How far can you go expressing your individuality with style? None of us are the same; we are all so different. But can you really wear whatever you want? It depends largely on where you work. However, jewelry allows people to express themselves so much more than clothes - there are less rules and more freedom.

In most societies clothing has a lot of rules. The rules can vary from society to society, but they all have rules. Some of them we always follow even though we are not aware of them. Sometimes we feel annoyed and restricted because of not being able to wear what we want, or being forced to wear something we truly aren't comfortable in. But with jewelry there are hardly any rules at all, whether accessorizing casual outfits or work clothes. And what rules have been there, are going away and fading fast. These days you don't have to wear matching sets, you can mix silver and gold, you can wear anklets in the middle of winter. The jewelry rules are almost non-extant, and the few that are left, well, people don't frown on you for breaking jewelry rules the same way they do when you break the clothing rules.

The first rule of clothes is that you have to wear them. You do not have a choice. As a matter of fact, you can be arrested for breaking that fashion rule. But with jewelry you actually don't have to wear any. It's completely optional.

With clothes, there are rules pertaining to the length of the sleeves and pant legs. If you break those, it simply doesn't look good. With jewelry, there are certain rules about how long the chain or necklace should be depending on what type of blouse or top you are wearing. However, these rules are not very strict at all, and if you break them it really doesn't look that bad.

With clothes, there are rules pertaining to season that dictate what to wear in the spring, summer, fall and winter. Breaking these could look odd. Jewelry, though, has never really had any seasonal rules, except for anklets perhaps. But if you wear an anklet on the outside of nylons or thin stockings in the winter, no-one will reprimand you.

Mixing clothes of materials that don't go together looks off. But mixing jewelry of silver and gold, for example, is no longer the fashion faux pas it used to be. Different styles of jewelry can be mixed together, especially if done with an overall plan in mind.

You don't have to wear conservative jewelry with a conservative outfit. You can wear a big funky necklace, or a bracelet with cool chunky beads with a professional women's business suit and white blouse. You can wear pearl earrings and a sweet pearl necklace with a pair of dirty jeans, bulky hiking boots and your boyfriend's sweater.

With jewelry you have very wide range of expression and can get away with almost anything. A piece of jewelry can be very personal, and can express a part of your identity. You may have to change your clothes in ways that you feel aren't really you because of various life situations (like work for example), but your jewelry can remain the one thing that identifies your heritage, hobby, religion, personality, music - your very own personal style. If anyone mentions to you that they disapprove of your choice of jewelry, you can say to them that someone you love gave you this piece as a special gift and that you wear it to keep that person close. Jewelry shouldn't be criticized. This is the one area that you can always express your very own style and creativity - so go for it!

About the author:

Johanna Magnusson is a seamstress. She writes for "Where you can always count on finding a good quality basic white blouse, to go with women's business suits, or with casual/comfy work clothes."

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