Office appropriate jewellery: Should I wear jewellery to work?
I have been quite lucky that I have worked in a number of offices and none of them required formal dressing. In fact, my crazy style has been welcomed. Having said that, there are workplaces out there that require formal dressing, so it’s best to make sure you are playing by the rules. Here are a few tips on how to mix and match office appropriate jewellery without sacrificing your personal style.
1. What jewellery should I wear to a job interview?
The whole topic of wearing jewellery at a workplace is very personal, and I think the interview stage is the most personal of all. If you are married or engaged, do you want your potential employer to know this about you at once? If you have a fun and quirky style, is this the biggest thing you want your interviewer to remember about you?
I have taken all of my jewellery off and brushed my hair back into a low ballerina knot to every job interview I have ever attended. It has always been important to me that my skills, my work experience and my expertise are the first things to shine. If I was called to the second stage interview, I would add minimal studs or sleeper hoops, and my lucky ring to the look. Nothing more. To summarise:
- My biggest tip is to wear no jewellery to the first stage of your interview
- I know that not everyone is able to take off all of their favourite metals, so if you feel more confident with some pieces on, make sure these are minimal, fine pieces. I do not recommend more than 2-3 items though
- If you tend to be nervous, jewellery can help. People unconsciously play with or like to touch their jewellery when they are nervous, so if you tend to keep your hands under the table when speaking, a small fine ring could be your interview buddy! Again, make sure it’s just one discrete piece. By the way, I tend to be nervous at interviews and touching a ring makes me focus and think faster when I am answering tricky questions!
2. What jewellery to wear to work?
Focusing on a formal office environment, jewellery can add an elegant touch to your suit or blazer. I suggest saying no to costume jewellery, especially if it is oversized and chunky – there’s a time and place for it, and a formal office isn’t the one. Fine jewellery, small studs or hoops can complement a look perfectly. Heirloom rings or wedding/engagement rings will add some welcome sparkle to a dark suit or outfit. The way I see it, wear jewellery for the role you want to have next, not the one you have now. To summarise:
- Clunky & chunky jewellery has no space in a formal office environment
- Go for conservative and delicate hoops or gold studs
- Fine jewellery or heirloom pieces will add personality to formal attire
- Invest in a good watch – it doesn’t have to be expensive to look formal
- The same rules apply if you are about to lead a serious business meeting: you want your audience to focus on your message and not be distracted by your accessories
- An ankle bracelet will always be a no, bringing the beach to the office is just awkward
- If you are unsure, why not speak to your HR department about the dress code, what are the dos & don’ts
3. Can I wear face and body jewellery to the office?
To many of us face and body piercings are a part of who we are – an expression of our personal style. I am not counting in traditional ear piercings here. Different employers have different views on face and body piercings at the workplace. If you are applying for a job in a creative environment, your potential employer might be fine with it. If it is a corporate job you are looking for, you most likely will need to choose: the piercings or the job. At a glance:
- When applying for jobs, research your potential employer and look through their website. How does their About Us page make you feel?
- If you are going to an interview, ask about the dress code beforehand. If the answer is “formal”, face and body piercings will be a no-go from the interview onwards
- Just to be safe, always take your visible face and body piercings off for your first interview. This is not to conceal your personality, but to ensure the interviewer focuses on your knowledge and expertise rather than gets distracted by your intricate pieces
4. Wearing jewellery on a work video call
As working remotely or from home has become the norm for many, you might be thinking – should I bling up my Zoom face? The answer in short is – if you are feeling up for it, who’s going to stop you? Getting into a routine where you get ready as if you are leaving the house to go to the office does have its benefits. It gives purpose and allows you to keep on expressing yourself through style, makeup and of course – jewellery. A tastefully put together and professional ensemble will make a potential video interviewer remember you better in comparison to a more relaxed-looking candidate (read through an employer’s lens: lazy). Make sure to maximise the upper half of your body, when working from home: delicate earrings, a cool necklace stack if appropriate, and you’re good to go.
- A getting-ready-to-go ritual is a good time investment when working from home – this includes planning out your look
- Tasteful jewellery accents such as delicate earrings or a necklace might give you the edge when interviewing through video calls – of course make sure it’s your expertise that does the talking and not your accessories
- Maximise on your upper body style and look professional if you are interviewing for a job. Yes, wear a blazer even if the video call is in your living room
- If it’s a regular work call, it’s fair to say that no one’s going to blame you for wearing black comfy leggings while working from home. Just make sure you actually wear them though: You don’t want to stand up during a work call when the postman’s outside to showcase your underwear to all of your colleagues!
What jewellery do you wear to the office? Do you wear “lucky” pieces to boost confidence during key meetings or interviews? Are you business at the top and lounge at the bottom kind of person when working from home?
Suit: Boohoo, Bag: Alexander Wang, Pumps: Clarks, Pendant: Dominic Walmsley, Jewellery: Gold and Vermeil pieces from Own Collection