How to Build a Wearable Jewelry Collection

Anastasia Anastasia, Unsplash.

Fluted 18-karat gold earrings

Have you ever opened your jewelry box, looked around and decided that you have nothing to wear? It’s sort of like opening your closet that’s stuffed with clothes and realizing that you have nothing to wear. Over the years have you acquired jewelry as gifts, or noticed that all the items in your jewelry box are pieces that you loved as a teenager, or that were given to you by an ex?  Maybe you’re just in a different stage of your life and what you need now is different from what you  needed or wanted 10 years ago. If you’re thinking any of that about your jewelry collection, then you probably want an upgrade. How do you go about building a covetable collection of jewels that will work for your life now and well into the future? You’ll need to start with a few basics. The Jewelers Circle has some pointers to help you build the foundation for the jewelry collection of your dreams.

The Lifestyle Connection

Vintage 18-karat gold necklace, 1950s

A good starting point is to think about your lifestyle. Consider your workplace. If you’re in the fashion business you’ll have a lot more leeway in what you wear than someone who works in a more traditional office, such as a bank. Or maybe you work from home and you’re on Zoom calls all day. That will also impact what jewelry you wear.

What do you like to do when you’re not working? Are you athletic and involved in sporting activities, or are you more the type who likes to visit museums in your spare time? Maybe you love going to concerts, or out to dinner. Perhaps you have kids and need to go to various events with them.  Maybe you like to hit the club scene. Whatever your preferences, you’ll want jewelry that will work with your lifestyle.

Jewelry Reflects Your Style

French diamond, sapphire yellow gold and silver bangle

Take an inventory of your closet. What clothes do you have and what type of jewelry will work with them? Do you favor V-necks or turtlenecks? Do your hemlines head north or south? Do you like patterns and prints or do you prefer a solid color? Are you a more of a cotton and wool person, or do you like to face the world in leather and lace?

What’s your personality? Do you like to be noticed or do you prefer to be understated? Once you’ve answered these many questions you’ll have a better idea of what style of jewelry will work for your life. There are really no rules for buying jewelry, but like anything it’s always good to buy the best of whatever you can afford. Even if it’s a once a year splurge.  So what should you buy as foundational pieces for your jewelry collection?

The Foundation of A Jewelry Wardrobe

Earrings bring attention to your face and will give you the same polished look on Zoom as they do in real life. There are many styles of earrings to choose from, but as a starting point you may want to stick with a pair that can transition from day to night easily. Drop or stud earrings are a good choice. Gleaming gold is also an option.

French 7.53 rubellite tourmaline, diamond and gold ring

Necklaces and pendants are another type of jewelry that looks good in real life and also gives you a polished look when you’re doing Zoom calls on your work from home days. A necklace that rests on the collarbone is chic and easy to wear, anywhere that you may have to go. Remember that your starter pieces should be versatile so that you can get as much wear out of them as possible. A simple gold necklace will always be in style.

A bracelet either in gold or with gemstones is another good starter piece. You can pair a bracelet with a watch and wear them together on the same wrist, or wear it on the opposite arm. You can opt for a link bracelet, which is always chic, or you may like a cuff, which is easy to put on and take off, or try a stylish antique piece.

Whether you wear an engagement ring and wedding band daily or not, you may want to find yourself a fabulous cocktail ring. You can wear it on your right hand, or on your index finger for a very cool style statement. If you’re a minimalist, wearing one cocktail ring is the perfect complement to that aesthetic. Cocktail rings can also easily make the transition from work to play. 

Art Deco diamond, cultured pearl, platinum and 18-karat gold brooch.

Although brooches are one of the last types of jewelry that anyone thinks of buying, they’ve been making a big comeback with fashionistas lately and there is no other piece of jewelry that has so many options of styles and sizes. A vintage brooch is a very versatile piece of jewelry that can be worn in a variety of ways and they also make a statement. A brooch could very well become your signature piece.

Always keep in mind that jewelry is the ultimate accessory for self-expression. We’ve given you some ideas on what to buy to start a jewelry collection, but it’s completely okay with us, if you toss these suggestions out and buy that fabulous jewel that you really love and covet. We know that if you buy that piece, you’ll wear it forever and pass it down to the next generation of jewelry enthusiasts.

Featured image (top of page): Anastasia Anastasia, Unsplash.

First: Fluted 18-karat gold earrings; Second: Vintage 18-karat gold necklace, 1950s; Third: French diamond, sapphire yellow gold and silver bangle; Fourth: French 7.53 rubellite tourmaline, diamond and gold ring; Fifth: Art Deco diamond, cultured pearl, platinum and 18-karat gold brooch.

Authored by Amber Michelle