Ethical Jewelry Guide: What to Wear with Gloves, Scarves, & Hats This Winter

 This post was sponsored by selected brands and I received complimentary product, selected by me, for review.
This post was sponsored by selected brands and I received complimentary product, selected by me, for review.

Is “Winter Jewelry” a Thing?

I came up with this post from a position of extreme practicality.

No one seems to talk about it, but it is really hard to wear certain kinds of jewelry, even seemingly streamlined pieces like rings, in the winter without risking snagging knitted gloves, hats, and scarves.

I’m usually a statement earring person – I love an architectural accent piece – but as soon as the weather cools down and my ears get cold, I need to prioritize my health over fun jewelry. I have the privilege of suffering from both a circulation condition in my hands and feet called Raynaud’s Disease and eustachian tube issues in my ears that necessitate careful covering of all vulnerable body parts.

But I don’t think it’s necessary to completely forego jewelry when you’re bundled up.

Here are my tips for choosing jewelry to wear in the winter time:

  • Choose studs over larger accent earrings, dangle earrings, or hoops, which can get caught in winter hats (and really hurt!).

  • Avoid necklaces, which can tangle in scarves.

  • Up your bracelet game.

  • Choose minimalist rings without gem settings, which can snag in gloves.

  • If you have facial piercings, consider thin metal and smaller studs that won’t take on too much cold in winter weather.

Ethical Options for Studs, Bracelets, Rings, and Nose Piercings

Daria Day | Bracelets

Daria Day jewelry is produced by women artisans living in mountain communities in the foothills of the K2 Mountain in Northern Pakistan, who receive a fair wage and access to sustainable work. Daria Day partners with Pakistan-based Rupani Foundation, which creates job skills programming and access to education.

This piece is their lovely Tourmaline bracelet, featuring 9 mm roundcut gemstones.

Sela Designs | Bracelets & Earrings

With 100% of proceeds benefiting charities such as International Justice Mission (and, over the winter shopping season, they raised 10K to build a well in Malawai), Sela Designs focuses on lightweight, wearable accent jewelry, with many pieces featuring sustainable Tagua Nut and other forest-harvested materials.

I’m featuring the Melody Diffuser Bracelet (lava beads and rainforest seeds – add essential oil to the lava rocks for a subtle scent) and the Luna Tagua Earrings.

Astor + Orion | Earrings

Produced in ethical factories with recycled metals that don’t contain gems or other non-metal components – making them very easy to recycle indefinitely – Astor + Orion makes lots of lovely studs as well as hoop earrings (for when the weather warms up).

Featured here are the Evil Eye Studs (which come plated in gold, silver, or rose gold) and the delicate Scallop Studs.

 Wearing a thrifted jacket and sweater, and an old beanie.
Wearing a thrifted jacket and sweater, and an old beanie.

Metal Lotus | Nose Rings

Artisan made in the USA with recycled and sustainable materials, Metal Lotus specializes in nose and other body jewelry, and their selection of beaded nose rings are beautiful. I find nose rings easier to wear in cold weather because there’s less metal laying flat on the skin, so my nose doesn’t get as cold.

I’m wearing an older style that’s no longer available.

AU|Rate | Rings

Thoughtfully designed and ethically manufactured, AU|Rate makes fine metal jewelry that combines modern appeal with timeless details.

These stacking rings are perfect to wear under gloves because of their delicate size.

Do you have any winter jewelry-wearing tips, or do you throw caution to the wind and wear your biggest jewelry anyway?

Leah Wise

Leah Wise is the founder of StyleWise Blog. She has been writing, speaking, and consulting on sustainable fashion, the fair trade and secondhand supply chain, and digital marketing for over ten years. An Episcopal priest, Leah holds a B.A. in Religion from Florida State University and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. When not working, you can find her looking for treasures at the thrift store.

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