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The Do's and Don'ts of Wearing Jewelry at Work

by Elise Jewelry 28 Oct 2023

First impressions are crucial and can shape people's perception of us for an extended period. The challenge with initial impressions lies in the fact that they are formed unconsciously and at a rapid pace, often within approximately seven seconds.

In addition to one's behavior, our appearance holds significant sway in the initial impression we convey. Maintaining cleanliness, grooming, and dressing with a sense of style all contribute to the impact we make. Equally important is how we choose to adorn ourselves with jewelry.

Jewelry can be a powerful tool for making a distinctive impression in the workplace, provided it is not excessive. Therefore, this guide will explore the dos and don'ts of wearing jewelry while you are at work.

DO: Focus on Wearing Jewelry That Complements Your Body

Simple jewelry has the power to direct focus. It acts as a magnet, drawing attention to the specific areas where it's placed. Even modest jewelry worn on the wrists can become a central point for those with whom you engage.

Hence, selecting jewelry that complements your physique and garners the appropriate attention is essential. For instance, a long pendant necklace creates the illusion of an elongated neck but tends to emphasize the chest and cleavage.

Alternatively, you might possess drop earrings that contribute to a slimmer facial appearance. Yet, earrings have a proclivity to sway, potentially becoming a distraction in crucial meetings, diverting attention away from your eyes.

The preferable choice is jewelry that conveys a positive message about your physique. Delicate bracelets, for instance, significantly enhance your attire and attract the desired focus.

DON'T: Wear Gaudy, Sparkly Jewelry

The appeal of most jewelry trends typically involves some level of sparkle. Humans are naturally drawn to shiny objects because they evoke thoughts of precious gemstones and metals. Hence, there might be a temptation to showcase your gold jewelry at work.

However, it's essential to pull back a bit on the glitz. It's fine to have a piece that contains some shimmer, but it's best to avoid being the individual whose jewelry resembles a disco ball in the sunlight.

Even if your jewelry is expensive, going overboard can give off a tacky vibe. This could lead people to form the wrong impression about you. Moreover, having an excess of watches and bangles can detract from a professional appearance.

Instead, opt for pieces with a less reflective surface. If you include gemstones, choose ones with a more subtle polish. You can still find stunning pieces that don't shine as intensely as the Chrysler Building.

DO: Put a Hard Limit on Any Statement Pieces

Statement jewelry encompasses those eye-catching pieces you may own, the ones that elicit the most inquiries when you wear them. When you incorporate statement jewelry into your ensemble, it invariably becomes the focal point that captures people's attention.

A well-chosen statement piece has the ability to elevate your entire appearance. However, the issue arises when you overload your look with too many statement pieces. This can convey an unintended impression and give off a gaudy vibe.

Instead, employ statement pieces for their intended purpose: as the central element of your outfit. In fact, consider crafting your entire ensemble around a single statement piece. The addition of a second or third statement piece can potentially clash with your overall look and present a less polished appearance.

DON'T: Wear Jewelry That Makes a Ton of Noise

We're all familiar with that person: the individual who wears so many bracelets, they sound like a marching band as they move around the office. While it might look stylish, the truth is that such a jangling display can be quite unpopular among colleagues.

The workplace isn't the same as a lively club. In an environment where everyone is focused on their tasks, the noise from excessive jewelry can be highly disruptive.

Often, the noise caused by jewelry isn't intentional. Perhaps you've layered bracelets or necklaces that complement each other. It's a good idea to check for any potential noise your jewelry might make before heading to work.

Thankfully, if you only notice the problem later, it's an easy fix: simply remove the noisy piece and continue your day.

DO: Buy Multipurpose Pieces

When selecting jewelry, the initial consideration often revolves around its aesthetic appeal. However, while contemplating jewelry choices, it's crucial to ponder over its versatility. While a brooch might be perfect for a dinner party, it might not be suitable for a professional client meeting.

Search for jewelry that seamlessly transitions across various occasions and seasons. Whether they are statement pieces or more subtle complements, they should effortlessly complement a wide range of outfits. The most versatile jewelry pieces typically possess a moderate shine and feature less intricate designs.

This approach not only benefits your sense of style but also your wallet. If you invest in jewelry tailored for specific occasions, you'll end up purchasing more pieces. Instead, focusing on acquiring multifunctional pieces will allow you to make more use of your investment.

Seek input from friends to help select these pieces. Experiment by trying them with different types of outfits to determine their compatibility. It won't take long to identify the standout, versatile items.

DON'T: Overdo the Jewelry

It's often advised to take a moment before stepping out and consider removing one accessory. While it's natural to want to exhibit your collection, wearing an excessive amount of jewelry could be overwhelming.

