How To Match Your Jewellery To Your Outfit: A Complete Guide

Here at Joshua James, we believe that every outfit deserves the perfect accessory. Whether you’re heading to the office or out for a glam night on the town, no ensemble is truly complete without the perfect matching jewellery! 

But knowing how to match your jewellery to your outfit can sometimes be a challenge, or – even worse – a total afterthought.

That doesn’t need to be the case! Matching your jewellery to your clothes doesn’t have to be complicated or a last-minute dilemma. In fact, we’re going to introduce you to some simple and straightforward rules that you can follow when accessorising your outfit, in order to always keep things fresh yet coordinated.

We’ve also got some advice on how to choose the right jewellery depending on the occasion, so you can always be taking your look to the next level – whether that’s a casual t-shirt and jeans or a jaw dropping evening gown.

Whether you’re dressing for a first date, drinks with the girls or formal wedding…here are our top tips on how to match your jewellery to your outfit!

Key tips for matching jewellery with your outfit

Ultimately, the accessories you wear should enhance and reflect your personal style – just like your clothing. But if you frequently look in the mirror after getting dressed and find that your outfit looks unbalanced or uncoordinated, there are just a few rules you can follow to ensure that your jewellery and clothing work in perfect harmony!

1. If your outfit is loud, tone down the jewellery – and vice versa

Balance is key to successfully accessorising your outfit. 

If you’re wearing clothes with busy patterns or heavy embellishment – such as sequins, ruffles or bold embroidery – you want to keep your jewellery simple and delicate. Accessorising a loud outfit with louder jewellery creates a look that is cluttered and overwhelming, meaning that all of the finer details will get lost in the mix. A simple set of stud earrings or fine chain necklace can truly be all you need!

On the flip-side, chunky statement jewellery and bold gemstones work fabulously with more minimalist garments. Instantly elevate your simple white shirt and jeans look with any eye-catching accessories, from thick bangles to oversized hoops!

2. Consider the colour wheel

Think the colour wheel was only relevant in art class? Think again.

This handy tool is a real game changer when it comes to matching jewellery to your outfit. You’ll find colour combos that you never would have considered before, allowing you to explore the full range of vibrant gemstone jewellery!

When it comes to matching jewellery with your clothes, the colour wheel can work in two ways:

  • Choose complementary colours:
    • Find the colour of your clothing, then look directly across from this on the colour wheel to find its complement. For example, if you’re wearing a red dress, you could choose to wear jewellery with green or blue gemstones.This method creates an exciting and eye-catching contrast with colours that always flatter each other.
  • Choose analogous colours:
    • In this case, your clothes and jewellery all use colours from the same family (those which are directly next to each other on the colour wheel). As an example, you could create an outfit of warm autumnal tones by combining your red dress with gorgeous fire opal jewellery.

3. Decide where you want to draw attention

Remember that your outfit doesn’t stop at clothes and jewellery. You also want to consider other components of your look, including shoes, hair, nails and makeup.

Just got your nails done and want to show them off? Draw attention to your hands with a few bold statement rings (but remember not to overdo it). 

Wearing some cute open sandals? Throw on an anklet or two to enhance that carefree boho vibe.

4. Diamonds never fail

There’s a reason that diamonds are eternally popular. In fact, there are many reasons: their brilliant sparkle, unmatched durability, romantic symbolism…

But they are also endlessly versatile. The simplicity and class of a piece of diamond jewellery will enhance any outfit, whether it’s a pair of small diamond studs to accessorise your office attire or a dazzling solitaire pendant to accompany your evening gown. 

Of course, not everyone feels comfortable wearing diamonds on a daily basis! Cubic zirconia jewellery is an affordable alternative that is equally versatile. You don’t have to break the bank to add that sparkle to your outfit!

5. Your jewellery should always match the occasion

Perhaps the most important thing you should consider when choosing the right jewellery for your outfit is the occasion. And that’s why we’re going to dive further into this point in the next section!

How to match your jewellery to your outfit: choosing the right jewellery for the occasion

Accessories can dramatically alter the look and feel of any outfit, which is why it’s important to know when to tone it down and when to take things up a notch. It’s also vital to know how to do those things. 

We’re going to explain how to accessorise your outfit depending on the occasion, whether it’s a day in the office or a night on the town!

Jewellery for everyday style

“Everyday style” can mean something radically different depending on who you’re talking to. Some people keep things simple and minimalist, some are a little more edgy, some like to bring out the bling…

It means that there is no hard-and-fast rule for matching jewellery to your outfit on an everyday basis. You really want to enhance your personal style and go with something that is comfortable to wear all day long.

However, there are a few jewellery types that work particularly well with everyday clothes. 

Firstly, you can never go wrong with a piece of personalised jewellery – for example a delicate birthstone, initial or zodiac necklace. These pieces instantly add personality to your casual everyday outfit, and you can build on them by layering up the necklaces or maybe even coordinating with some matching stud earrings or rings. Simple gold jewellery adds just a hint of casual luxury!

Looking to add an extra dose of personality? Why not throw on your favourite charm bracelet as well. These make great everyday accessories, as they can be customised to match your outfit and mood as you see fit!

