Jewelry Box Basics: The Romantic

Spring is here and romance is in the air (at least that’s what I’m hoping for!!)…and this fifth installment of “Jewelry Box Basics” focuses on jewelry for the romantic personal style. Ooh la la! During this six-part series, I’ve covered the lady who lunches, the bohemian, the rock star, the minimalist, and now the romantic. Based on these different personal styles, I’m recommending the type of basics you should have in your jewelry box. While the pieces I select might not be at the price point that you feel comfortable shopping at, please don’t let this dissuade you from following the general theme and finding what makes your heart happy.

So the romantic is a style that is extremely feminine. Often lace, floral prints, family heirlooms, and sheer fabrics can be found in her closet. Just as with the bohemian style, there is a wide range in this genre — from just a few girly touches here and there to someone who channels the look from an era gone by. I’ve spotted some great examples of this while at vintage clothing and jewelry fairs. The underlying theme is delicate and feminine, often with a nod to the past.

Watch
I recommend that the romantic select a watch that’s not too over-sized, such as this one by Kate Spade. Instead, think of a refined watch in your most flattering metal or with a slim leather band. Perhaps you even have your mom’s or grandmother’s watch in your jewelry box? This could definitely be a basic for you!

A lovely, sweet watch
A lovely, sweet watch

Bracelets
More than any other personal style, the romantic is the most likely to have, love and wear a charm bracelet every day. Charm bracelets pair beautifully with a watch, and can be stacked with a simple bangle as well.

Perfect whether it's new or an heirloom
Perfect whether it’s new or an heirloom

Rings
Floral motifs figure prominently for the romantic, so choosing a ring with some sort of flower is certainly fitting. This delicate creation by Cathy Waterman is a beautiful way to achieve this look without looking “too too.”

Gold, platinum and diamonds
Gold, platinum and diamonds

Necklaces
Vintage or vintage-inspired jewelry is spot-on for the romantic. This necklace by 1928 Jewelry incorporates this look, along with the flower detail we just mentioned.

I like the mixed metals in this design
I like the mixed metals in this design

Lockets and cameos are two other types of necklaces that would be a great basic for this personal style. Many times cameos are made to be worn on a chain or as a brooch, which make them even more versatile.

I have one from my grandmother
I have one from my grandmother

Earrings
You know my penchant for hoops, yet each personal style will have slightly different versions. For the romantic, I love these hoops by Armenta, with their unique shape and scalloped detail. And really…how can you go wrong with a few diamonds thrown in?!

Romantic hoop design
Romantic hoop design

For a non-hoop option, these drops by Judith Jack are right on the money.

A nice neutral earring
A nice neutral earring

So what do you think? Does your personal style include any of these romantic aspects? Remember, people don’t typically fit into just one style box…

Jewelry Box Basics: The Minimalist

Welcome! We’re on article number four of a six-part series highlighting the basics you need in your jewelry box, based on your personal style. So far we’ve covered the lady who lunches, the bohemian, the rock star, and now the minimalist. You still have the romantic and trendy to look forward to. (I know, you are on the edge of your seat waiting for these!) I will re-state that I know most people have a personal style that incorporates aspects from different genres — no need to worry — embrace it! Use these articles as a medium to inspire you and lead you to your local jewelry store with an open, yet focused eye. Don’t let the price tags on the items I write about discourage you. Take the idea and find your own incarnation, with the look and price that you’re comfortable with.

Now let’s focus on the minimalist. I have encountered many of these women during my years as a stylist, and also among my close, personal friends. Being a minimalist doesn’t mean that you don’t have style. (think Audrey Hepburn!) Rather, you have such a carefully curated wardrobe that you know what works, you don’t need a myriad of options, and you don’t want to spend a lot of time each day deciding what to wear. It’s uniform dressing at it’s best. When it comes to the jewelry, it needs to be classic, fuss-free, and lifestyle appropriate.

