appropriate jewelry for work

Appropriate Jewelry For Work in (Conservative) Corporate Environments

Appropriate Jewelry for Work – Where’s the Bling?

I’ve always been rather minimalist when it comes to jewelry, especially for work, which for me is in a rather conservative workplace.  I pretty much wore the same pair of earrings for nearly a decade, until I lost one while swimming in a river.  It was sad, but led to some positive change.  Lately, I’ve begun to experiment with different styles and colors.  I feel like I am becoming a bit more bold!  The unspoken (and spoken) rules are changing as times and companies evolve, so it’s important to consider your particular workplace when deciding what is appropriate for you.

Too Much Jewelry for Work

I once read that the rule is 10 pieces, so I definitely stay under that.  I think that the quality of the pieces matters as well.  If you are all decked out in big costume jewelry pieces, it will be hard for you to command any respect in the workplace, especially if your necklace is reflective and therefore blinding whomever you are talking to!  I used to feel that you could only wear either gold or silver tone and match, but nowadays I have no issues with mixing it up.  Rose gold is gorgeous! I am in love with it!

Below are some pointers on business etiquette related to jewelry.  Please remember that these are simply my own opinions – no judgement at all from me if you make different choices or disagree!  Different industries and work environments are more or less open to trends and freedom of expression.  My experience has mainly been in more conservative corporate settings, so this advice applies to those in similar workplaces.  🙂

Also, click here to check out my little jewelry shop for some awesome, handpicked items!  You can click shop in the menu bar as well.  Again, this applies to a more conservative/corporate type of environment.  Please remember that this is just an informal guide.  Your workplace may be more or less flexible – if in doubt, always consult with your supervisor or an HR representative!


No big hoops – 1/2 inch or less.

No gauges!  If you have gauges, they sell lovely solid fillers that are pretty work appropriate.

Classic Choices – timeless and pretty awesome

Small 1 carat or less diamond or cubic zirconia/crystal studs.

Pearls, gold or silver balls.

Small Teardrops.

Delicate and small, dainty gold or silver pieces.


Only wear one necklace at a time!  Save the layering for nights out on the town.

Nothing too big, bold or distracting.

No big name necklaces – these were big in the 90’s.  Leave them home, in your jewelry box.

Metal (gold or silver) chains only.  No leather, nylon or other materials for work.

Dainty necklaces are my favorite!  A simple diamond or crystal pendant, or even gold bar looks very classy.

Pearls will dress up any outfit!  Trust me.  Mine are fake, yet I get compliments every single time I wear them!

Long necklaces with small accents throughout are lovely too!  You can fold them into layers, so it appears as if you are wearing two or three of the same necklace.  This is lovely – just don’t put on an additional necklace – that would be overkill in my opinion.

Bracelets and Watches

I am a watch person, and don’t think that will ever change, despite the fact that my iPhone has the time on it.  I’ve been wearing the same DKNY watch on my wrist since the year 2000.  Pretty lame, but it’s two tone, goes with everything and has held up really well over time.  It’s a piece of jewelry on it’s own, with beautiful links.  I will be replacing it when I find something that’s high quality and as versatile as this one.

Bonbon's Guide to Jewelry for Work - old watch
My tired DKNY watch has been worn for over 15 years.

A fitted bracelet on either arm is lovely – just make sure it doesn’t impede your work.  I can’t wear very large bracelets to work because they interfere with typing or using my mouse.

Bangles are lovely, but limit it to three, max!  Also, be considerate of the noise factor.  Your neighbors may not appreciate it if you are jingling all day while typing, haha!

Tennis bracelets will never go out of style.  These diamond or crystal pieces are very classy and pack a nice amount of bling, without appearing too flashy!

I hope this helps with your jewelry choices!  Dress for success!