Work Jewelry: Which Pieces to Wear While on the Clock
Written by Anna Currell
December 27, 2022
Wearing jewelry is a great way to express yourself, but figuring out how to do that at work can get complicated. Every company has a different dress code, and your day-to-day job tasks might prohibit you from wearing certain pieces. Just like with clothing, specific occasions call for certain types of jewelry; your work jewelry might look different than the jewelry you’d wear to a wedding, on a night out, or at the beach. It’s important to find the most appropriate accessories to wear to your office, wherever your office might be — your living room, a construction site, a pottery studio, the operating room, the airport, or anywhere else. Let’s explore how to find the best jewelry for work.
Consider The Realities of Your Job
First, consider your job. What's your role, and what duties are you assigned day to day? Will wearing jewelry interfere with anything you do? Or could wearing certain pieces possibly even be dangerous? There are many jobs that involve hands-on activities where jewelry could get in the way; wearing bangle bracelets or extra long necklaces around machinery, for example, could be hazardous. If you’re working with your hands in messy materials like paint or clay, you probably want to skip the rings to avoid coating them in gunk that could damage them. Practicality and safety should absolutely play a part in your decision about what jewelry to wear to work.
Another factor that could influence your jewelry choices is your company’s policies. Will your company allow you to wear jewelry? Some dress codes include acceptable jewelry types, so be sure to read your employee handbook or check with your manager. If there’s no mention of jewelry or if the dress code is vague, gauge your environment and do your best to follow suit. This doesn’t mean you have to conform, though — find the pieces that merge your company’s guidelines with your own style!
Find Durable, High-Quality Materials
Finding the most durable and high quality pieces will help you protect the jewelry you wear to work. Although some jobs are riskier for jewelry than others, all jewelry will start to show wear and tear over time, especially if you wear it often. Tarnishing, which is caused by the buildup of residue, is really common, for example. The best thing you can do to prevent work jewelry damage is to select pieces made with high-quality materials.
Durable gemstones (like diamonds) are less likely to crack or scratch the way that softer gemstones (like opals) are. Similarly, precious metals like pure gold and sterling silver will be less susceptible to tarnishing than metals like brass, copper, or gold-plated jewelry. This doesn’t mean you have to get rid of the jewelry that you can’t wear to work, just save your more delicate pieces for whenever you’re not on the job.
Create a Capsule Work Jewelry Collection
For many of us, work already takes up a lot of mental space. You don’t want to waste your precious decision-making energy on which jewelry to wear in the morning, especially if you're working in the office — packing everything you need for the day, getting dressed, commuting. (Working from home has its own challenges, but they shouldn’t stop you from wearing jewelry either.) The point is that you want to be able to toss on the go-to jewelry pieces that make you feel good without having to use too much brain power before you even get to your desk.
That’s why it’s a good idea to build a jewelry capsule collection that you can wear any day of the workweek. A work jewelry capsule will help you accessorize without too much effort because it covers all the bases; capsules usually include a few different staple pieces, like a necklace, a pair of stud earrings, and a watch, for instance. There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to creating a capsule, and everyone’s collection will look different. You want to be sure that the jewelry pieces you select make sense in your work setting, feel expressive of your unique style, and generally match with each other to create a cohesive look with the majority of your work outfits.
Tips for Selecting Work Jewelry
When deciding whether or not to add a piece of work jewelry to your capsule collection, consider the following tips:
- Safety first: If it seems like wearing a piece of jewelry to work might put you in danger, it’s not worth the risk. Only wear jewelry that fits well, feels comfortable, and won’t interrupt the flow of your job responsibilities.
- Less is more: From a professional angle, wearing less jewelry is a better bet than wearing too much. Similarly, try to avoid jewelry that could be distracting for your coworkers, like bracelets that make a lot of noise or earrings that clink every time you turn your head.
- Save your most special jewelry for after your shift: Don’t wear any jewelry to work that you’d be devastated about losing or damaging. It’s best to save your family heirlooms and most prized pieces for special occasions… Why take the risk?
Be sure to take good care of the jewelry you wear to work, and polish it with a soft cloth after each day to prevent residue buildup. If you do experience a snafu at work with your jewelry, don’t worry; we’re here to help you replace or repair it. Some of our most popular services include earring replacements, shank repair, and chain soldering, but feel free to browse through our entire menu of options to find exactly what you need. Our team of expert jewelers would love to help you restore your jewelry to its original, sparkling condition and get you back to work feeling like your best, most expressive self.