What Are Cocktail Rings & How to Wear Them With Style

Are you wondering how and when to wear a cocktail ring? Cocktail rings are a feminist symbol from the era of illicit 1920s speakeasy parties. Our complete guide explains their juicy history and fun facts – and most importantly, how to wear these big, bold rings so they complement your personal style.

Included in this article:

  • What is a cocktail ring?
  • Why cocktail rings are a symbol of feminism
  • How to choose a gem for your cocktail ring
  • What ring suits your hand shape?
  • Styling cocktail rings with your outfit
  • Tips and inspiration for rings

What is a cocktail ring?

You have seen them – bold, eye-catching and unique!

Statement rings, also known as cocktail rings, are larger than normal fashion rings. They usually showcase an oversized gem, diamond or metal motif.

Statement rings help you express your style and personality.

Importance of Gem Hardness In Jewellery

A 1920’s symbol of feminism

The cocktail ring fashion started in the USA in the 1920s. It was a booming decade that gave birth to feminism and the Prohibition Law that made alcohol illegal.

Thanks to these political trends, the rebellious, independent flapper girls of the time who wanted to party despite the Prohibition law, would turn up at illicit parties wearing showy dresses and jewellery.

At the bar, they’d raise their right hand to flash the bartender a large ring – a secret signal for ordering forbidden alcoholic drinks.

Hence the name, cocktail ring, and why statement rings are traditionally worn on the right hand.

TV program ‘The Roaring 20s’ | Image Wikipedia © Warner Brothers Television 1960-62


How to wear statement rings today

Today, there are no rules. Therefore, nowadays you can wear your cocktail rings on any hand or any finger, one or many at a time.

How to wear a statement ring – Complete guide to cocktail rings and big fashion rings

There’s a cocktail ring for every occasion

  • For the office, choose something minimalistic so it’s not “too much”
  • Formal events are perfect for your biggest, most glamorous rings
  • Casual occasions with friends are great for quirky, playful rings
How to wear a statement ring – Complete guide to cocktail rings and big fashion rings

Wearing only one ring

If you want your statement ring to attract attention, then let it play a starring role.

Do this by keeping the rest of your jewellery understated.

Can I wear multiple rings?

Yes! You shouldn’t be afraid to wear more than one statement ring. A great way to do this is to match colours while playing with different textures so the rings complement each other.

How to wear a statement ring – Complete guide to cocktail rings and big fashion rings

Best gemstones for cocktail rings

The most popular gems used in statement rings are: