Interview with Charlene of Alexander Betty
What are the basics of accessorizing with jewelry?
Jewelry helps to enhance your overall look so whatever piece you choose to go with, your accessories must compliment your face shape and skin tone. Your skin tone determines what colours look best on you and does not refer to whether you are light or dark skinned, but rather whether you have yellow, red or neutral undertone. This would be the same process you go through when picking the right foundation for your skin.
A simple way to test your undertone is to look on the underside of your arm to find out whether your veins are blue or green. The former will look better in cool colors such as silver accessories while the latter will look better in warmer colours such as gold accessories.
Using a colour wheel to help you match colours is the easiest way to get the colour combinations between your clothes and accessories right; when your outfit is colourful. If you wear neutral tones, then any colour accessory would generally go well. If you wear an outfit with a pattern on it, it is always best to go with a simple piece of jewelry, probably in one colour and without too much detail, to create a harmonious look.
Also determine whether you have a diamond, oval, heart, round or oblong shaped face. This will help you select what accessories are best for you. For instance, chokers shorten your neck and widen your face, so only wear a choker if you have a long neck.
Why tips could you give our readers who would love to learn about the best way to put on jewelry?
As a general rule of thumb, I would say you should decide what aspect of your outfit you want to stand out and be the focal point, then go from there. This will guide you on what colours to wear; whether to choose a print or very detailed jewelry, whether to layer your jewelry to create contrast or whether to go for a simple piece and a monochromatic look. Always choose pieces that are age appropriate and that fit the occasion.
Tell us the jewelry basics that are a must have for both women and men
The jewelry basics I would suggest for any woman are a simple pair of studs, stackable rings and bangles, a statement ring, a bold statement necklace which could be a fringe necklace or a multi-chain necklace, and a simple matinee necklace that sits almost between the cleavage, in gold or silver tones.
For men I would suggest a simple bracelet in black or silver with his birthstone or a buckle and a simple chain necklace with a statement pendant like a dog tag pendant, cross or skull.
You can find the rest of the interview in the Back to Basics Issue – Vol. 3 February 2017.
Model: Anita Juma
Jewelry by: Alexander Betty
Make up by: Wacuka Thimba
Photography by: Samuel Githegi
Fashion Styling by: Designing Africa Collective