Everyone’s holiday style codes are slightly different. For some, the bolder and brighter the better. For others, a subtler take on seasonal dressing is sufficient. Wherever you happen to fall on the festivity spectrum — splashy sequins or subdued velvet — there’s one element of putting together a look during this time of year that applies to all: jewelry. Earrings, necklaces, rings, brooches, and bracelets are all go-to holiday jewelry pieces that can be seamlessly worked into an outfit for your next cocktail party or dinner reservation. But if you’re not sure which bauble bodes best for beneath the mistletoe, consider taking a page from the experts.
Ahead, a handful of the industry’s most exciting and creative jewelry designers share what they’re wearing during the holidays this year. Their responses are a cheery amalgamation of everything that makes dressing up for this time of year so great — emotion, creativity, backstory, and a whole lot of style. Continue ahead to discover what the forces behind brands like Alison Lou, Completedworks, and Bea Bongiasca are adorning themselves with right now and shop their favorites to make it your own.
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Anna Jewsbury of Completedworks
For Completedworks Artistic Director Anna Jewsbury, pearls are requisite for festive holiday style. “There’s just something really great about wearing them in the winter,” she says. “With so much going on during this time of year, [I’ve found that] ear cuffs are a really good way of accessorizing if you don’t want to be wearing earrings all the time.” As for the pearl embellishment? “You can never go wrong with them — they’ll elevate your outfit without overwhelming it.”
Elinor Avni of Âme Jewelry
Striking a balance between casual and festive is how Âme Jewelry Creative Director Elinor Avni approaches holiday accessorizing. “The Q Earring is definitely my signature piece for the holidays because it’s a classic earring with a humorist twist to it,” she says. “It complements your holiday look without overshadowing it. I’ll dress it up for the evening or casually wear it during the day.”
Kate Jones of Ursa Major
Ursa Major Designer Kate Jones skips the necklaces and earrings during the holidays and reaches for something slightly unexpected. “I tend to swap out my standard everyday pieces this time of year for something a little more special,” she says. “Scarves and bulky sweaters can swallow up necklaces and earrings, so I turn to an extra special ring. The bonus is I can actually see it, which reminds me to stop and enjoy my own work and feels sort of like a reward at the end of a long year.” Her current rotation is the Màre Sapphire Ring Set in Venetian Rose gold, which she adds to her existing set of Everyday Bands that she wears on her middle finger.
Jameel Mohammed of Khiry
KHIRY Founder Jameel Mohammed pivots to interesting rings during the holiday season for both style and sentiment. “You can play with them and draw strength from them during the awkward moments of some holiday festivities,” he says. “The orb ring is super grounding for me. I can lose myself in gazing at the perfectly spherical orb of the semi-precious stone.”
Alison Chemla of Alison Lou
Spending time with family and loved ones is among the more universal traditions during the holidays, and for Alison Lou’s Alison Chamla, it even trickles down into the jewelry she wears. “After giving birth to my son, I have been loving wearing our personalized huggies, specifically the Letter B Huggy along with the Mama Huggy,” she says. “It holds a special meaning to me now and I am so excited for our first holiday season together as a new little family. Jewelry has a way of reminding us of a special time in our lives and nothing is more special to me than spending the holidays together.”
Suhani Parekh of Misho
The holiday season sees more parties than arguably any other time of year, which is why a jewelry piece that makes a splash is a strong investment. For MISHO’s Suhani Parekh, it’s all about a bold chain. “Bigger, bolder, and more striking than ever, nothing quite transforms an outfit like our statement necklaces,” she says. “When it comes to my holiday style, I love throwing these on with a basic outfit or a classic blazer. They're a guaranteed head turner!”
Ashley Thorne of A.M. Thorne
A.M. Thorne’s Ashley Thorne creates a medley of sparkles on her hand during the festive months. “During the holidays, my absolute go-to jewelry to wear is a statement or cocktail ring,” she says. “With all the holiday parties and get-togethers, there's nothing better to accompany your drink like some rings.”
Beth Bugdaycay of Foundrae
Seasonal soirée aside, another aspect of the holidays is travel — and for Foundrae Co-Founder Beth Bugdaycay, a versatile piece of jewelry is the ticket. “Since I am traveling and only bring what I’m wearing, I tend to gravitate towards one of our chains which provides me the most versatility and functionality,” she says. “Our Flexible Extension Chain can be worn as a plain chain, continuous with a medallion, or as an extension with multiple medallions. One chain with endless possibilities to unfold.”
If you ask Bea Bongiasca, more is more when it comes to layering for the holiday season — in the most festive way possible. “I love to make a moment, a splash with my jewels, and pile on my rings,” she says. “I may wear a bright, solid-colored outfit and complement the look with my classic baby vine rings.”
Sarah Dunn of Above Average Studio
If you fall under the umbrella of will-take-any-excuse-to-get-dressed-up, Above Average Founder Sarah Dunn says to use the holidays as your justification. “One of my favorite things about this time of year is that it gives me an opportunity to get dressed up, especially after the last few years,” she says. Right now, the designer is relying heavily on layering gold rings. “They give an effortless yet glamorous look to any outfit. Specifically, I have been wearing our Dome & Lily Ring on repeat and I also can't leave out my beloved J Hannah diamond ring (no longer available), that hasn't left my hand for the last four years since purchasing it.”
Yi Guo of Yi Collection
If you’re not into super bold jewelry for the holidays, another way to accessorize for the season is by wearing pieces that feel particularly sentimental. For Yi Collection’s Yi Guo, this manifests as an emerald and diamond ring. “The East-West setting of the emerald is not only visually modern, but really speaks to me on an emotional level, since it’s modeled after my engagement ring,” she says. “The mixed metal design of this ring comes together wonderfully in unison. Everything about this ring speaks to me of balance and unity.”
Sheherazade Goldsmith of Loquet London
A locket necklace is one of those classic sentimental jewelry pieces that has stood the test of time, making it the perfect bauble for wearing throughout the season. “For me, the holidays are all about cherishing the ones most important in my life, near and far, and I love being able to do that with my heart-shaped yellow gold locket,” Loquet London Designer Sheherazade Goldsmith says. "I added in the birthstone charms of my children, whom I am so thankful to be spending the holidays with in London, and our diamond initials charms for my mother and sister, who live in the U.S. It is a comforting way of feeling as if I have all of my loved ones are close to me this time of year.”
Symbolic jewelry is fitting for the holiday season, which explains why designer Ramona Albert has been incorporating one very significant item into her look. “I love to wear my Bloom Ring with the aquamarine stone because it is a symbol of good health, hope, and renewal. Also, as a metaphor for the end of year holiday celebrations,” she says. "The design was inspired by a family jewelry heirloom and the layers of petals in a flower, and the round smooth cut of the aquamarine is a reflection of the sky.” Her choice for these colors resembles those spotted in nature. “This piece has a calmness about it when worn. It is easy yet powerful and elegant.”