Real Jewelry offers you beauty that lasts. It also represents your personal statement of style. Another wonderful fact is that there is real jewelry to fit every taste and every budget. There are no firm rules of right or wrong jewelry choices. However, just as you consider your personal features and build when choosing clothing fashions, you might also do so when you're selecting jewelry. The purpose of this brochure is not to set down rules, but to offer general guidelines for selecting jewelry that flatters you!
Height and Bone Structure
Remember that the most important rule for buying jewelry is to buy what you like, because its beauty will last a lifetime.
The first and most important factor for you to consider is your overall body size and shape. To help you apply the fashion guidelines to your specific type, we have divided height into three separate categories, with discussions of pertinent bone structure. For your purposes, simply refer to the category in which your height is included.
Petite (Under 5'4")
Petite women best wear collar-length or longer necklaces. Styles with V shapes and necklaces that fall below the breast but above the waist elongate the figure.
Bangles flatter petite women. Several narrow ones are more flattering than one wide one, because they are more in proportion to the petite's overall size.
Earrings Concentrate on styles that sweep upward, pulling the viewer's eye up. Full-figured petites look especially good in sharp, geometric shapes.
Average (5'4"- 5''7")
The average-height woman can wear necklaces of any length, unless she is full-figured. In that case, she should avoid necklaces that rest on the breastline.
Wide bracelets are more in proportion to the average-height woman than very narrow ones.
Earring choices are unlimited and should be considered in connection with face shape and, of course, hair styles. Feel free to select exciting geometric shapes such as triangles, squares and ovals.
Tall (Over 5'7")
Almost any length goes well. The thin, tall woman may select chokers that cut the line of the neck and de-emphasize height. Necklaces made of stones or pearls of the same size are especially flattering to the tall woman.
The tall woman has a wide range of bracelet choices as long as she stays away from too-delicate pieces. The full-figured tall woman should wear several thin bracelets together to give a more balanced feeling, or a couple of wide bracelets.
Long dangling earrings are especially flattering to tall women. Because there is plenty of space between the ear lobe and shoulder, she can wear any shape earrings except tiny buttons, which look lost.
Now, let's combine the information pertaining to height and bone structure with the shape of your face. There are four basic shapes: oval, round, rectangular and heart-shaped. Analyze your face shape, and determine the fashions that will best complement it. Remember to select jewelry that is in proportion to the size of your face.
The oval face is considered to be the perfect shape. The proportions at the forehead are not too wide, and the line from the forehead flows into high cheekbones, then narrows slightly to a rounded chin.
Any shape necklace will work with the oval. A choker looks just as good as opera-length pearls or any necklace that comes to a V.
Round shapes, button or hoop earrings look well on the oval face, but triangular shapes are especially flattering. Dangling earrings look well, if they are not too long. Earrings that move up the ear or have wings that sweep up minimize a too-thin face or long nose.
The round face is a circle the width is equal to the length, with no discernible angles at the cheek or chin. The aim of jewelry is to add length.
To give a dimension of length, look for long necklaces, 28" to 32".
Squares, oblongs, and rectangles work well, as do dangling and angular designs. Elongated styles also go well, because they draw attetion down instead of around.
The rectangular face has more length than width, and it has distinguishable angles. The width of the face at the forehead is the same as the chin. This face needs jewelry that adds width and camouflages the length of the face.
A high choker reduces the length of the face, particularly if the neck is very long. Also, a 16" or 18" necklace that ends in a U flatters this face.
This face is wide at the forehead and cheeks, then narrows sharply to a point at the chin. Think of this face as a triangle. It likes jewelry that adds width to the chin to draw the eye away from the point.
A choker necklace is a favorite style because it softens and diminishes the sharp angle of the chin.
Look for earrings that are wider at the bottom than the top. Dangling earrings that form a triangle are especially flattering.
One final area to take into account when buying jewelry is the hand. This is a body area that attracts a great deal of attention, because people talk with their hands or otherwise bring attention to them. It is important to select your ring with the same attention as other jewelry, striving to have a ring that flatters your hand. The length of the fingers is the determining factor when purchasing rings. Women with long fingers, like tall women, can handle almost any style. In all cases, rings, like all jewelry, must be selected in proportion to the size of the hand. For example, if the long-fingered hand is also overly thin, oval or round settings are best because they soften the look. Also, wider bands are more flattering than thin ones.
The hands with short fingers look best with settings that remain within the knuckle. The setting or stone that extends past the knuckle only accentuates the hand's shortness and makes it look less elegant. Oval or marquise shape stones elongate the hand and make good choices for short fingers. Round solitaire settings are also good because of their simplicity. If you want a large ring, opt for a dome shape of a high setting that won't overpower the short hand.
Finally, when buying a ring, it is most important to keep comfort in mind. The hand is a working, functioning body area, as opposed to the earlobe, which doesn't put forth any effort. Don't forsake comfort for looks. Measure the length of your knuckle, and buy what allows you to move your finger freely.
Whatever your body proportions or height, there are real jewelry styles to fit your look. Your local jeweler has a wide variety of fashions for you to compare, try on and select what flatters you. Rely on your jeweler for advice, information and service before and after your purchase. AJA members abide by a Code of Ethics, so you can buy with confidence from your AJA member jeweler.
Alabama Jewelers Association
P.O. Box 12850 Highway 9
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(770) 751-8622 - Phone