Hello, So, I’ll soon be departing back to sunny Mauritius after a lovely visit with my family. The weather has been mixed, but not too bad. I hope you’ve been enjoying our recent social media posts, and, if you’ve signed up to our messenger or email service, the sneak peeks we’ve been bringing you. If you’ve not signed up just contact us in one of the ways at the end of this blog and you’ll be part of the Liri family ☺
So this week’s blog is a bit lighter in tone than my last one, but It’s still on a subject I’m passionate about – avoiding mistakes that prevent us from enjoying, valuing and getting the best out of our jewellery. As I’ve said many times before, jewellery is a very personal, emotional and sometimes valuable purchase, so it’s important we treat it with the respect it deserves so we can enjoy it for as long as possible. So here are some handy hints that will help you do just this.
Not knowing what your jewellery is made from
If you saw my last blog you’ll know I’m passionate about being accurately informed about what our jewellery is made from. I won’t repeat it here, but knowing what it’s made from is essential if we’re to know how to wear, store and look after our jewellery, which I’ll elaborate on, below. It’s also essential from a personal health point of view. Although many countries no longer use nickel in the manufacture of some jewellery, others do, which can cause uncomfortable skin reactions. Always ask your jeweller about the materials used to ensure you can wear your jewellery comfortably.
Wearing your jewellery every day
We all have one or two pieces of jewellery we love to wear everyday – they’re comfortable, match all our outfits, or have a sentimental value. As a result, we just don’t take them off – ever! Now, it’s said that wearing your jewellery every day minimises tarnishing as the oils in our skin keep the metal clean, but to be honest, the downside of wearing just one or two pieces every day are far greater.
The most significant problem is wear and tear. No matter what your jewellery is made from, wearing it every day will result in gradual wearing and tearing (to various degrees). Wearing that casual cord bracelet every day, in the shower, doing the dishes, playing with your children, is going to lead to discolouration and weakening of the cord. Wearing that dainty silver necklace every day, in the shower, whilst swimming, sunbathing, at work – it is going to get clogged up with oils, perfume, sweat and general grime, not to mention erosion of the materials from chlorinated or salt water.
Whatever jewellery you have, it’s best to rotate pieces so you prolong their beauty and minimise damage. Also, avoid getting them into contact with perfumes, dirt, salt and chlorinated water wherever possible Rotating your jewellery is also a good excuse to buy more, isn’t it?
Not cleaning your jewellery
Yes, your jewellery should be cleaned, and wearing it in the bath, shower or pool doesn’t count, and in fact can be more damaging. But don’t worry, as jewellery made from precious metals and stones will come up as good as new from just being gently soaked in some warm water and washing up liquid once a month. Use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub around prongs and any other nooks and crannies. Pat dry with a lint free cloth and leave to air dry in a secure location.
Another effective way of cleaning your precious metals is with a purpose made silver polishing cloth. These can be bought from most good quality jewellers and are perfect for removing tarnish. Just rub the affected areas and your metal will regain its shine.
This is where knowing what your jewellery is made from is essential, because not knowing its materials could lead to the wrong cleaning treatment and could cause damage to your jewellery. If your jewellery is plated in any way, be sure to clean more gently so as to not rub away the plating.
There are ‘stronger’ cleaning products on the market such as sonic cleaners and specialist liquids, but if you regularly clean your jewellery as above, there’s no need for anything stronger.
Not storing your jewellery properly
Three weeks ago, I decided to sort my jewellery box and if I’m honest, I hadn’t stored everything in the most careful manner so it took me a lot longer to sort it than I had expected, which was annoying. Are you guilty of the following?:
Necklaces and bracelets
When you remove your necklaces and bracelets, please ensure you’ve clasped the ends together. This will reduce tangling. To reduce tangling even further, either store them in a jewellery roll (where they can be laid down and rolled like a towel) or place them inside a small sealable bag with the clasp hanging out from the top. When the tip of the necklace is hanging out, you can simply pull it out and the necklace remains tangle free.
