Jewelry Guide

How to wear a cocktail ring

How to wear a Cocktail Ring

You’ve seen them – dramatic, eye-catching, bold and loud! The cocktail ring has been a hot trend for a very long time, especially over the last century. The beauty of a cocktail ring is that its only criteria is that it just needs to be eye catching, making them a great way to flaunt your style and express your individuality.

So, with this in mind, let’s take a look what makes the cocktail ring so irresistible and check out our top tips on flaunting your style with the perfect cocktail ring!

  1. When did cocktail rings become so popular?

turquoise cocktail ringCocktail rings were popularly worn at fancy events during the roaring ‘20s, a time of numerous societal changes especially for women as they got to enjoy greater freedom.

One way this freedom was expressed?

Through fashion at the cocktail parties (hence the term cocktail ring). These large rings symbolized individuality and independence. They were extravagant and fabulous.

As time passed, the cocktail ring grew to be one of the most popular trends becoming not just a fashion statement but also a fashion staple.

  1. What is a cocktail ring?

Cocktail rings are generally much larger than normal rings, are three dimensional and designed with many colored gems and/or smaller diamonds. They often contain an oversized gemstone as the centerpiece that stand out with striking colors and cuts.

The rings are typically made of affordable metals such as silver or plated gold and of imitation or affordable gemstones.

It is easy to see why.

Due to their large size, they would be extremely expensive if they were made of gemstones such as diamonds or sapphires and expensive metals. So with cocktail rings, you can have the glamor without the cost.

There is no prescribed stone or setting that classifies this piece but it should be conversational and get you loads of compliments.

  1. Left hand or right hand should I wear my cocktail ring on?Girl with cocktail ring in her finger

Cocktail rings are traditionally worn on the right hand because the left hand, specifically the left ring finger, is typically reserved for engagement rings and wedding bands.

Nowadays, however, that tradition isn’t strictly observed.

It is common to see ladies wearing these rings on both the left and the right fingers. While most women prefer not to wear them on the left ring finger, it is not unusual to see this too.

  1. How do I match the cocktail ring with the finger?

Yellow gold cocktail ringWhile you can wear cocktail rings of all shapes and sizes, be careful with the finger selection!

A large ring with a long rather than wide design would suit all your fingers, but probably not your little finger. If the ring is large and round, consider wearing it on the middle finger as this way it will sit in the center and not jut out the side of your hand.

For your little finger, choose a smaller cocktail ring. A hefty ring can appear heavy and uncomfortable and will dwarf your little finger.

There is no hard and fast rule how to wear the ring. Just put it on and see where it looks best.

  1. Mix and match cocktail rings

Sometimes you might want to go big or go home! Instead of playing it safe with one cocktail ring, why not try mixing and matching two or three? This might seem like overkill, but if you coordinate the style, designs and colors you could have a winner.

While the rings you choose to wear do not necessarily have to match, just remember that it is important that the rings complement each other in some way. You can also experiment with the sizes, opting for, say, one semi-large cocktail ring and two smaller ones.

If the ring is very large, however, it makes the best statement when worn alone.

  1. Don’t be afraid to experiment

Cocktail rings are supposed to be fun and show off your personality. You can play with the colors of the ring and your outfit. Try matching them for a unified look, or if not try contrasting the color of the ring with that of the outfit to emphasize it and make it pop out.

Why not play around with the shapes, sizes and materials of the rings?

You can go the traditional route with conventional patterns such as large gemstones set in intricately filigreed gold or silver settings. Or you can check out rings with unusual materials like fabric and beads.

Although these unconventional materials are best suited for casual wear, they can also be playfully used in formal events as long as they are carefully matched and considered.

  1. Consider beauty vs comfort of your cocktail ring

In addition to picking out the designs, consider your comfort when picking the right ring to wear. Always think about whether the ring might be too heavy, too large or too tight.

As I mentioned above, most cocktail rings are made of inexpensive metals. While this makes the ring affordable it can also be an issue for those with allergic reactions (such as nickel allergies). Ensure that you check out what the ring is made of before wearing it.

  1. Choose the ring to suit the occasion

Always match the ring to the occasion and outfit.

For daily workwear, look for dramatic but still easy to wear cocktail rings or choose something more sculptural and architectural.  If the ring is very bold, it may be too loud for office wear and will come across as gaudy. Such large showy rings are the perfect accompaniment to a dressy formal event. 

Quirky and playful cocktail rings are better suited for casual occasions when hanging out with friends or checking out a trendy café. It can dress up a jeans and t-shirt combination in an instant adding that extra something to your look.

  1. Consider your hands and nails

Yellow large gemstone cocktail ringCocktail rings are meant to draw attention specifically to your hands. So don’t neglect your hands as they will be in the limelight. They will need to rise to the occasion!

Take the time to get that manicure. Pick out a nail polish color that will not clash with the color of the ring. Ensure that the palette works harmoniously for both the ring/s and the nails.

  1. Confidence is key

And finally, wear it like you mean it! Cocktail rings are worn to draw attention to your style. They can be an interesting talking point and people will be looking at them. So confidence is required when you wear them. Flaunt the ring and enjoy the attention!

Ready to check out some amazing cocktail rings?

Brilliant Earth have some amazing vintage and antique cocktail rings on their site. James Allen have pre-made rings while giving you the option of designing your own.

You can check out Amazon’s wide range of beautiful cocktail rings while you’re at it here. 




Jewelry Guide