It’s not easy to apply common sense to fashion when the rules change so frequently, and this is especially true for jewelry. If you are presenting in a business casual or more conservative environment, you may be confounded about what is appropriate. Wonder no further! Here are some (very serious) laws for wearing jewelry when the fashion stakes are high and the dress code is “formal” to “fancy.”


Dangling earrings should be avoided, but if you have a conservative pair, make sure they hang down no longer than an inch. Choose earrings that reflect a classic design, are gold, silver, flat, or colored to match your outfit. Most importantly, make sure your earrings are silent as you turn your head so they don’t distract the audience.


Avoid necklaces that fall below the neckline to ensure they don’t get caught on anything or move around too often. Bead necklaces or small pendants are always a good choice; just be sure they coordinate with your business attire and don’t make noise.


A watch is an ideal accessory for a presenter worried about going over or under their allotted time. Always choose a leather or metal band, avoiding sports watches all together. Also, watches should be worn on the wrist only, never around the neck or even worse, on a ring.


No more than one ring set on each hand, which includes wedding or engagement rings. And toe rings? Save those for the beach. Finally, if your ring looks like it could leave a noticeable indentation if you backhanded someone, it’s too big.


A modestly-sized cufflink can be a sign of good taste and attention to detail. Avoid cufflinks that aren’t classically shaped (circle, squares, etc.), or clash with your suit.

Lapel Pins

Only consider a lapel pin if you are wearing a suit jacket, and also beware that you may look like a politician if you choose an American flag. Don’t select anything humorous, but do consider pins that represent you in a subtle way.


Let your jewelry compliment your outfit, not compete. If it jingles, moves around, distracts, is peeling, strangely colored, or larger than the norm, you should avoid it. Jewelry has historically been a way to make a statement about yourself; don’t let that statement be: “I have poor taste.”

Question: What does your presentation jewelry say about you?

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