Having an appropriate style jewellery box
Be sure to also purchase a jewellery box that is ‘standing up’ and has hooks from which you can hang necklaces and any other jewellery that has a chain. I wouldn’t advise storing your jewellery in the open air as it will just tarnish quicker and become clogged with dust and other pollutants.
Wearing jewellery ‘incorrectly’
The mistakes we make aren’t just confined to how we care for our jewellery, but also how we wear it. Whilst you could argue that fashion changes so how can we wear our jewellery incorrectly, there are just some ways of wearing jewellery that bring out the best in you and your pieces, whilst others, may be fashionable at times, but just don’t stand the test of time.
Not wearing jewellery to match the environment/ occasion
Jewellery can fail to match an occasion in two ways – it isn’t right for you and it can give the wrong impression to others. Always make sure you wear jewellery that makes you feel your best in any particular situation. Will you be doing physical activity outdoors? Well it’s probably a good idea not to wear a pair of chandelier earrings. Are you going to a formal business event? It’s best not to wear a lot of bright, plastic jewellery. If bright colours are your style, consider wearing just one bangle or a single bright pendant. You will still be expressing yourself but also in a manner fitting for the occasion.
Not choosing the correct outfit/hairstyle to match your jewellery
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like wearing my hair up with a large pair of earrings as I feel I need my hair down to help frame the earrings. If you’re wearing large earrings, be sure to wear your hair tucked behind your ear. If you have short hair, be sure to wear earrings that are not disproportionately large to your features or the volume of your hair. It is all about balance and symmetry.
If you’re a member of our Liri Ambassadors group, you will have seen my recent post on wearing the correct necklace to suit your neckline. If you didn’t see it, the graphic below is just perfect. Now you’ll always know what to wear so your outfit and jewellery work effortlessly together.
Wearing too many statement pieces too close together
When you want to wear chunky, statement pieces, it’s important to know that they need to be spaced out on your body or you risk looking ‘overdone’. If you choose to wear large earrings, don’t wear a chunky necklace as well. In fact, don’t wear any necklace at all and let the earrings do all the talking. If you want to add anything, add some statement wrist wear, as it will be worn far enough from the earrings to create balance. If you want to wear a statement necklace, it can look fantastic on its own or with a bangle. It’s all about adding statement pieces in a balanced way, that doesn’t overpower the wearer and the eyes of those looking at it.
Being too matched and coordinated
Jewellery sets can be great but if you wear earrings, a necklace, a bracelet and even a ring that all match perfectly, all at the same time, it can be overpowering, dull and lacking in imagination. By all means, purchase a set but either wear the pieces individually, or, follow the rule above – wear only earrings and a bracelet, a necklace and a ring; just not everything together. I would suggest wearing ‘coordinating’ pieces rather than ‘matching’ pieces at the same time.
Jewellery that just isn’t ‘you’
I’ve written many times that jewellery is an extension of who we are and that we must always seek jewellery designs that best enable us to express our individuality. Nevertheless, no man is an island and we often have to confirm to certain social expectations regarding appearance, especially if we want to make a certain impression on others. However, this doesn’t stop us from wearing jewellery that is ‘us’, we just have to tailor it slightly and in a way where we still feel we are expressing ourselves. So, you love colourful jewellery but which isn’t appropriate for a formal event – why not choose smaller pieces with just a hint of colour? You love sparkly gemstones, but those chandelier earrings just aren’t practical for the office – why not choose large diamond studs or an elegant diamond tennis bracelet? With just a hint of imagination, we can always express ourselves.
No more excuses
So there you have it – no more excuses – you should now know how to look after, and how to wear your jewellery in a way that ensures you always look your best. Please also remember, no piece of jewellery is bullet proof, therefore all pieces need to be cared for in a manner suited to the design and materials. It really isn’t difficult and you’ll be glad you took that extra bit of care to ensure your considered purchase will give you years of pleasure.