How to mix and match jewellery

How to mix and match your jewellery in style.

Are you trying to figure out the best way to mix and match your jewellery for different occasions and situations, so that it suits your own sense of style and makes you feel well put together?

We're here to help with our top tips to get you started with creatively mixing and matching your jewellery like a pro.

Once you've read this article, take a look at our example mixed and matched jewellery combinations for some inspiration.

Let's dive in ...

Choose a starting point

Start by selecting a key piece of jewellery that you want to wear for a particular occasion or with a specific outfit. Use this as your starting point for accessorising.

You have two options here: a more subtle piece that will blend in with the other pieces you'll mix and match it with, or a more striking statement jewellery piece that you want to stand out as the focal point when you're done.

Take a look at our mehndi and rose garnet necklace for a great focal piece. Alternatively our gold stacking ring with a small opal could be a much more subtle starting point.

Choose your site/s

Layering jewellery

If you're planning to layer jewellery, it's usually best to pick one site on the body to focus on. Bracelets, necklaces and rings are perfect for layering in your focal location, be it your neck, wrists or fingers. Check out our layering necklaces: a selection of our necklaces that we think are great for layering.

If your starting point is a necklace, then look at layering different necklaces with it. If you're layering necklaces then choose different lengths with the aim of drawing the eye up to your face. Different shapes, colours and textures will often work well for layered necklaces.

If you're starting with a ring, then you'll be layering on your fingers or perhaps your wrist on the same hand.

That doesn't mean you can't also wear small pieces of jewellery elsewhere, but aim for these pieces on other body sites to be more subtle so they don't draw attention away from your focal point.

For bracelets you could wear a jumble of similar pieces, such as a set of bangles with different patterns or colours that will jangle as you move. Alternatively choose one standout piece and wear it with a collection of more subtle designs in bracelet or bangle form.

Layered necklaces are generally worn at different lengths, from choker to opera or longer. Generally choose an odd number of necklaces (3 or 5 will be great) with different or adjustable lengths, but sometimes just 2 necklaces will work well too. Wear necklaces which have some contrast between them in terms of shapes, colours or texture. Alternatively choose a standout focal piece and the others will be more subtle. Check out our necklace extenders in silver and gold to help make the most of your necklaces in this way.

For rings you can wear an array of stacking rings to layer them. Consider choosing one colour of metal but varying the styles and textures. Alternatively pick different metal colours but with a similar style. Or go all out and mix and match an array of different metal colours, gemstones, textures and sizes (including adding one or more cocktail rings). Wearing an odd number of rings on one hand and an even number on the other is a fun thing to do.

Wearing a suite of different jewellery

If you're not planning on layering jewellery, then you can happily wear a mix of necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings together that compliment each other, clash well with each other ... or whatever works with your outfit.

You really don't need to wear a piece of jewellery on every suitable body part in order to feel well dressed: sometimes less is more. But also: sometimes more is great! It all depends on your sense of style and what type of occasion you're dressing for.

You may still have a key focal point which you can accessorise around with more subtle pieces. Alternatively you can wear a selection of complimentary pieces, with none in particular drawing the most attention, but all of them working to make you look well put together. These pieces might be designed as a matched set or they might all be different but have subtle similarities.

Should you wear matching jewellery?

Don't be afraid of being matchy-matchy

If you want to wear a suite of complimentary pieces, then don't be worried about wearing matching jewellery sets with the same or very similar design used for earrings, necklaces, rings, etc..

For a brief time wearing matching pieces was seen as being unfashionable in some quarters, but thankfully those days are done. I think you should embrace wearing matching jewellery pieces when it works for you. In particular wearing a matching set of jewellery can work beautifully for more dressy occasions, but it can also work well when you're dressing more casually too.

We have a lot of matching jewellery designs. Most often necklaces that match with earrings, but also bracelets and rings. In particular check out our bouquet range and amulets range which have lots of matched sets.

If you want to be more subtle when matching jewellery pieces, then wear the same gemstone in simple earrings, necklace and ring designs: take a look at our birthstone range for inspiration, along with all of our gemstone jewellery.

Also don't be afraid of not matching

Wearing pieces that totally clash might well work for you and your outfit. It's worth experimenting with in front of a mirror. Pick contrasting colours, metals, shapes and design aesthetics to see what works with your outfit .

If clashing isn't for you or won't suit the occasion you're dressing for, then choose pieces that share a similar aesthetic but aren't identical. Our bouquet and amulets ranges are also perfect for this as you can choose different designs which have a very similar size and aesthetic that will work together beautifully.

For instance, you might choose the sunburst amulet necklace and pair it with the plain silver eye amulet stud earrings and amulets bracelet. In this case the sunburst amulet with its bright yellow citrine and gold setting will provide a subtle focal point, but it will blend in beautifully with the plain silver designs.

Feel free to mix metals

It used to be frowned upon, but we're big fans of mixing silver, gold and rose gold metal colours.

Even if you're going for a more subtle mixed and matched look, you can still comfortably wear different metals. For instance, that opal and solid gold ring mentioned earlier will pair up beautifully with sterling silver rings or bracelets.

However, if you have a suite of jewellery all in one metal colour that looks great together, then go with it. Wearing entirely silver jewellery, gold jewellery or rose gold jewellery can work really well with an outfit.

Learn more about mixing metals and choosing gold vs silver for your jewellery.

Putting it all together

Once you've chosen a piece of jewellery as your starting point, have decided if you'll be focusing on layering one part of the body or not and have considered how matchy-matchy or otherwise you'd like to be, then it's time to start experimenting to put your look together.

Put yourself in front of a mirror and trial a combination of pieces so you can refine what will work for you. This is a great opportunity to dig deep into your jewellery collection and try out pieces you haven't worn in ages (don't forget to give them a clean!) and to think about any gaps in your jewellery collection you'd like to fill.

If you're just doing this as an exercise or if you come up with combinations you love but which aren't suited to the occasion that you're dressing for, then be sure to make a note of the combinations that work so you can remember them again later. This is a great way to add some diversity, interest and versatility to your wardrobe in an ongoing way.

Once you're done and you're ready to go out, then consider taking a leaf out of Coco Chanel's book: "Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off". Alternatively: look in the mirror, celebrate your creativity and sense of style, screw Coco Chanel - and just go with it!

PS. Don't forget to check out our example mixed and matched jewellery combinations we've put together to inspire you. Also see our other outfit ideas.

Simone Walsh is an Australian jewellery designer and maker who has been creating unique jewellery in silver, gold and gemstones for over 25 years. She lives and works on the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula outside Adelaide in South Australia, where she's lucky enough to wander on the beach and frolic in the garden in her free time. Simone is the Founder & Creative Director of Simone Walsh Jewellery.