I do not come from a wealthy family but I grew up admiring them. What I love most about jewelry is that you can use them to punctuate your life's most significant events. I love how jewelry makes your memories sparkle (no pun intended) more vividly: graduation earrings, engagement ring, thank-you-for-giving-birth-to-our-daughter pendant, wedding ring, anniversary necklace, congratulations-for-passing-the-bar-exam bracelet, 50th birthday brooch, confirmation pearls. You get the drift.
I've compiled four - yes, just a short list - jewelry pieces every woman must own.
1. a classic timepiece, or two
photo from bigapplewatch.com
photo from mlwatches.com
I love a good watch. I cannot live without one. Right now, with my left wrist in a splint, I haven't worn one in almost three weeks. Okay, so I can live without wearing one, but it's been hard.
A classic watch is something you can dress up or down. Meaning, you can wear it to the mall in a white shirt and denim cutoffs or to a wedding. There are so many styles to choose from. I'm partial to ones that are large-faced and are styled like mens watches. I've long graduated from watches that look like dainty womens bracelets with the small faces. Find your own style. Finding one is like finding your soul mate.
with The Husband and chef Tessa (at my friend, Paula's wedding)
I'm wearing my rectangle-faced Fossil watch, a gift from Cyrus for passing the teachers' board in 2008.
Look how it doubles as a cuff.
Here's a close-up.
photo from usaboutique.blogspot.com
2. diamond studs or pearl studs
photo from katemiddletonstyle.org
photo from jewelsleader.com
Oh yes. They're worth the investment. Aaand you can bequeath them to your daughter or daughter-in-law someday. Look at the Duchess of Cambridge and the impeccable Olivia Palermo. Pearl or diamond studs make you look grown-up in a very charming, refined and polished way.
If you can't afford real ones for now, it's okay to wear faux. My rule is, if they're fake diamonds, the smaller the better. Huge fake diamonds will look like costume jewelry and that's tacky, like you're trying to fool people. For fake pearls, the larger they are, the better. They pop out more. Plus, go ahead and experiment with different colored pearls - there are wine-colored pearls and gray ones.
I wore diamond studs during my church wedding in 2009, while my pink roses had 'pearls'.
3. hoop earrings
photo from rnbjewellery.net
photo from bizou.com
Hoop earrings are fancy, whimsical, decadent, and fun statement pieces. They can be thin, thick, large, small, bejeweled, plated, studded, whathaveyou. I like the ones which are a combination of different metals best.
my sister wearing my diamond studded hoops as my maid-of-honor
4. a cuff or bangle
photo from homeshop18.com
photo from thefind.com
I love how bangles and cuffs are structured unlike ordinary bracelets. The thing with bracelets is that, while a lot of them are very pretty, they can look very high school-ish, especially with the wrong style. And they clink! The dangling, charmed ones - oh yes, they do. In my opinion, real jewelry should be seen, not heard. That's why, I think cuffs and bangles are more mature - they don't make a sound - , and they look extra nice with formal and corporate wear. The ones above are great examples.
I wore an eternity bangle at my wedding, but I like layering playful, inexpensive ones as much as the next girl. Obvs, these ones are faux. Yes, have fun with the fake ones.
looking pallid in a parking lot after work
5-year-old suede boots: Methilation | skinny jeans: Penshoppe | white v-necked tee: Folded & Hung | bag: black Longchamp Le Pliage | black cocktail ring: The Outpost bazaar find | work ID: my office harhar
The bangles are gifts from my friends. The silver ones are from Hazel when she went to NYC and the gold ones are from Ethne from India.
5. I know I said four but here's a bonus: a "Me" ring
photo from 100layercake.com
photo from mstetson.com
Every woman should sport a piece of finger candy that speaks volumes of who she is. Preferably, it should be something she has bought with her own money, bequeathed to her by a family member or acquired through achieving something. So no engagement and wedding rings or promise rings - whatever presented to you by a lover or gifted to you by someone who's not a family member - they're not counted. It can be a ring with your birthstone in a nice setting, your class ring, a cocktail ring or just something you bought with your own money, simply because you fell in love with it. And yes, it can be faux.
I have yet to find mine.
There you have it: your list of basic bling. I can't wait to see you shine, ladies!