As your final school year draws to a close before the relative freedom (maybe?) of college or Sixth Form, all your hard work and preparation for your final exams has hopefully paid off.
The School Prom marks the point where all the pressure of the last few years is over, you’ve all done it, finished your school years together and now you can celebrate!
Once you’ve chosen an outfit it can be surprisingly difficult to chose the best jewellery for your prom.
Well, we’re here to help and make the decision a little bit easier. Having helped customers chose jewelry for nearly twenty years, we find that a process which simplifies the choices works the best.
This ‘Prom Style Guide’, if you like, applies equally well to a ball gown, wedding outfit or black tie event.
Your prom jewellery must suit the outfit you are wearing but not detract from it. It needs to highlight, and compliment the style of outfit (and accessories) you are wearing.
Narrow The Choice Down
Narrowing the choice down sounds obvious (and it is!) but it’s often not what we do!
The best way of choosing anything, not just jewellery for a prom or other special occasion, is by narrowing the options down.
The fewer the number of items to choose from the better, therefore a process of elimination works best.
Too much choice makes it wayyy too difficult! Walking into a jewellery store and considering everything, without having any rough idea what to look for, just adds to the pressure and confusion.
Our brain literally shuts down (every felt that?!) and we lose enthusiasm.
Psychological experts have run studies demonstrating this fact with jars of jam! Sheena Iyengar, author of the book “The Art of Choosing“, ran a famous jam experiment in a food store. She set a table up with a variety of jam flavours. Sometimes there were only six varieties, sometimes 24.
Whilst more people stopped by the table with more on display, those who chose to buy were ten times more likely from the smaller choice on offer, than the larger choice.
Too much choice paralyses us and we then may end up getting anything out of desperation.
When you’re left with just a few items to choose from, selecting the right piece becomes easier. A final process of elimination with the last three or four items can ensure you settle on the perfect piece for our outfit.
Before you do any of this, though you need your outfit.
1. Decide on the Outfit.
We are assuming you have chosen your outfit already. That should be the priority.
Once you have the outfit, the next step is to think about the style of dress you have to narrow down the best pieces of jewellery to match.
2. Match The Style of Your Dress
Your Prom jewellery should match the style of outfit without detracting from it.
The points you need to consider with your dress are:
If your dress has lots of frills, layers and embellishments, you can push the boundaries a little and match it with something sparkly.
For instance, a sparkling solitaire pendant could be lost worn with a dress with a lot going on – frills, sparkles, layers. Whereas a solitaire pendant worn with a classic-looking sleeveless, figure-hugging dress can look stunning.
A dress with sequins on the bodice or a frilly neckline may look better without wearing a necklace or pendant but a beautiful pair of sparkling drop earrings instead.
A dress with little pearl seeds sewn into it, will look fabulous with small pearls.
If you are going to wear a simple, classic dress and then you can go slightly the other way and really dress it up with your jewellery.
It’s all about where the focus of attention should go.
3. Consider the colours
Consider either matching the colour of your dress of going for some gemstones or crystals that are complimentary colours to your outfit.
You can do this by looking at a colour wheel – contrasting colours are those opposite your main colour on the colour wheel.
Analogous colours are those that sit either side of your main colour, on the colour wheel and compliment it.
4. Consider the Neckline
If your dress has a V-shaped neckline, try wearing a pendant which follows the shape of the neckline.
Think also of the length of your necklace. Try your jewellery on with your dress at home before the big night. The pendant shouldn’t hang from a chain which is too long or else the pendant will disappear inside the top of your dress. A good tip is that when you go jewellery shopping pin a little brooch or pin on your clothes where the top of your dress sits and try the pendant on in the store to see where it falls in relation to your prom dress.
If the pendant is too long, ask in the jewellers if you can swap the chain for a shorter one (we regularly do this in our store – and vice versa if a longer chain is needed).
Round or Sweetheart Necklines
A rounded or sweetheart neckline will call for a shorter necklace, with a more rounded shape.
A strapless, shoulder-less dress will look fabulous with a more extravagant necklace or pendant. Shorter necklaces or pendants, which sit against the collar bone, look great with strapless dresses.
They can still be in an elaborate or minimalist style – remember what suits your personality the best.
Equally, omitting to wear a necklace with a strapless dress is really effective but, if you do this try, instead, with going with some fancy earrings.
5. Consider Your Hair
If you plan on wearing your hair loose and it is long, then you may need some bigger earrings if you want them to be noticed.
If you are wearing an up-do, you can wear the daintiest earrings and they will still be seen or try wearing a pair of dazzling drop earrings for a great effect.
How Much Jewellery Is Enough?
Should you wear a necklace, a bracelet and earrings? How much is too much jewellery?
Don’t feel you must wear all three, necklace, bracelet and earrings.
If the item is sparkly, colourful or really eye-catching then two of the three is probably all that you need.
Again, it’s important to consider the outfit you are wearing – an embellished dress may look overdone with equally sparkling jewellery.
Our beautiful Coeur de Lion range is a perfect example of this. A necklace worn with the matching earrings, or the bracelet worn with the matching earrings, is sometimes all you need, rather than the complete set of necklace, earrings and bracelet.
Coeur de Lion is an exquisite range of jewellery to wear for a special occasion like a Prom, Wedding or Ball. Their pieces are real show-stoppers, which are hand made using Swarovski crystal for eye-catching sparkle and feature the most beautiful colours.
Dripping in Diamonds ... or Maybe Cubic Zirconia
An absolute favourite for a special occasion is, understandably, diamonds. But if you want the look and sparkle of diamond without the hefty price tag consider cubic zirconia.
A firm favourite with our customers is the Diamonfire brand. Consisting of a stunning range of silver and cubic zirconia jewellery, including a bridal selection. Each of the stones they use in their range have been cut with 57 facets, just like a brilliant-cut diamond. The range includes simple solitaires to full necklaces.
Because cubic zirconias are flawless and colourless (achieving two of the four C’s used in grading diamonds) this produces a degree of dazzle and sparkle that can only be matched by diamonds.
Bracelets can often be overlooked when choosing jewellery for your Prom, yet a simple bracelet can complete an outfit even without wearing a necklace.
Main Image: DepositPhotos
- New York Times Book Review of Sheena Iyengar’s ‘The Art of Choosing’ book.