Watch
Choosing a classic watch in the most flattering metal color for your skin tone is imperative. No need for a big trendy statement. Instead, focus on simple elegance, as shown in the Cartier tank watch.

Works everywhere from the home to the office
Works everywhere from the home to the office

Bracelets
Pairing your versatile watch with a stylish bangle is key. Stay away from bracelets that are too “blingy,” make noise, or compete with your outfit. Choose a comfortable-fitting bracelet that will take you anywhere. Hermes nails this assignment with thier clic-clac bracelet.

A subtle, yet stylish statement
A subtle, yet stylish statement

If you’re up for a cuff, then this slim bamboo cuff by John Hardy is a wonderful choice.

Love it!
Love it!

Rings
Again, the minimalist needs a ring that doesn’t interfere with her life, whether she’s trying to feed her child at the park or signing a major real estate contract. So don’t opt for anything with stones that protrude or pieces of metal that may catch on things. This ring by Anne Sportun has a whole lot of style, along with a bit of sparkle.

Easy enough to wear 24/7
Easy enough to wear 24/7

Another option that works beautifully for the minimalist is a ring with a bit more of a sentimental bent — the monogramed signet ring. Perhaps this has been inherited from a loved family member, or it’s one that you buy yourself, such as this one from Ariel Gordon. It’s streamlined and fabulous at the same time.

Simple yet luxe
Simple yet luxe

Earrings
Studs are the definitely the basic go-to earring for the minimalist. Whether it’s a pearls, in metal, or diamonds, there are bound to be at least one pair of studs in the minimalist’s jewelry box. Being the sparkle-lover, I would opt for either diamonds or CZ for your first pair. I love how Bony Levy offers them in a variety of sizes.

How can you go wrong?
How can you go wrong?

Necklaces
Don’t be surprised to find out you’re not the only one who puts on your necklace and then never takes it off. I’ve seen it many times — it’s on in the shower, in bed, and on the beach. Therefore, it needs to be lightweight, unobtrusive, short enough that it doesn’t tangle, and chic. The easy choice here is Tiffany’s diamonds by the yard necklace. (These come in a variety of metals and price points.) Personally, I like taking off my jewelry at night, but hey, to each his own!

Classic glamour
Classic glamour

So are you a minimalist at heart? I clearly am not. (You only need to look at the size of my jewelry armoire to know that!) Though I really do admire this personal style and believe it or not, I do strive to be a bit more minimal when I travel. I’d love to know what minimalist pieces you love to wear!

Jewelry Box Basics: The Rock Star

Get excited — it’s time for the third article in my series “Jewelry Box Basics!” To catch you up, this is a six-part series outlining the basic pieces you should have in your jewelry box based on your personal style: the lady who lunches, bohemian, rock star, romantic, minimalist and trendy. True, everyone is a unique individual and may adopt aspects of various styles, so just use this as a framework. Use the images as a jumping off point to inspire you and send you in the right direction. Don’t let the price tags affect your vision. Instead, shop at the price points that you’re comfortable with and have fun!

So let’s get back to the style du jour. Now granted, not everyone can be a successful rock star, belting out songs on stage, yet I know that there are many people who have an inner rock star living inside them. (regardless of their musical talent) If this sounds like you, then you should let this aspect of your personality shine through in your wardrobe and jewelry!

The jewelry for the rock star conjures up images of metals in oxidized silver and gunmetal…motifs such as skulls, spikes, angel wings…leather cuffs…and black diamonds. But you have to select pieces carefully, as you don’t want to appear like a parody of an actual rock star. Here are some examples of jewelry that would strike the right note.

Watch
Oversized and in black, there are many options for a rock’n roll watch out there. Karl Lagerfeld’s new collection is right on the money with this vibe.

Edgy and chic at the same time
Edgy and chic at the same time

Bracelets
The rock chic needs a chunky link bracelet to complement her style. This one by Moritz Glik is tremendous.

The diamonds really shimmer!
The diamonds really shimmer!

