Into the Jewelry Box: Debra

In this second installment of “Into the Jewelry Box” I found myself in a second story flat in the Russian Hill neighborhood of┬áSan Francisco. Eclectically decorated with Asian influences and luxe fabrics, this was definitely a stylish home! Debra is a life-long minimalist by choice, and a quick peek into her closet definitely confirmed this! Her entire wardrobe is comprised of white, charcoal and black garments with clean, elegant lines.

debra's closet
Walking into her bedroom, she had all her jewelry laid out for me. That’s when it really struck what a minimalist she really is. If I tried to lay out my jewelry, I’d probably have to use the floor of my whole little apartment! But Debra’s perfectly curated collection was easily displayed on her dresser, in front of her Asian-style jewelry box — love how she has some precious objects on top of her jewelry box as well.

asian jewelry box
So let’s start with her favorite piece of all time, her stunning engagement ring, which is a 6 carat emerald cut diamond flanked by two 2 carat emerald cuts. I swear that it reflected the sunshine coming into the window all the way across the room! When I asked her if she helped picking it out, she laughed and said, “I ripped a picture of it out of a magazine and taped it to our bedroom door.” Classic.

emerald cut engagement ring
The next piece that has major significance to her is this ancient Roman coin. She gave it to her husband for their wedding, and after his passing, she had the coin bezel set and made into a necklace. I love that it’s worn close to her heart.

roman coin necklace
Debra satisfies all her earring needs with 4 pair, two sizes of diamond hoops and two sizes of diamond studs.

diamond hoops
diamond studs
The larger of the studs are two carats, and they are a daily staple for her. Her sassy silver haircut is the perfect frame for them.

diamond studs
She has a nice variety of silver bracelets that she stacks in different combinations. Many are by John Hardy, which she has been collecting the past 20 years.

silver bracelets
And she mixes and matches them with some fashion jewelry wrap bracelets and some bangles by Alexis Bittar.

wrap bracelets
alexis bittar bangles
Of her 10 necklaces (yes…only 10, but fabulous ones!), I particularly love her strand of black south sea pearls with a black diamond clasp. She picked this up for a real bargain during the recession when a jeweler friend was trying to unload some merchandise. Just the value of the clasp is now worth half of what she paid for the whole necklace at the time. Now that was a good buy!

black pearl necklace
This necklace is also killer. She had seen it in a magazine and folded down the corner. Her clever husband noticed it, and he had a local jeweler replicate it for her second wedding anniversary present. SO pretty!

pearl necklace
Having this Temple St. Clair crystal amulet pendant on a long silver chain adds some great dimension to her collection.

temple st. clair
While many people don’t think about having a watch wardrobe, Debra has, and she has 5 watches which fit every occasion that arrises, from the white sporty Michele watch to the diamond Bedat evening watch to her husband’s Cartier.

watch collection
She wears the same ring stack on her left hand every day, which consists of a couple silver rings paired with her husband’s wedding ring. One thing on her her “jewelry lust list” is a simple, slim diamond eternity band to add to the stack. I have a feeling I can help her find one…

ring stack
Also on her shopping list is a pair of black diamond hoops. With her wardrobe and silver hair, I know that this will be a perfect addition.

I so appreciate being given the opportunity to see how Debra “keeps it simple.” While she has definitely made some big investments, her cost-per-wear makes them excellent purchases. Mixing these pieces with her fashion jewelry, Debra is always accessorized to the nines. Thank you SO much for letting me into your jewelry box!! xo

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.

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

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!

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

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?

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!