Choosing the Right Earrings and Necklace Sets for an Occasion

Lester Fangonilo - November 22, 2021

Link Chain Necklace and Bracelet Set by Oliver Cabell

A sense of the appropriate matched with one’s innate sense of style or personal aesthetic dictates the type of accessories worn with an outfit, whether it’s for daily office wear, a night on the town, a weekend in the great outdoors, or even a gala occasion.

In this post, we will present some key pointers for selecting the right earrings and necklace sets to wear for any given event from a staid business meeting to one’s own wedding.

The Simple Perfection of Pearls

There is nothing like pearl earrings and necklace sets to transform a little black dress into a regular stunner.

For simple shift dresses (mini, knee-length, or calf-length), a single-strand necklace paired with pearl studs will be enough to add a sophisticated nuance.

For more formal occasions, you can actually bust out more ornate pieces like a multiple-strand pearl choker and chandelier-style earrings featuring minuscule seed pearls. Bigger baroque pearls in opulent settings are also perfect for an evening gala and these match well with a necklace with an equally stunning central pendant.

But keep in mind this basic rule that it is easier to get away with wearing ornate jewelry with a simple dress as opposed to having an equally opulent outfit that clashes with your accessories.

Subtlety Equals Sophistication

While pearls are an easy thing to match with dark neutrals or even vividly-colored outfits, other gemstones aren’t as easy to pair. In fact, if one isn’t careful, wearing earrings and necklace sets featuring bold, brilliant stones may actually teeter in the direction of cheap tackiness.


Herringbone Gold Necklace Set by Oliver Cabell

If you’re wearing striking colors like red or green, keep your jewelry subtle. A delicate gold set - a rope chain with a finely wrought pendant and matching earrings - would look beautiful with a bright-colored outfit, while a similar set in silver would work well with a dress in softer hues.

In which case, delicate-looking diamond jewelry works beautifully in such situations. While it can be tempting to bring out your biggest and brightest pieces, a little bit of shimmer and glitter in the right places will be enough to give you a finished - and polished - look.

Play Up Contrasts

While matching earrings and necklace sets may present an orderly and symmetrical aesthetic, there is a certain appeal in mixing and matching contrasting pieces.

If you’re wearing a dark choker with a bold - even large - pendant that will sit in front of your throat, consider pairing it with delicate stud earrings. Conversely, pairing a delicate necklace with massive hoops or an opulent set of jeweled earrings would have an equally striking effect.


Open Hoop Earrings in 18k Gold

Even colors and textures can be used to create a visual interplay of contrasts. Clear diamond earrings can be set off by a necklace featuring a vivid-colored gem like a ruby, emerald or sapphire. 

For daytime events that call for a little less formality, you may want to play on the use of non-traditional materials in your jewelry. For example, porcelain or ivory cameo studs paired with a matching choker and gold pendant necklace set; or a bold metal neck-piece with matching earrings. Beautiful beadwork is always a delightful sight, and the use of wooden beads, in particular, adds the right hint of the exotic to a daytime outfit.

How Are You Wearing Your Hair?

Your hairstyle will also help determine what sort of jewelry you should wear with your outfit.

If you are wearing your hair unbound and flowing down your back, you would do well to wear delicate pieces such as a simple pendant necklace and studs.

Wearing your hair in an updo, on the other hand, transforms you into a blank canvas that can easily be made brighter with statement jewelry: avant-garde earrings and necklaces would be shown off to their full effect, as would pieces featuring vibrant-colored stones or more unusual metals like rose-hued gold.

Short hair also lends itself well to a similar aesthetic: it isn’t surprising that women with bobs or pixie cuts can easily wear massive pieces of jewelry.

What Jewelry Works Best for Your Wedding Day?


Gold chain necklace in 18k Gold

Bridal jewelry should be in a category all its own, but there are a few simple rules to follow in this case:

  • Consider whether or not your jewelry of choice will complement your wedding gown. You may have inherited some stunning jewelry from your family, but you'll be doing yourself an injustice if it looks gaudy with a minimalist dress or be swamped under a puffy organza and tulle confection;
  • Check your neckline, as different neckline forms work with different types of jewelry. If you aren't sure, browse through this quick guide to help you out:
    • Strapless dresses serve as a beautiful backdrop for chokers or necklaces with a shorter chain. The important thing is that the center of the necklace or its pendant sits comfortably in the middle;
    • Sweetheart necklines can set off stunning medium-length pendant chains as the ornament is the perfect accent to put in the middle of the sweetheart dip. We would suggest that you keep things simple, though, so as not to ruin the delicately romantic look;
    • Whatever you do, skip a necklace if your gown has a halter neckline or a high collar. Instead, add a touch of sparkle to your gown with a magnificent pair of statement earrings;
    • V-neckline dresses are set off to good effect with a simple pendant necklace or a pair of fabulous earrings - but not together at the same time.
  • Lastly, if your gown shows a little bit of skin, your jewelry ought to fill in the gaps left bare by fabric. Your pieces should not overlap with your dress but should serve as a beautiful accent that lets you sparkle on your special day. 

Let Your Own Tastes Guide You

One thing you should never forget is that you shouldn’t be a slave to fashion. While it’s easy to get swept up into the latest trends, your own sense of style should be your guide when it comes to selecting jewelry for a special occasion.