Just like everywhere else, in the business world you have 30 seconds to make a great first impression. If you want to be perceived as a professional in the workplace, managing the world’s perception of you is a skill that should be taken very seriously. How well you are perceived can make or break that job interview or that promotion.
While we’ve all heard the cliche “never judge a book by its cover”, in reality how you present yourself with your dress and your demeanor determines how you are perceived and, and thus how you are treated. Choosing the right jewelry you wear to work is just as important as choosing your the rest of your business attire, whether it be business casual, a dress, or a suit.
Throughout human history, jewelry has been worn to pull together a polished look. Appropriate jewelry for completing your look depends largely on your field. Women who work in creative industries can get away with a lot more flamboyance and artistry than women who work in government or for a Fortune 500 company. When you’re selecting the jewelry to complete your workplace image, select pieces that convey your personal style while keeping within what is appropriate for your workplace environment.
- Refrain From Wearing Noisy Jewelry
The jewelry you wear should be seen and not heard. Clanging bangle bracelets that announce your arrival in a boardroom will most definitely ensure that you will not be taken seriously, as will clanking when you walk down the hall or type at your desk.
- Ex-Nay on Jewelry That Makes Religious or Political Statements
Unless you are working for a religious or political organization, refrain from wearing jewelry with religious or political symbolism. You are in the workplace to do a job, not to make a personal belief statement that others, including those who can influence your career advancement, could find offensive.
- Say No to Faceted Stones
The faceted stone rule of thumb for the office is that only those in an engagement and/or wedding band are acceptable in the workplace. Faceted stones are appropriate for cocktail parties, formal weddings, and formal receptions, not the office. The shimmer, or “bling”, of faceted stones will distract your business audience’s attention from what you are saying.
- Select Flattering Pieces
Flattering jewelry pieces are those that are proportional to your facial features and body frame. A flattering piece of jewelry will also compliment your complexion, so choose metals and stones that illuminate your natural skin tone.
- Check Where the Eyes Go
A key to success of your workplace outfit is to control where the eyes go. When you have a successful outfit, the focus remains on you, and the jewelry you have chosen to wear plays a key role. Make sure that any statement necklaces and/or earrings do not overpower you. When wearing big accessories, such as statement necklaces, it is best to wear them with simple clothes so your statement piece stands out. Before you leave home, test your work outfit success for success by checking where your co-worker’s or client’s eyes will go. If you find that they’ll be staring at your jewelry instead of looking in your eyes, they will not hearing the words you are speaking.
When you are purchasing quality jewelry to wear in the workplace, you are making an investment. Each piece of jewelry you purchase should be versatile. When you have a quality piece of jewelry that works with several outfits, you will reap the greatest return on your investment.