Print Edition: February 26, 2014
Rings are one of the most classic pieces of jewellery. They are meaningful, beautiful — and a bit intimidating to wear sometimes. Here are the four most important things to keep in mind when you’re finishing — or starting — an outfit with a ring.
Keep it simple
The phrase “less is best” is a good way to think about rings. Gone are the days where a literal handful of rings looked sharp (remember Phoebe from Friends?). One ring per hand is ideal; two is pushing it, though I’ve seen it work. If you’re going to try two rings, make sure they are smaller, rather than having two statement rings competing on a hand. For a clean, classic look, one ring per hand does the trick.
Match colours and metals
Make sure your rings match other pieces of jewellery you might be wearing, as well as your clothes. For clothing, you have room to work. For example, no one is going to gasp at this fashion faux pas, but it’s a not good idea to match statement rings with statement outfits — it just gets very busy. A consistent style in clothing and jewellery is nice; a yellow floral outfit goes well with a classic gold ring, while a trendy modern outfit might go with a flashier inlaid piece.
The clash of texture and colours in metals can be jarring. If you’re wearing silver jewellery, keep it silver. If the metal is inlaid or textured, try to match it with your other pieces, otherwise you get a noticeable clash.
Pay attention to your hands
A lovely ring draws attention to your hand. That means your hand should be just as lovely as your ring! Now, you don’t need a $50 manicure, but make sure your nails are trimmed and cleaned up. If you are a manicure person, keep in mind that sparkly gel nails might not match a neat and elegant diamond ring. You’ve got to keep your look consistent. If you love rhinestones and sparkly manicures, then get out your glam ring (you know, the one that blinds you when you look at it too long). If you’re the romantic type with florals and everything, wear the gentle diamond ring.
Know your meanings
The best rings are the ones that mean something — a promise ring, a friendship ring, and so forth. That’s why keeping it simple gives you that oomph. It’s special, it reminds you of something, and it has meaning. Keep in mind other people’s meanings. Don’t buy a ring with a Huguenot cross on it just for aesthetics. I’ve seen First Nations chiefs with colourful headdresses, skull Virgin Marys, and Buddhist symbols on the hands of people who clearly thought it looked cool. But misusing religious or cultural symbols is not appropriate, nor is it ever really stylish.