Limit yourself to a few essential pieces like a necklace, earrings, and a couple of bracelets. Any additional jewelry should be chosen thoughtfully to complement your overall look.

Also, it's wise to be mindful of your workplace's dress code. Many offices have conservative attire policies, and it's best to avoid the discomfort of being asked to remove excess jewelry by abiding by these regulations.

DO: Keep Your Job in Mind

Several women work in environments where there are potential workplace hazards to consider. These hazards might involve dangerous machinery or situations where earrings could easily get caught. It's essential to take into account the specific conditions of your workplace.

For instance, you might be based in an office that shares proximity with a warehouse. While your primary role might not involve warehouse activities, occasional visits to collaborate with warehouse staff could expose you to different risks. While the office might be relatively safe for wearing jewelry, the warehouse environment poses unique challenges.

Wearing the wrong type of jewelry in a particular work setting can result in painful incidents, such as earrings getting caught and causing injury. It's crucial to meticulously assess whether wearing a specific type of jewelry is safe given the nature of your workplace.

DON'T: Forget the Classics

Classics are timeless, and their appeal remains unwavering, regardless of popular opinions. Staying in step with the latest jewelry trends can become a costly endeavor. However, akin to enduring classics like muscle cars and luxury watches, some things never lose their charm.

Take, for instance, pearl necklaces. These aren't solely reserved for your grandmother's era, marked by the Great Depression and World War. They are making a resurgence in fashion, their elegance having only improved with time.

If you're uncertain about what qualifies as a classic piece, consider a straightforward litmus test. Can you envision yourself wearing it, along with two previous generations? If the answer is yes, then it's likely a classic.

DO: Have Useful Jewelry

Jewelry enhances your appearance and can truly elevate your outfit. However, in essence, it primarily serves as an adornment without any functional purpose other than aesthetics.

Certainly, there's nothing inherently wrong with jewelry being solely for aesthetic purposes. Nevertheless, if feasible, incorporating jewelry that serves an additional function is advantageous.

A prime example of this is a wristwatch. While good quality watches can be expensive, sometimes costing several thousands of dollars, they also offer the practical function of providing an accurate timekeeping device within your jewelry collection.

By including functional jewelry, your accessories serve a dual purpose. Given that cell phones are often prohibited in certain workplaces, a watch allows you to conveniently keep track of time when needed.


Why is it essential to consider jewelry when making a first impression?

Jewelry contributes significantly to first impressions as it's part of one's appearance. It helps to convey personal style, sophistication, and attention to detail. However, wearing the right kind of jewelry suitable for the occasion is crucial.

Can you give an example of jewelry that serves a dual purpose?

Sure, a classic example of jewelry that is both stylish and practical is a high-quality wristwatch. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, a watch provides accurate timekeeping, especially in settings where cell phones may not be permitted.

How can I ensure my jewelry is versatile and suits different occasions?

Look for jewelry that complements a wide range of outfits and occasions. Pieces that are subtle, less shiny, and have simpler designs tend to be more versatile and adaptable to various settings.

Is it appropriate to wear excessive jewelry in the workplace?

It's generally recommended to limit the number of accessories you wear in a professional environment. Overdoing jewelry might distract others and potentially violate workplace attire policies.

Why should one be cautious about the type of jewelry worn in certain work environments?

Different work environments pose different risks. Wearing jewelry that can easily get caught or cause hazards, especially in workplaces with machinery or specific safety concerns, is not advisable.

What defines a classic piece of jewelry?

Classic jewelry items are timeless and have an enduring appeal. They are pieces that have stood the test of time and can be imagined being worn by multiple generations, which speaks to their timeless and universal appeal.

Why is it essential to invest in multi-purpose jewelry?

Multi-purpose jewelry items are versatile, allowing you to get more use out of your investment. They can be worn across various occasions and are often more cost-effective than purchasing pieces meant for specific events or outfits.

How should one approach jewelry that's attention-grabbing but risks being overwhelming?

Statement pieces should be used judiciously. It's best to center your outfit around one standout piece rather than overloading your look with several bold accessories.

What's the primary purpose of wearing jewelry?

Generally, jewelry is used as an accessory to enhance appearance and style. However, considering jewelry that serves additional practical purposes can be beneficial, especially in specific settings.

Why are classics like pearl necklaces making a resurgence in fashion?

Timeless pieces like pearl necklaces, once associated with past generations, have regained popularity due to their elegance and the timeless charm they bring to modern fashion.


The art of wearing jewelry goes beyond adornment, blending style and functionality. This guide emphasizes the need for balance: choosing versatile, less overpowering pieces and being mindful of workplace settings. Classics and statement items, used judiciously, along with pieces serving dual purposes, are essential in mastering the art of adorning oneself. The right jewelry selection can elevate an outfit, exude confidence, and leave a lasting, stylish impression.

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