Jewelry choices for a red dress that are sophisticated for meeting the family

Q:  My fiancee and I have been invited to a Bat Mitzvah reception, and she is planning on wearing a red/burgundy MaxMara dress, kind of a low cut wrap around design.  The discussion with her has been around what type of jewelry or accessories does she need to complete this outfit.  A single strand of pearls was the initial thought, though she has recently been given advice to shun any type of necklace and just go with stunning earrings.  What are your thoughts on this, as it is important that she look absolutely incredible in front of my family and ex-wife.
- Proud Beau

 A. I own many wrap dresses with low v-neck styling – I’m a big Diane Von Furstenberg fan.  Generally, dresses that have a wrap/v-neck style look best with a necklace that drops down, meaning a necklace that follows the shape of the V.  A necklace that wraps around the neck like a single strand of pearls or other kind of single strand ends up cutting off the lengthening effect of the dress. Don’t get me wrong, I love pearl necklaces — multi-strand for drama and single strand for the feminine sophistication. But you’ve got to be savvy with the message of your pearls, you’re aim for your fiancee to be a sophisticated lady in her appearance to your family can flop and end up looking dowdy or too conservative.  As a girl (all fab women are girls to me) in her 30’s, I like that I can wear a single strand of pearls with a straight-across-the-chest strapless black cocktail dress and I’d give Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” a run for her money, but if I put those same pearls with one of my DVF wrap dresses, I’d fall flat.  My readers would wonder where my pinache went! 

My suggestion for your fiancee’s wrap dress is a dangly pair of gold and beaded earrings or a more modern version of traditional gold hoops and skip a necklace altogether.  If there’s any arm exposed, then maybe add a wide gold cuff on the wrist.  If it’s a necklace you’re set on, then look for something gold that drops down towards the cleavage with some shape and beading.  Here are my suggestions:


Leaf Branch Charm Necklace

$65 at


Triple Hoops

$112 at


Ruby Pebble Earrings

$234 at

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