Sentimental pieces also make great accessories to your everyday look, as again they add a touch of personality and depth. You might have a favourite necklace gifted to you by a partner, or a unique piece of heirloom jewellery passed down through the family. No matter what it is, it’ll never go out of style as long as it means something to you!

Jewellery for work

Finding the right jewellery to match your outfit at work somewhat depends on your working environment. If it’s a relatively relaxed dress code, you can get away with slightly more adventurous jewellery that shows off your personality, but in general it’s best to keep things simple and understated. This is certainly the case if you work somewhere like an office or school!

As a rule of thumb, avoid too much sparkle. Some simple diamond or gemstone jewellery (for example solitaire stud earrings) is fine, but don’t pile on the glam!

Dangly bracelets that are going to clatter against a keyboard are also a big no-no!

Minimalist jewellery is perfect for rounding off a smart work outfit, enhancing a look of sleek and modern professionalism. Think plain silver bangles, small hoops or disc stud earrings – we have plenty of options from Shaun Leane, Fiorelli and the Joshua James Motive collection which are a perfect fit.

Remember you can go for something a little bolder if your dress code is more relaxed!

Both men and women should also consider a smart designer watch to complement their work style. We have a selection from Nordgreen which are absolutely perfect for enhancing your professional style: versatile and minimalist, they can be matched with any outfit and also add a practical touch!

Jewellery for a night out

This is the time to go all out with your jewellery. Of course, our earlier point still stands: if your dress is dripping with sequins or other sparkly embellishment, you may want to keep your jewellery relatively subtle. But this is really the occasion to shine!

In the case of the LBD, choosing jewellery to match your dress couldn’t be easier, as basically anything goes. Break out the dramatically dangling earrings, statement tiered necklaces and sparkling stacking rings – you want your jewellery to light up the night! Think cubic zirconia pavé, vibrant gemstones… but maybe leave the diamonds at home.

With any night-out dress, we suggest accessorising with one statement piece and using that as a focal point for your look. If you pile everything on, your outfit will end up looking cluttered. Go for a pair of statement drop earrings or an eye-catching necklace and build from there with some more delicate accessories.

Men will often keep things simpler when heading for a night out, but can also elevate their style by knowing how to accessorise an outfit! Why not consider a bold signet ring or simple chain to add an edge to your style? You don’t have to do anything too extravagant, but a stylish piece of jewellery will instantly enhance a casual outfit and make you stand out that little bit more.

Jewellery for date night

If you’re going out to a romantic restaurant or bar for a first date, you’ve probably already spent ages agonising over what clothes to wear before settling on a favourite dress. The good news is that choosing the right jewellery for your outfit should be much simpler!

You want to let your personality shine, so don’t go too overboard with your accessories. Delicate pieces such as a dainty necklace or set of drop earrings will add a subtle romance and and allure to your style, without being too distracting. Touches of warm rose gold will further add to this effect!

Dress: H&M; Shoes: New Look; Necklace, Earrings, Stacking Ring and Multi Heart Ring: Joshua James

If you want to go extra glam, consider adding in some warm and romantic gemstones such as dusky morganite, pink pearls, fiery ruby or pink Swarovski crystal.

You might also opt for pieces that will enhance your favourite features; check out our blog post on how to choose jewellery to suit your face shape for a few hints and tips.

Jewellery for a formal occasion or special celebration

Think weddings, cocktail parties and black-tie events. 

Similarly to a night out, this is an occasion where you want to shine – but you’ll want to choose more luxurious and elegant jewellery to match your evening gown. This is the time to bring out your finest accessories, from dazzling diamonds to vibrant precious gemstones.

Balance is also very important when matching jewellery to your evening gown, as you want to avoid a look that is overdone and garish. If your dress is a showstopper, your jewellery should be simple and delicate, designed to add a touch of sparkle without being too overwhelming.

Dress: Miss Selfridge; Shoes and Clutch Bag: John Lewis; Precious Necklace and Stud Earrings: Joshua James

If you’ve gone for a more understated dress with no patterning or embellishment, you can be a bit more adventurous with your accessories. Think statement cocktail rings, chandelier earrings and showstopper necklaces – a matching set is always a winner!

Dress: Quiz; Shoes and Clutch Bag: Debenhams; Precious Necklace, Earrings and Cocktail Ring: Joshua James

Cufflinks are a staple for every man’s formal style. Whether you’re hosting a cocktail party or attending a wedding, you’ll want a pair of smart cufflinks and perhaps a stylish watch to accessorise your suit. 

Jewellery for your wedding day

You’ve found your dream dress, but don’t forget the accessories to match! Choosing the right jewellery to go with your wedding dress is a big task, but luckily we’ve already got something prepped to help you out. Check out our blog post on 2020 wedding trends for our top jewellery recommendations to match the most popular styles of wedding dress this year.


We hope that our guide on how to match your jewellery to your outfit will offer some inspiration next time you want to create that perfectly balanced and coordinated look. Whether you’re going for showstopper glam or laid-back chic, remember that every outfit deserves the perfect accessory!

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