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What is Statement Jewelry? The Power of Self Expression

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Diamond and sapphire statement necklace on a black necklace stand

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s ornate collars. Princess Diana’s ‘Queen Mother’s Sapphire Brooch’ necklace. Sarah Jessica Parker’s 2013 Met Gala mohawk headpiece. From the Supreme Court to Windsor Palace to the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, statement jewelry is defined as a bold, unique piece that helps express personal style, personality and emotion. Let’s explore what constitutes statement jewelry, the various types and how to incorporate statement jewelry into your accessorizing arsenal.

 

What is Statement Jewelry?

You don’t have to be an A-lister to experiment with statement jewelry. Statement jewelry is any bright, large, flashy piece that allows its wearer to express their individuality - displaying what’s on the inside, outside. While necklaces are often the statement jewelry of choice, earrings, bracelets, rings and more can also be used as statement pieces. Using a variety of colors that pop, unique shapes, patterns, materials, sizes and more, statement jewelry has a strong visual presence that is hard to ignore. Sometimes it’s not the size of the jewelry, but the quantity of jewelry that makes the statement, such as strategically piling on many necklaces or bracelets.

 

Types of Statement Jewelry

While the potential for statement jewelry is nearly endless, here are some of the classic, go-to statement pieces you may want to add to your repertoire. 

  • Statement necklaces: The pendant is usually a necklace’s focal point; however, with statement jewelry, the chain or chord may also be elevated with unique colors or shapes. Large necklaces (or multiple necklaces) can take up a lot of visual real estate, so you may want to consider wearing minimal (or no) additional jewelry to avoid overcrowding and allow the necklace to remain the focal point.
  • Statement earrings: Not just limited to oversized hoop earrings, statement earrings can come in all shapes, sizes and materials, with innovative construction. Chandelier, teardrops and ear-climbers, oh my!
  • Statement bracelets: These can range from a single thick, chunky gold bracelet to dozens of smaller, mix-matched stacked bracelets or a jeweled decorative snake winding its way up your forearm.
  • Statement rings: This category could also go either way - one or two large, in-your-face rings, or an orchestration of two dozen unique rings across 10 fingers.
  • Tribute jewelry: Statement jewelry is worn to express something. In the case of tribute jewelry, it can express love, honor and admiration for others, such as friends and family, military members, religious figures and many more.

 

How to Style Statement Jewelry 

With their flashy, “look at me” quality, statement pieces must be appropriately styled to avoid overdoing it. Take the time to consider your statement piece’s place and purpose in your overall look and how its shape, color and style will work with other components of your outfit and other accessories. This can keep you from crossing over that line into “too much.” Sometimes big and bold, if not styled properly, comes off as gaudy. Here are a few tips to keep your statement pieces looking perfect:

  • As always, balance. Strike the balance, not just with other jewelry, but with your whole ensemble. Statement jewelry pairs nicely with more simple outfits, allowing the statement piece to lead the show. 
  • Dress it up or dress it down. Extravagant galas and swanky cocktail parties might come to mind when thinking about statement jewelry. However, many pieces, such as a bold necklace or gargantuan ring can elevate a more casual outfit, providing an unexpected element. 
  • Wear it with confidence. Wearing statement jewelry can make you feel vulnerable—but don’t let it. The best thing you can pair with statement jewelry is confidence. Expressing your unique personality through your jewelry should excite you. Stay true to your own style and wear it with your head held high.

 

Lessons from the Titans of Statement Jewelry

For those unsure of where to begin in their statement jewelry efforts, it can be helpful to look toward those who are known for having done it well. Here is some statement jewelry inspiration from fashion-forward individuals who elevated the statement jewelry game.

Diana, Princess of Wales. Becoming a statement jewelry maven is obviously a bit easier when you have access to the British royal family’s jewels. Even if you’re not looking to join the royal family any time soon, you can learn a thing or two about how to expertly execute statement jewelry from the late Lady Di.

As mentioned above, statement jewelry pairs well with simple, elegant clothing, allowing the jewelry to take center stage. However, that doesn’t mean your outfit must entirely fade to the background to let the jewelry shine. Striking the perfect, harmonious balance is ideal, as Diana did while attending Vanity Fair’s Serpentine Gallery at Kensington Gardens in 1996. Initially refusing an invite to the event, Diana changed her mind once news of Prince Charles’ infidelity became public. Pairing the Queen Mother’s Sapphire Brooch necklace with a black, silk Christina Stambolian evening gown, the ensemble went on to become one of Diana’s most popular, famously referred to as “the revenge dress” look. With the help of a simple dress and a bold, expressive statement piece necklace, Diana’s message was heard loud and clear. Now that’s a statement.

Amal Clooney. “There’s nothing like a statement earring to lift the mood and the face,” says British Vogue’s jewelry director, Rachel Garrahan. Few accomplish this better than Amal Clooney. When you’re a globally recognized lawyer, activist and the woman who landed Hollywood’s perpetual bachelor, the world notices what you’re wearing. From swanky Lake Como parties to Hollywood events, Amal expertly pairs elegant, timeless, understated outfits with bold, impossible-to-ignore statement jewelry. Looking for a new statement earring guru? Amal’s your girl.

First Lady, Michelle Obama. Proving that statement pieces aren’t confined to just necklaces, earrings or bracelets, we give to you: the brooch. During her time as First Lady, Michelle Obama wore many-a-brooch. Brooches, defined as ornaments fastened to clothing with a hinged pin and catch, provide an elegant statement piece option. The First Lady even gifted a brooch to Queen Elizabeth in 2011 on a visit to London.

Another lesson learned here: statement pieces make a great thoughtful, personal gift, showing the recipient you recognize and appreciate their unique, personal style. And they’ll think of you each time they wear it!

If you’re adding a statement piece or two to your jewelry collection (or you’ve recently been gifted a brooch from Michelle Obama!), consider getting your special pieces insured with a personal jewelry insurance policy. While many choose to use homeowners insurance for this purpose, there are drawbacks that many people don’t understand when compared to personal jewelry insurance. Check your rate in just minutes from Jewelers Mutual by clicking the button below!

 

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About Jewelers Mutual Group

Jewelers Mutual was founded in 1913 by a group of Wisconsin jewelers to meet their unique insurance needs. Later, consumers began putting their trust in Jewelers Mutual to protect their jewelry and the special memories each piece holds. Today, Jewelers Mutual continues to support and move the industry forward by listening to jewelers and consumers and offering products and services to meet their evolving needs. Beyond insurance, Jewelers Mutual’s powerful suite of innovative solutions and digital technology offerings help jewelers strengthen and grow their businesses, mitigate risk, and bring them closer to their customers. The Group insurers’ strong financial position is reflected in their 37 consecutive “A+ Superior” ratings from AM Best Company, as of November 2023. Policyholders of the Group insurers are members of Jewelers Mutual Holding Company. Jewelers Mutual is headquartered in Neenah, Wisconsin, with other Group offices in Dallas, Texas and Miami, Florida. To learn more, visit JewelersMutual.com.