5 Rules for Wearing African Jewelry

5 Rules for Wearing African Jewelry

The release of Black Panther showcased African jewelry to audiences across the world. We love how the Wakandan warriors were both badass and elegantly afrochic with their chokers, cuffs and elaborate beading drawing from Africa’s rich heritage. A number of celebrities like Beyonce, Taraji. P. Henson and Rihanna have also showcased African jewelry in their wardrobe choices.

African jewelry is becoming more popular, but many women find styling these pieces intimidating. Which is why we put together these tips to rocking your African-inspired statement pieces with confidence.

1. Sometimes Less is More

Bold pieces should be the focal point, so don’t clutter your look by wearing them close together. Ideally you should wear one at a time, but if you want to wear more than one African statement piece, avoid wearing earrings with necklaces and don’t wear bracelets and rings at the same time.

Here are some winning combinations:

    Women wearing Gold Rope choker and Gold Rope necklace


Just make sure to choose pieces that coordinate. Try to also stick with the same metallic colour and avoid clashing patterns.

Bib necklaces and shoulder wrap necklaces like our Cleopatra work better as solo pieces, so let them take centre stage and resist wearing them with other pieces of jewelry.  


Women posing outdoors wearing Black beaded collar necklace 

The advantage of African jewelry is that you only have to wear one piece to make your whole outfit pop. You should either work your outfit around one attention-grabbing piece or incorporate complimentary African accessories into your look in a balanced way.

2. Keep it Simple

African accessories go best with simple outfits. So shy away from busy patterns and embellishments like sequins when wearing bold African jewelry. Remember, you want your piece to stand out, so match wisely.

A little black dress will perfectly complement one or two attention-grabbing pieces, while jeans and a black top will make an ideal backdrop for something big and bold. Try to stick to neutral coloured items when wearing bright and detailed African accessories.           


Don’t take the focus away from your bold jewelry. Coordinate other accessories with your African pieces by keeping them to a minimum and sticking to the same colour or metal. Remember that gold-coloured pieces look best on skin with warm undertones. And silver pieces compliment cooler undertones

3. Match your necklace with your neckline

The best way to make sure your African necklace stands out is to wear it with the right neckline. Scoop neck and v-neck dresses and tops are ideal for shorter statement necklaces like The Fan.

 Close up of woman wearing The Fan necklace


Boat neck and crew necks give you the most flexibility. You can wear short, long, subtle and bold pieces with these necklines.

Strapless and off-the shoulder necklines are flattering necklines for chokers as they let your statement piece do the talking.

Wearing a shoulder-wrap necklace like The Cleopatra can be daunting. The key is to wear a solid coloured top or dress that either matches or contrasts with the neckpiece. It’s also a great idea to wear a strapless or long-sleeved boat neckline so that the necklace is against the backdrop of the complementary fabric or your skin.

4. Arm yourself with the right bracelet

Cuff bracelets are popular African pieces. To highlight yours, keep your arms bare or wear a cuff over a slim-fitting solid coloured long sleeve top. You can stick to one cuff to create a focal point, or wear matching cuffs on both arms for a bold look.


Close up of woman posing with Gold Ndebele Cuff 

Rope bracelets are another excellent option. If you want to stack a number of rope bracelets together, then stick with one arm. Don’t go beyond six bracelets at a time as a general guideline to avoid overdoing it. Also make sure that the colour and patterns of the bracelets complement each other.


  Close up of woman wearing multiple summer rope bracelets

5. Wear pieces that create an ensemble

Remember that African jewelry is supposed to make a statement, so choose pieces that help to create an overall outfit. A gold rope choker with a sleeveless black top and fitted black pants is a stylish, versatile look. You can achieve a very elegant look by wearing a pearl Cleopatra necklace with a sleeveless white or off-white bodycon dress. 

                   LHS: Woman posing wearing stacked Gold rope neckpieces. RHS: Woman wearing Pearl Cleopatra necklace on off-white bodycon dress     

Also avoid wearing too many colours and, wear clothes that provide a backdrop for your pieces to pop. Keep these five rules in mind and you’ll be ready to afro-accessorize like a warrior goddess.

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