Defining Your Jewelry Style

By Beverly McCullough on October 22nd, 2013

Are you a modern jewelry lover? Or maybe vintage is more your style? Possibly something in between?
There are so many options out there — boho chic, glam, or classic — or something else entirely.


Some people are born knowing their style. You've had those friends — it seems like they knew their style from the cradle and stuck with it. They were the trendsetters in kindergarten and have been comfortable with their style their whole lives.

For some of us it was a little harder to figure out. For years I didn't have a very defined sense of style — which carried over into my home, fashion, and jewelry. I was all over the place. Over time though, I've been drawn to one style more than any other, and for me it's definitely vintage. I love retro pieces with fun, unique updates.

Developing your style doesn't always happen overnight, and that's not a bad thing. When your taste evolves over a period of time, you are more likely to develop a distinct style, something you feel confident and natural in. Plus you're able to try out all sorts of fun things along the way to see if they fit.


So when defining your style, ask yourself some questions.

  1. What types of clothes do you wear? Are you a Peter Pan collar and oxfords sort of girl? Or maybe spiked heels and leather jackets are more your thing? Odds are your jewelry style is going to fall in line with your clothing style.
  2. Do you find yourself leaning towards creating with certain materials? Chains, beads, fabric, clay — these can all help define your look so that your customers will recognize something you've created as "fitting your style."
  3. Do you have more ideas when you're creating in a certain style? I have found that the more I create in my style, the more ideas I have. Creativity breeds creativity.

Another method for defining your style is to browse other designs. Magazines, fashion publications, even television and movies can all be great places to help narrow your likes and dislikes. Pinterest is also a huge resource for this. There are countless jewelry photos there, and you can browse for hours finding inspiration. Spend some time searching and pinning. Then go back through your boards and look at what you've pinned. Do they all have a boho-chic look? That's probably where your style leans. Are there other trends in your selections that jump out at you? Maybe you've pinned lots of colorful beadwork, certain materials, classic pieces or quirky charms. All of these preferences can contribute to a style that's uniquely you. Get to know yourself, and that will go a long way in helping you develop your own jewelry style.


It's also important to keep in mind who you are designing for. Is your market 20 somethings? Fashionistas? Outdoor enthusiasts? Your style should fit in with your customer base. If you build up a customer base that loves your creations, they are going to continue to look for that style from you.

You might be worrying now that your style has to be limited or have a narrow focus. That isn't true. If you love creating with hammered metal or vintage buttons, that doesn't mean that every single piece you make has to include them. You just need to have an overall look to your creations that fits your design.

Creating "collections" can be a fun way to vary your style a bit as well. Maybe you always create jewelry with beads and chain that has a modern feel. You can easily change things up by adding a special collection of jewelry using a new material or style. This draws attention to the new items and creates a demand for them because collections sound special and usually have a limited time frame. It also gives you the chance to update your look and create with new materials and ideas.

Developing your style can be a fun and creative process. I think you will discover that, as you create more and more in a style that "fits," that you have more ideas and your creativity will just flow!

Bonus: Want to learn how to design and sell jewelry? Enroll in the New York Institute of Art and Design's Jewelry Design Course today!

About the Author

Bev grew up in a family of artists and seamstresses so it is no surprise that she loves to create. She began sewing as a teenager and made her own clothes and jewelry even then. That love for DIY and creating has grown to include jewelry making, sewing, embroidery, furniture refinishing and anything else she can learn. Her style could probably be described best as a mix between modern and vintage —she loves taking old styles and making them new and fun again. Several of Bev's projects have been published in magazines such as Jewelry Affaire, Somerset Home, FreshStyle, and Apronology, and she occasionally teaches jewelry classes. She's also the co-planner for the SoCal Social, an annual event for Southern California creative bloggers. Bev lives in gorgeous Carlsbad, California with her husband, two teenagers, and two cats, which are often more trouble than the two teenagers. Find her at