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Ask Belle: Subtle Statement Jewelry

Dear Belle,

I heard the speech about skills and attire for job interviews that you gave at Gonzaga last month, and I had a follow up question.  You said that women were moving away from big necklaces because some styles looked juvenile.  Can you give me some examples of what’s wrong and right?

Thanks for taking the time to talk to our group. Go Zags!  Meghan

I’m so glad you liked the talk I gave, it was really cool to be back on campus talking to young women.  There are many things that I wish I had known when I graduated, and it’s my pleasure to share my experiences with professional women who are just starting out.

Let me put your question in context for other readers.  A woman asked if wearing a “statement necklace” with a business suit was a good way to brighten up her interview attire.  I told her that it depended on the size of the necklace.

When J.Crew started selling “bubble necklaces” a few years back, they birthed a legion if imitators.  Suddenly, women were wearing giant, heavy necklaces with nearly every outfit.

At first, it was cute and on-trend.  Now, it looks dated and a bit juvenile. Plus, the necklaces are so big that they weigh outfits down and rise to the height of distraction.  And women are leaving this trend behind in drove and gravitating to smaller pieces.  More delicate, long chain necklaces, thinner bracelets stacked for impact and skinny rings.  And when they are reaching for pieces that make a statement, the proportions are smaller and the styles sleeker than a few years ago.

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Left to Right, Fossil Dual Necklace ($128) // Stella & Dot Beaded Necklace ($33) // Gorjana Tusk Pendant ($88)

All of these necklaces are significantly shorter than the old bubble necklaces.  The Fossil necklace has some of the same elements, but presents them in a softer, less overpowering way.  If you want something of a similar size with color, try this Gypsy necklace from Piperlime or this green glass necklace.  I also spotted this under-$20 necklace from Macy’s that mixes black and gold.

Multi-strand necklaces are also a good choice because they cluster their impact in a way that draws attention to your face.  This necklace is actually one long strand double up, but you could adjust it to work with different necklines.  I also liked the mix of berry and navy in this David Aubrey necklace.  Prefer all metal?  Try this silver necklace from Chico’s for $18.

Lastly, the Gorjana necklace gives you a simple, geometric pendant with impact.  This BCBG plate necklace and this Kenneth Jay Lane Hammered Necklace both give a similar look for under-$100.