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Building Your Jewelry Wardrobe

Building Your Jewelry Wardrobe

There are just some jewelry basics every woman should have, for very good reasons.

When purchasing fine jewelry, buy what you love, but also think about longevity and versatility so you get the most out of your investment. There are some tried-and-true classically chic pieces that many women wear again and again — and these are fantastic building blocks for growing your jewelry wardrobe.

By building a foundation of jewelry basics, you’ll always look polished, no matter the outfit or occasion.

These must-haves include diamond studs, pendant necklaces, bangle bracelets, a bold gem ring, pearls and a classic watch.

Diamond studs




These are perhaps the most versatile earrings you’ll own. Diamonds complement practically anything you pair them with, and the simplicity of studs make them the perfect companion to busy necklaces or necklines. However, “simple” is relative and this is where your personal style comes through. Choose from a number of different metals and settings, and determine if you like one stone or many smaller stones clustered together. You can also get a similar look with other white gems like sapphire and topaz.  

Bangle bracelets


Bangles are a great way to express your personality. From one slender, delicate bracelet to a stack happily jangling together on your arm, you can mix and match bangles to suit your mood — and you can honestly never have too many in your jewelry wardrobe.

Of course, there are a ton of styles to choose from. You can have a variety of materials and widths in your collection, but you also may want to consider how they work together. Bangles typically are slip-on (standard size is 7.5 inches in diameter but can vary) or are hinged for easy on and off. Another option in this category is wider, bold cuffs that make a statement on their own, but also can be paired with slimmer bangles as the mood strikes.  

Pendant necklace

Delicate and subtle, this is an everyday piece that looks great with whatever you’re wearing, from a business suit to denim. Pendants can include a daintily dangling charm, locket or gemstone and often have special significance for the wearer. Classic options include the diamond solitaire, photo locket, or pendants featuring nature motifs, icons, letters, numbers or symbols. Although pretty by themselves, pendants look great layered, too. Just vary the chain lengths and types — and maybe even the metals for a distinct look all your own.

Big gemstone ring

Otherwise known as a cocktail ring, these bold, oversized gemstone rings have been gracing stylish hands since the 1920s. Today it’s a fun accessory to give your look a punch of color and glam without costing a lot. From alexandrite to tourmaline, the gemstone options are many. For this style ring, the stone is the main event, typically featuring one large central gem, sometimes surrounded by a ring or sunburst of smaller gemstones.

If you’re unsure what to purchase, make a classic choice like a solitaire — perhaps of your birthstone.


Cultured pearls are a classic, refined accessory for any jewelry wardrobe and can be worn for business or fun. The most traditional take on pearls is a single or double strand necklace, typically 16-18 inches in length. A more modern take on this classic necklace is a single pearl on a chain, a pearl pendant or pearls evenly spaced around a chain.

Another fantastic option is long opera-length strands that can be wrapped and layered to any length you choose — around your neck or your wrist.

You may also want to consider color. In addition to the traditional white, pearls come in a variety of colors.

Classic watch

Today, watches have transcended the function of telling time (just check your smartphone!) and have become more about fashion and status. The “classic” watch typically has either a metal bracelet or leather band. Metal watch bracelets can be made of silver, gold, stainless steel, platinum, be silver plated — or be a combination of several metals. If you wear a lot of mixed metals, a two-toned metal watch might be a good option.

Leather bands can add some color to your look, especially with a watch that features interchangeable straps in different colors. To add sparkle, choose a watch with a case or dial embellished with gemstones like small diamonds or crystals. However, as a general rule, a watch with clean lines and a simple face will go with everything you wear and typically get the most use over the years.  

Start to build

These basic building blocks for your jewelry wardrobe are just a starting point. Clearly, you have many choices within each category to make something “basic” really reflect your individuality. Have fun with it! And may your jewelry wardrobe continue to polish your look and give you pleasure for years to come.

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