But there also has to be a leather bracelet in your jewelry box. I think this wide leather cuff by Erika Honig with woven pewter and silver would look fantastic worn on the opposite wrist as your watch.

Would you rock this?
Would you rock this?

Rings
I’m thinking of one particular friend in Austin, and she is definitely the rocker. Her husband really chose the ideal wedding ring for her — a large, black diamond. For the right hand, I think an edgy ring like this one by Stephen Webster would be just fantastic on her.

The "rapture thorn" ring
The “rapture thorn” ring

Earrings
You might be in shock that the pair I’m recommending for a basic for this personal style is actually not a hoop! I could, of course, but I’m going a step further with these dangling chain earrings by Alberian and Aulde. I love the movement of the chains accented by diamonds.

Feminine, yet with a bit of a dark side
Feminine, yet with a bit of a dark side

Necklaces
Layering necklaces is intrinsically part of the rocker style, just as it was with the bohemian. Therefore, a minimum of two necklaces are going to be basic, one more delicate, and the other more of a statement. For the smaller piece, I like this embellished feather by Jamie Joseph. The mixed metals (notice the gold-toned ring that holds on the pendant) make it even more versatile.

Oxidized silver and diamonds
Oxidized silver and diamonds

Either worn solo, or in combination with this necklace by Virgins, Saints & Angels, it’s rockin’ without being a costume.

A necklace with some attitude
A necklace with some attitude

So how do these pieces sit with you? Can you picture yourself wearing them? Or is it too much of a departure from your personal style? With the three styles I’ve now covered, you can see what a range there is out there in the world of jewelry. And just think, we’re only half way through! šŸ˜‰

Jewelry Box Basics: The Bohemian

Welcome to the second installment of “Jewelry Box Basics.” In case you’re just joining us, this is a 6-part series about what basics I recommend that you have stocked in your jewelry box, based on your personal style. I’ve come up with six different personal styles: the lady who lunches (who was featured last week), bohemian, rock star, minimalist, trendy and romantic. Again, I know that virtually no one fits into just one style box, so read this with an open mind, seeing what appeals to you. Also, don’t let the price point bother you — just take each piece as an example of a look, and then shop at the price point where you’re comfortable.

I’m pretty psyched to write this article, as it’s definitely where my heart lives. From the Navajo necklace my father bought me when I was 6 years old (yes, I still have it!), to the orange tie-dye dress that I lived in (against my mother’s wishes…orange really wasn’t my color), I’ve always had some version of the boho tune singing in my head. The interesting thing about this personal style is that it has a real range! It varies all the way from Haight-Ashbury hippies to what I call “luxe boho.” The examples I’ll showcase in this post definitely veer more towards the later look.

Watch
The chic bohemian still loves her bling, yet is a bit more casual than the lady who lunches. This watch by Brera really hits that note. The leather strap and visible screws have a great juxtaposition with the diamond-encased watch face. And the strap is interchangeable with other colors, so the boho girl can really mix it up with her bracelets.

Casual, understated bling
Casual, understated bling

Bracelets
Speaking of bracelets, the bohemian woman is the queen of stacking bracelets and bangles. There’s no doubt that “basics” in this category range from beaded, elastic bracelets to jewel-encrusted bangles. This polki diamond bangle from Ross-Simons is a fabulous basic. The raw, organic feel of this type of diamond is the perfect representation for this style. And don’t worry if your metals don’t match. With the eclectic combinations created, it all comes together harmoniously.

Luxe and organic at the same time
Luxe and organic at the same time

Here’s a great example of the elastic-beaded bracelets that I referred to for stacking. This stunning bracelet is by Rona Pfieffer, one of my fave designers.

Natural neutral
Natural neutral

Rings
There is no room for a minimal ring for the Boho girl, unless it’s part of a big stack of slim rings. Rather, a large statement ring is her basic. I’m loving this teardrop quartz ring by Peppina. It’s the perfect neutral to blend with any outfit, and it really resonates with the natural feel of this personal style.

