I found this article to contain some easy tips on purchasing costume jewelry (it’s not all created equal!) and jewelry/fashion matching.
Here are some guidelines to follow when choosing a new piece of jewelry:
1. Quality: Even inexpensive costume jewelry can be well-made. However, it can also be shoddily put together. Inspect the jewelry and look for the following:
Are any scratches, stones missing, or chips?
Is the setting sturdy?
Will it bend and dent easily?
How are beads and gems strung together? On cheap elastic or sturdy wire?
Is it flexible?
Are the gemstones glued into settings or set with prongs?
2. Signed vs. Unsigned Jewelry: When purchasing costume jewelry purchasing a signed piece means it comes from a specific designer. Remember that buying designer jewelry does not guarantee better quality!
Like clothing, sometimes designer-wear is more about the name than the quality of the item. Signed vintage pieces of jewelry can cost an arm and a leg more than unsigned pieces.
However, you can often get the same look and excellent quality with an unsigned bracelet or pin. Check for quality, and don’t get hung up on names, whether buying a vintage piece of a new piece of jewelry.
3. Do your research. Are you a person who cares about the latest trends? Check fashion magazines to spot what’s new in the world of accessories. If purchasing a piece online, check out the dealer or the artisan’s reputation.Are previous customers happy with the quality or the product?Did the jewelry arrive just as described?
Also, don’t purchase jewelry that does not accommodate your lifestyle. Choose styles that will accentuate your style without compromising comfort.
Bright jewelry stands out best against black or grey clothing. Choose rubies, turquoise, or bright-colored beads to accessorize a simple black outfit.
Silver works best with cool-colored clothing while gold works best with warm-colored clothing. Silver looks beautiful with blues and greens while gold coordinates well with browns, reds, and yellows.
Lower-cut shirts and dresses call for a beautiful necklace. Turtlenecks and cowl-necked sweaters look too heavy with a necklace; consider a pendant or a delicate pin instead.
Earrings that dangle are for evenings out; at the office, earrings should never fall more than an inch below the earlobe. Studs and small hoops work best with suits and professional attire.
A patterned outfit calls for simple jewelry. A plain gold chain and bracelet is a great way to accent a colorful dress. With jewelry, less is always more. If the piece isn’t adding anything to your outfit, save it for another day.