The simple guideline goes as follows: wear jewellery that matches the size of your frame. In other words, wear small-scale jewellery when you’re small boned, and large-scale jewellery when you’re big boned. This guideline does work, and by all means stick to it if that’s your preference. Personally though, I believe that wearing jewellery in a size that complements your style is a little more complex.

After working extensively with clients across all body types and style personas, I’ve found that variables such as height, shoulder width, personality, and the actual outfit can also play a role in selecting the right scale of jewellery to complement your style. 

For example, tall women wear large-scale jewellery well because their height is in line with the scale of the jewellery. Similarly, a broader shouldered body type pulls off big jewellery with panache because large shoulders carry the size of the jewellery. People with bold personalties and bold dressing styles don’t seem to be overwhelmed by large-scale jewellery either. In the same way, someone with an introverted, quiet personality can look dead right in small-scale jewellery even if she is tall. As for the outfit, sometimes large-scale or delicate jewellery is just what it needs to take it from okay to fab, despite the frame of the wearer. 

I am 5ft 6 and very small boned. According to the guideline, small-scale jewellery is best for me. Small-scale jewellery does work, and that’s what I’ve worn most of my life. Back when I wore earrings decades ago, I wore small pearl and gold studs and never did chunky earrings. But despite my very small wrists and narrow shoulders, I DO wear oversized men’s watches and very chunky pearl necklaces. I don’t feel like they are wearing me or overwhelming me at all. Perhaps that’s a case of personality and the right outfit, or perhaps it’s because I’m just tall enough and have long arms and a very long neck. Either way, the scale of these jewellery pieces feels right, so I’ll continue to defy the guideline.

Here are some pictures of me wearing a big watch and pearls taken at New York Fashion Week five years ago. 

Jewellery Scale

Over to you. How does your preferred scale of jewellery compare with your frame, height, shoulder width, personality and style?