Fashion Magazine

Nonplussed? Choosing Jewellery for Your Body Shape

By Cleverbuttons @cleverbuttons

We live in an age of billboards and glamour ads, usually featuring perfect-looking people with perfect hair and perfect skin, perfectly-shaped to wear anything. And then there’s the rest of us, who live outside those glossy pages, restricted by our general shapes, from wearing some of the things we really want to.

Depending on which source you look at, there are five to six shapes that women have. The usual five being: pear-shaped, apple-shaped, inverted triangle or wedge-shaped, hourglass-shaped, and straight or rectangle-shaped. I think most of us would agree that an hourglass shape is ideal for a woman, so let’s discuss the other four.

Pear-shaped (or one whose hips are wider than her shoulders)

It’s as delicious as it sounds– a pear-shaped woman would have a well-rounded bottom and hips that are wider than her shoulders. Naturally, she would want to call attention away from her hips, and have people’s eyes resting elsewhere.Focus on your face, neck and shoulders. One good way is to wear dangling, hoop, or chandelier earrings. A good pair that falls in a straight line from your earlobes to your shoulders serves to elongate your neck, as well. And since we are in the 21st century, let us not discount that one can wear multiple earrings on one ear. Nicely picked out studs or tiny hoops (studs tend to be classier, though), will accentuate and deviously draw attention to your face.

Necklaces are also a very nice way of complementing one’s look. Wear ones that are of regular length, forming a nice semi-circle a little close around the neck. You would want the chain’s lower arch to rest nicely on your collarbone, the pendant just an inch or inch and a half from the base of your neck. Especially if you are a plus size, choose a delicate-looking, thin chain or one of regular to medium thickness, to avoid making your torso look heavier.

Do not wear necklaces that call attention to your waist, i.e. fall beyond your sternum (chains of this length are called ropes). At most, choose one that rests nicely on your cleavage, which will also obviously draw attention to your breasts, away from your hips.

Nonplussed? Choosing Jewellery for Your Body Shape

Nonplussed? Choosing Jewellery for Your Body Shape



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For best results, choose chains that are between 20 inches (called matinees) and 30 inches (called operas) in length –depending on your bustline. The larger your size, the longer you can go. The aim is to have the pendant resting just above your cleavage or comfortably on the slope of your breasts.

Wedge-shaped and Apple-shaped (or those whose shoulders are wider than their hips)

Broad shoulders are a wonderful asset, and allow one to drape fabrics most elegantly. Some women may be conscious of theirs, though, especially if they feel that their broad shoulders make them look slightly masculine or heavy. Those who do feel the need to de-emphasize their shoulders can draw attention to their neck, bust or waist. One may achieve this by wearing deep V-necks –for obvious reasons– and go a step further by accessorizing with a V-shaped or Y-shaped necklace that reaches low enough to draw the eyes to one’s cleavage.

Complimentary lengths would be between those resting just on the cleavage to those that reach past the bustline, a few inches past the bottom of the sternum (since you can afford to draw attention to your waist, you can use this length). Employ slender chains to suggest delicateness and femininity. Avoid chains that form a U-shape under your neck. Another type of necklace that looks great on broad-shouldered women is the choker type (the kind that falls on your collar bone, beneath the base of the neck –NOT the kind that wraps round your neck like a dog collar). Choose those with multiple strands that individually taper inward –imagine assorted beads, or pearls– or go with broad, flat, spreading ones, similar to the ones we associate with Egyptians.

Nonplussed? Choosing Jewellery for Your Body Shape


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We don’t want to actually look like Egyptians, though, so a choker that spreads about two inches wide, should do the trick. Choose one whose closure around the neck isn’t too round, but is shaped somewhat like a bow. A choker of this shape will cover the trapezius (the set of sloping muscles that connect your neck to your shoulders) and rest lightly on the collar bone. It effectively covers part of your shoulders while adorning your neck: majestically draping both, and giving you an aura of ancient style.

There are also choker types that extend from the neck all the way to the bust, covering half or most of the chest (called bibs). These usually have circular or bow-shaped closures around the neck, while having outer V shapes that end above or on the bust. You could also use chokers made of several laces of pearls, to form a delicate cowl on your chest. Choose ones that lay out neatly, strand by strand; as opposed to those that clump together and simply droop to form a heavy U.

Lastly, we are part of the fairer sex, so this means we are allowed to elicit admiration for our fairest features – which are on the face. Therefore, do not discount the possibility of wearing jewellery in your hair! Gem-clad or pearl-clad hairwear is not uncommon these days, and if you haven’t any, it’s easy to make your own (

*Although wedges (also known as inverted triangles) and apples are two distinct shapes, their style needs are almost the same. The difference is that a woman who has an apple shape would have a wider back, chest, and waist, and therefore would want to elongate her waist as well. This is usually achieved with clothes than with jewellery.

Rectangle-shaped (or one whose shoulders, waist and hips are almost the same width)

If we base it on what the shape is called, it tends to sound unflattering. But the truth is, a rectangle shape is one of the easiest to dress. Like the hourglass shape, it’s a shape that has nothing to hide. The shoulders and hips are equally balanced, although the waist is not well-defined. Women of this shape would want to create curves where they are minimal, so it would do well for them to wear blouses or dresses that are cinched at the sides.

When it comes to jewellery, one would benefit from wearing it on their arms and hands. Most rectangle-shaped women tend to have these slender, and should play them up. Try some upper arm jewellery, for that striking, old-world look. Or, play safe with wrist candy, such as bangles and bracelets. If you’re after a more formal look, go with several thin-rimmed bangles resting on either wrist. You can match these with hoop earrings.

There are also tight-fitting bracelets that stay in place. As long as they don’t cut off your blood supply, tight-fitters are also a nice way of complementing your wrists. Try a nice pearl cuff with a gem centerpiece, for a lovely, vintage look.

Nonplussed? Choosing Jewellery for Your Body Shape


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Another asset usually found on straight-bodied women is a slim pair of legs. This means you can take advantage of sandals whose straps reach up to the calves, and of jewellery for the feet and ankles. (Just don’t wear them all at the same time!) Elegant jewellery for the lower legs exists rarely, but if you find some that flatter your leg to bits (they’re usually worn on only one leg at a time), by all means, go for them. Favor thinner chains, so as not to risk making your leg look shorter.

Lastly, if you have a long, graceful neck, use it. Wearing the right necklace will be the perfect way to highlight it. Wear chains that sit right at the base of your neck, usually around 12-13 inches in length (called collars). Avoid V-shaped and Y-shaped ones as these would elongate your neck even more. On the other hand, if you have an average-length neck, more shapes are at your disposal. Drape yourself with U-shaped necklaces to form curves that frame your face and neck. Or dress up with V shapes and Y shapes that make your neck look longer and go devastatingly well with a dazzling smile.

Sharon Sussman is Director of Products at Brilliance, LLC. She loves writing guest posts that let her share applicable knowledge in fashion and jewellery. Brilliance, on the other hand, is a company that specializes in diamonds and other gemstones, from wedding rings to stud earrings.

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