comfortable in is a good starting point.