What Jewelry to Wear With a One Shoulder Dress

Updated May 4, 2021
woman wearing one-shoulder dress with jewelry

One shoulder dresses are popular, especially for prom gowns and wedding dresses. The sophisticated look can be quite sleek and slenderizing. Yet, despite the beauty of this dress style, it is hard to accessorize. In fact, some fashion magazines recommend not wearing a necklace with these dresses. This can be frustrating for the fashionista who loves jewelry. Why is the dress so hard to accessorize? The neckline rises higher on the sleeve side of the dress. This makes it difficult to select necklaces that lay properly without getting lost in the dress fabric.

Ideas for Jewelry With a One Shoulder Dress

Certain types of jewelry bring out the beauty of the one shoulder dress style. There are several options, at least one of which is sure to fit your own personal style. While standard, classic advice is to not wear a necklace at all with one shoulder dresses, rules were made to be broken and there are a few necklace styles that work well paired with a one shoulder dress.


A choker lays close to the neck without interfering with a slanting neckline. A choker works well with a slender neck and brings attention to the face. Those with shorter necks can still pull this look off, but in that case, the choker should be fairly thin.

Y Necklace

The structure of the Y necklace with a dangling middle allows you to wear a delicate necklace style without losing it in the dress material. These will work best if the dress fabric itself is smooth and not adorned by lace, gemstones, or sequins.


A lariat's long length allows you to loop it over several times and knot it to the desired effect. Lariats can create a dramatic effect with one shoulder dresses with low backs since part of the necklace can lay on the bare back.

Long Necklace

A long necklace generally works with a one shoulder dress because it hangs low enough to show up without getting lost in dress material. You can double loop a long necklace to make the jewelry more prominent and shorten the length.

woman wearing one-shoulder dress with jewelry

Arm Cuff

Choose an arm cuff for your bare arm for an exotic look. An arm cuff is best worn on the bare-shouldered side for a dress that has any type of sleeve on the shouldered side. For sleeveless one shouldered dresses, it can be worn on whichever side looks most appealing to you.

Post Earrings

Post earrings match a simple, elegant look. Think diamond or gemstone studs or simple gold or silver buttons.

Dangle Earrings

Dangle earrings may be more appropriate for ornate jewelry accessories. Long dangle earrings draw additional attention to the neck as well as to the face.

woman wearing dangle earrings

Additional Jewelry Tips

Wear rings and bracelets, if desired. However, don't pair a wrist bracelet with an arm cuff on the same arm. You really don't want to go overboard with the jewelry in general when wearing a one shoulder dress; less is more. Choose one or two of these recommended jewelry options for a perfect blend of sophistication and your own personal style.

What Not to Wear

Due to the slanted neckline and single sleeve of a one shoulder dress, you want to steer clear of certain types of costume jewelry.

  • Pendants and delicate necklaces on thin chains: Pendants and delicate necklaces will lie against the dress fabric and won't show up on the slanted neckline. These types of necklaces may fall under the neckline of the dress as you move around.
  • Medium length necklaces: Medium length necklaces that barely cover the dress's neckline looks out of proportion and may end up falling under the dress fabric.
  • Chunky necklaces and earrings: Chunky necklaces and earrings may clash with the elegance of the dress.
  • Wooden necklaces: Many wooden necklaces are too casual for dressy one sleeve dresses.
  • Arm bracelet misplacement: Do not wear arm bracelets over the sleeve. It won't lay against the arm properly and will cause the material to bunch up.

Recommended Gemstones and Materials

Just about any gemstone and jewelry material works if it complements the color and style of your dress.

  • Pearls: Classic pearls work well alone or with gemstones. Use pearls for chokers and long necklaces.
  • Diamonds: Diamonds are always an elegant choice and work well both alone or with other stones. Incorporate diamonds in lariats or Y necklaces.
  • Gold: Choose classic yellow gold or the popular white gold for jewelry designs.
  • Crystals: Crystals are a more affordable alternative to diamonds to add sparkle.
  • Color coordination: Color coordinate your gemstone jewelry with the dress. For example, choose a sapphire for a blue dress or an amethyst for a purple one.
  • Other Diamond alternatives: Opal and moonstone are other substitutes for diamonds that add sparkle and go with any color.

Step out in Style

Figuring out what jewelry to wear with a one shoulder dress may take a little thought and some serious shopping in fashion and online stores. There are many jewelry options to fit most tastes. If your heart is set on accessorizing a one shoulder dress, you can find the right jewelry.

What Jewelry to Wear With a One Shoulder Dress