7 Jewelry Rules You Should Be Breaking

Jewelry rules: Could what started as helpful hints be smothering your personal sense of style and general bad-assery? Portland, Oregon based Grayling Jewelry gets to the bottom of exactly which rules to drop like a bad habit. Hold on to your handbags, we're goin' in.


7 Jewelry Rules You Should Be Breaking

     Sure, jewelry trends are fun to keep up with, but your choices in what you wear should reflect what you love and what makes you feel great. We want to shift the focus away from telling you what not to do and and towards inspiration from your fave style gurus - wherever you find them - to spark creativity. It's worth noting that there are certainly occasions and events that require a bit more formality, but overall, jewelry rules (like all hallowed rules of fashion) were made to be broken.

So, here we go! Kick up those fabulous feet of yours as we deconstruct some outdated jewelry faux pas in hopes to bring them into the 21st century with a bit of Grayling glam.

It's time to put these mottos under the microscope:

1. “Less is more.”

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     Excuse me, what? It’s true that Coco Chanel famously said, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” (
But have you seen these cute layering pieces, miss Coco?) Let’s not forget that this particular style icon was speaking to a specific group of people at a specific point in time.

     Nowadays, it’s fun to challenge and reinterpret what fashion designers are creating by putting your own spin on it. Especially with the trend of multiple layers worn together that can be seen everywhere from catwalks to sidewalks, now's the time to pile it on to your heart’s content. Put together stacks of rings, start an arm party loaded with bracelets or put on 'one too many' layered necklaces to create a look that’s unique, fresh and all your own. Sorry Coco, we still adore you.

2. “Earrings should match.” 

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     Hmm, not necessarily. It’s true that nine times out of ten, earrings are sold in pairs. But that doesn’t mean you have to
wear them as a pair. More and more folks are intentionally styling their looks with asymmetry in mind. There are tons of eclectic pairings waiting to be transformed into a new look from earrings you may already own.

     Achieving an asymmetrical look can be as simple as wearing one longer drop earring in one ear, then a small stud or hoop in the other ear (bonus points if you have more than 1 piercing on each side).  This play on balance allows you to see what suits you by trying different sizes, metal finishes and styles together. So take a peek through your jewelry box and try something new.

Need some suggestions? We have a slight ear bling obsession - shop earrings here!

3. “High-quality jewelry should be expensive.” 

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     Not anymore, my friends, not anymore. It
used to be true that high-quality jewelry was harder to come by and oftentimes, more expensive. But today, the market has turned a corner to highlight quality jewelry brands that won’t break the bank.

     There’s a new focus on fine jewelry that you can wear every day, in which brands are pivoting from fast-fashion, which promotes lower quality alternatives, to higher quality materials. While that doesn't mean using only fine gemstones and precious metals purely because of their value, but it certainly promotes a more thoughtful product that will stand the test of time and won't leave your skin irritated. This shift is making it possible to start building a long-lasting jewelry collection without the big price tag investment. 

     With the belief that quality jewelry should not only look good but feel comfy to wear, opting for non-toxic metals is the new normal. We certainly echo this sentiment and it’s our mission at Grayling to prioritize quality and comfort, which is why all our pieces are nickel-free and water resistant. 

Keep up with us by
 reading our philosophy
, as well as our passion to craft hand made jewelry that fits every body. 

4. “Don’t mix metals.”

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     We call phooey. 
It’s time to put the kabash on this nonsensical adage. This may be a shock to the system, since it’s been a fairly common jewelry rule for so long, but w
e've moved past singularity. You don’t have to choose if you’re strictly a “gold” person or a “silver” person, you can be both at the same time. 

     Mixing, matching, layering, and stacking jewelry is the name of the game and a great way to put a new spin on your favorite pieces. Who knows, you may surprise yourself and fall in love with the mixed metal look! You won't know until you try.

5. “Your jewelry should match perfectly.” 

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     Snooze-fest. We think the opposite! Choosing multiple metals, contrasting chain textures, varying weights of jewelry brings a whole new dynamic to a look and can really make it pop. Sticking with m
atching set is just fine if that tickles your fancy. Frankly, we love how a little synchronicity in our looks can be a subtle compliment to a bold outfit. But if you feel hesitant to break the mold, consider this a sign to branch out. 

     Spread your wings a bit by marrying contrasting styles, layering chains that vary in length and thickness or stacking rings you would normally wear alone. It's easier than ever to revitalize pieces you haven't worn for ages and may even result in a bolder look than before! When you stumble upon a new look you're excited to show off, it’s the best feeling. 

6. “You’re too young for pearls and diamonds.”

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     That’s nonsense, we say! It’s true that pearls and diamonds were once considered to be more traditional or even conservative and reserved for more mature women, like your sweet little grandmother. 
But modern jewelry brands have re-imagined them, making them less fussy and more low-key.   

     So throw this rule out the window and don’t be afraid to toss that diamond in with your everyday go-to's or slide on some pearls with a sweatshirt because precious gems are much more versatile than ever. Plus, shouldn't being "too young" for things should be cancelled already?

7. “Your watch needs to be dainty.”

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     Says who? It used to be a rule that if you have smaller wrists, and especially if you identify as female, you should wear a tiny, dainty watch. Yawn. How dull.

     Many watches today are unisex and oversized and look even better when paired with a few of your favorite bracelets. So don’t limit yourself to an archetypal women’s-section watch—check ‘em all out and see what suits you best. Binaries be damned, you're free to rock anything that makes you feel beautiful.

The Takeaways

  • Following someone else's jewelry "rules" isn’t doing you any favors in the personal style department and may actually be more harmful than helpful to your creativity. So listen to your gut - you make the rules now, darling!

  • Great jewelry can be trend-setting and timeless, bold and understated. So don't be afraid to change up your style with versatility in mind. Find out what you like, and make your jewelry work hard for you.
  • The best jewelry choices are the ones that make you feel sexy, powerful and downright good in your own skin.

Need some help or inspo to get started?
Let us help you put together a show-stopping jewelry look!

Grayling fans become their own personal stylists when they start off with our curated sets.

We've pulled our most stackable rings, complementary earring sets and layer-ready necklaces so you can rock them with ease of a Calvin Klein model (but without all the fuss + flashbulbs). S
o all you have to do is bring it to life with your unique sense of style. 

You can do it + we can help -  Shop Curated Sets, here!



We love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments if there are any rules we missed that you make or break, or styling tips you swear by -- we're all ears!

 xoxo, Grayling Jewelry


  • Karen

    Been mixing yellow and white gold for, literally, decades. And the bracelet with a watch thing? It is fabulous,…..if ya have it, wear it!!!

  • Stephanie (www.thejewelryfind.com/blog)

    All of this advice is so perfect and exactly the same advice I would give myself! Some rules are meant to be broken <3

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