Absolutely lovely design!
Absolutely lovely design!

Earrings
Once again, hoops are the basic go-to earring of choice. In comparison to the lady who lunches, the bohemian’s hoops are likely to be even larger in scale. A varied array of metals and embellishments are sure to be found in her jewelry box. These slim, yet large hoops by Jennifer Meyer (love the singular diamond station!) are fabulous.

These would blend easily with any outfit
These would blend easily with any outfit

Necklaces
This is where things get a little complicated, as the bohemian style really doesn’t lend itself to just one necklace. Layering necklaces is really intrinsic to this style, so her basics will likely include at least two necklaces. One should be a bolder, long piece, and the other a daintier necklace that can be worn harmoniously with the other one. This shark tooth necklace by Givenchy (yes, it’s on my jewelry lust list) would be a very versatile choice.

A chic statement
A chic statement

If you pair this with a shorter necklace, like this pyrite and natural diamond one by Jemma Sands, then you’ve really created quite a look. And of course, either necklace can certainly be worn separately.

Perfect layering necklace
Perfect layering necklace

But I have to go just one step further with what a boho woman would consider basic. One of this woman’s favorite things to do is travel, and she undoubtedly picks up singular pieces along her adventures. It could be a scarab ring from Egypt, a buddah charm on a bangle from Bali, or a piece of history from the southwest, as in this amazing Native American squash blossom necklace.

This CAN be a basic for the bohemian style!
This can be a basic for the bohemian style!

Whether this jewelry collection made you say, “Yes!!! That’s SO me!!” or, “There’s no way I’d ever even look twice at these pieces!” it’s all good. This is what makes the world go round. The key is to learn what speaks to you and develop that jewelry signature. When you have a solid sense of your style, things just fall into place and shopping gets a lot easier!

How to build a watch wardrobe

I don’t know what it is with the men in my life, but both my boyfriend and my brother don’t wear a watch. What’s up with that? Not only is a watch useful, but it’s a major fashion accessory in the jewelry world. I mean really…who would turn down a chance to bling it up a bit more?!

So the first watch every girl needs is an everyday watch. This is a timepiece in a medium scale, preferably with a metal band. If you’re wondering what metal is best, remember that cool skin tones look best in silver tones and warm with yellow gold. If you’re a combination, like I am, then a mixed metal watch might just be the ticket. And don’t be scared of having diamonds on your daily watch–diamonds are never wrong.

Two-tone metal watch

Now let’s say you have to go to a cocktail party, and you actually want to know what time the main course will be served without pulling out your iphone. Well for that you will most definitely need a dress watch. What distinguishes a dress watch from it’s everyday counterpart is basically the scale. Dress watches are much more petite, and in my (dream) world are encrusted with diamonds. Bedat & Co. makes some great evening watches with interchangeable bands. You can opt for the black satin band one night, and the silver the next.

Bedat & Co. dress watches

So what’s this about interchangeable bands? Well let me tell you, they are tres chic. The first one I discovered was quite a few years ago in Nordstrom. My mom and I were shopping and I fell in love with this Michelle “Deco” watch with a camel faux-alligator strap. Knowing this wouldn’t coordinate with my entire wardrobe, I was thrilled to find out that it could be easily switched out with a stainless band. So if you can find an “everyday” watch with an interchangeable band, you’ve just really enhanced the breadth of your watch wardrobe. Personally, I’m just dying for a stingray (otherwise known as shagreen) band. Not only is this one of the most durable materials around, but they are just GORgeous!

Michelle "Deco" watch with silver stainless band

The other watch that I cannot BELIEVE that I’m recommending is a sport watch. You may have read about this in my post about hiking jewelry. The Baby G has become my friend…not just when hiking, but also when doing anything where my regular watch might get damaged, like babysitting, lounging by the pool, or hunting for beach glass in Fort Bragg. Now if only I could find one with diamonds, I’d be set….