Why it's time to adopt a 'jewellery uniform' for the office

Hillary Clinton sticks to large stud earrings
Hillary Clinton sticks to large stud earrings Credit: AP

Isabel Spearman is a brand and image consultant who previously worked as special adviser to Samantha Cameron at Downing Street. Each week , she offers a helping hand dissecting workwear dress codes and offering a modern take on power dressing.

To ask Isabel Spearman your workwear questions, email [email protected] or follow her on instagram @isabelspearman

In this week's column, she advises on office-appropriate earrings... 

Isabel Spearman. Credit: Andrew Crowley for The Telegraph

Q. I love wearing jewellery, but I’m not sure how much is appropriate for the office; what should I be looking for?

AWhile on holiday I can’t resist colourful statement jewellery, when it comes to the office, less is definitely more. Earrings are the easiest way to accessorize, sometimes with a simple necklace but more often on their own. I’m not a fan of the large chunky necklace (sorry, Mrs May) as I think it detracts from you and what you’re wearing, as do jangling bracelets.

Amal Clooney wears dainty gold drop earrings at a Women In The World reception. Credit: Getty

For everyday, I recommend developing a uniform of sorts. Christine Lagarde loves her pearls, Hillary Clinton sticks to large stud earrings, and Amal Clooney wears small drop diamonds for work engagements. Personally, I like gold hoops. I have a few different sizes to suit different necklines; the higher the collar, the smaller the hoop. Buy two or three options of your favourite style to mix and match with your own wardrobe.  

18ct gold vermeil stud earrings, £115, Monica Vinader; Sophia pearl earrings, £30, Jaeger ​

There’s a brilliant selection of British jewellery brands with reasonable price points that can be bought online and tried at home. Most brands offer their classic styles in yellow gold and silver, as so many of us have a preference for one of the other. Missoma is one of my favourites, really wearable and a little bit different to what you’d usually find on the high street. The ‘Molten’ hoops are the perfect example of this and I have a pair in each size. Dinny Hall’s Wave or Bamboo hoops are good options too, and also come in rose gold, which can be a little harder to find.

If you want a bit more sparkle, err on the side of elegance with simple studs or small drops. Astley Clarke’s Mini Icon Aura studs come in rose gold, white and yellow gold, and for diamond earrings they are well priced.

Medium-sized molten gold hoops, £115, Missoma; Pink opal hoop earrings, £175, Astley Clarke; Pearl drop earrings, £38, Stella & Dot

I’ve recommended Monica Vinader’s moonstone earrings to many clients, of all different skin types, and they really do suit everyone. The creamy white stone is the perfect compliment to a white shirt and navy suiting. You can choose from studs or drops - I love the Petra drops as they’re a good size without making too much of a statement. If you love a bit of colour then go for the green onyx.

Finally, pearls have had something of a comeback recently, with designers offering modern updates. And if they’re good enough for the (tres chic) Managing Director of the IMF, they’re good enough for me.