Reader Request: Pairing Earrings and Statement Necklaces

earrings and statement necklaces

Reader Sarah e-mailed me this question:

I tend to gravitate toward matchy-matchy pieces, perhaps because they seem safe and that’s primarily what was modeled growing up in a rural community. In particular, I struggle to find earrings that go with statement necklaces, especially when one or the other contains colored stones or beads. Most of my earrings tend to be relatively short drops, but at times they seem to detract from or contrast with the necklaces. If I go without either the earrings or necklace, my look seems incomplete; earrings tend to disappear into my curly hair or my neck feels too open. Any advice?

With a statement necklace, I always default to studs. Since the necklace and earrings are close to each other, you don’t want them to compete and long, dangly earrings will definitely group with a big necklace and give the impression of a lot of jewelry. However, my ears are entirely exposed because of my short hair, so all earrings are quite visible on me. In Sarah’s case, she’s got thick, curly hair that can obscure small earrings. A large stud may still work, but the next step is simple drop earrings. You want your earrings to stay fairly close to your lobes so true danglers may look like overkill, but something with a single gem or small dangly element should work in most cases.

If your necklace has colored stones or beads and you’d rather not match their color with your earrings, you can do studs or drops in whatever metal is used in the necklace’s hardware. If that creates a visual disconnect for you, repeat the metal in your bracelet or watch. So, basically, match your bracelet and earrings and let the necklace stand alone.

Those are my rules of thumb. What are yours? How to you pick earrings to complement your big, statement-y necklaces?

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Originally posted 2015-01-28 06:10:15.

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5 Responses to “Reader Request: Pairing Earrings and Statement Necklaces”

  1. Rebekah Jaunty

    I’m an Either/Or kind of gal. Necklace or earrings, not both. Ring or bracelet, not both.

  2. Allison Van Norman

    Yes, I have trouble with this too. Small studs disappear in my short bob. Lately I tend to choose larger, silver studs, maybe 1/2″. I see them, but they don’t compete with the necklace. On me a statement necklace with no earrings feels unfinished.

  3. Talia

    I agree with you. If wearing a pair of statement earrings, I tend to either leave off the necklace or go with something simple. If wearing a statement necklace, I tend to wear and understated pair of earrings. Also, I wear simpler earrings when I wear my glasses as opposed to when I wear my contacts. Sometimes it is overwhelming to have so much going on at the top!

  4. Jennifer

    I also have long curly hair and like statement necklaces. I tend to pull out one color from the necklace to do a large colored stud. (For instance, with a necklace that has blue, pink, and purple, I might do a largish pink pearl stud). I might also match a solid stud to my shirt color and have a multicolor necklace. I’ve also matched the color of metals, but I think that doesn’t look as cohesive if the necklace is colorful and not just metal. I can also do short drops, and mostly people only notice the necklace. One thing I’ve found with large necklaces or scarves is to pull my hair halfway or all the way up to avoid the feeling of “too much”.

  5. Cindy Westfall

    For me, if I’m wearing a pair of statement earrings, I usually go without a necklace and try to wear a top with some kind of neckline that doesn’t make the ‘lack’ of a necklace noticeable? But then, it’s usually the necklace for me that’s the star of the show, with the earrings being more subtle and echoing a color (of stone or metal) found in the necklace.
    I do have short hair and like to wear both studs as well as drops, although my earlobes are small so studs or buttons that are too large quickly become overwhelming.
    I have a couple of pairs of earrings that go with a lot of things and are my ‘go to’ pairs. One is a small 14K white gold “huggy” style hoop that goes with anything white gold, sterling silver, or ‘cool’ colored, and another is a pair of oxidized (darkened) sterling silver buttons with an applied design in high-karat gold, so they go with more muted or warm-toned things (other jewelry, or clothing).