How to Build a Personal Jewelry Collection or Wardrobe

Whether you’re accessorizing for work or play, having the right jewelry can go a long way in helping you project an image of confidence and individual style but how do you develop that style when you’re building your jewelry wardrobe from scratch?

Developing your own style means knowing yourself, what you like and dislike but how do you get to that stage? To figure this out, imagine yourself walking into your favorite clothing/accessories store at the mall and ask yourself these short questions:

  • What makes my head turn?
  • What kind of styles do I prefer? Simple or bold?
  • Colorful or monochrome?
  • Contemporary or classic jewelry styles?

Also, listen to comments from others such as family, friends, co-workers and even random people on the elevator. What outfits or accessories do people compliment you on? This will give you more clues about the kind of jewelry that look best on you.

glass pearls charm bracelet

Step 1 – Start with the bascis:

To begin start with the basics. The rule of thumb is to always buy the best-quality basics you can afford so you can add matching pieces later. The basics include, classic hoop earrings, a simple gold chain (especially if you have warm skin tone), studs and link bracelets. Additions could include slide-on pendants to create different looks with your necklace. Regarding diamond jewelry, classic stud earrings or a solitaire pendant should be among your first purchases.

Next, make sure what you’ve selected fits your personality and lifestyle and most importantly, make sure you are very comfortable (your 6 inch stilettos gives you enough headache, your jewelry shouldn’t add to it) because nothing trumps comfort & functionality. For instance, if you spend a lot of time doing outdoor activities, consider simple short earrings that won’t dangle too far and get stuck into objects.

Comfort is a must. If something is either physically or psychologically uncomfortable to wear, you’ll have trouble projecting the kind of confidence and competence integral to developing a personal style.

diamond solitaire pendant
diamond solitaire pendant (Photo credit: paparutzi)

Step 2 – Styling: Begin with classic shapes that go great with a variety of outfits, these include: work wear, casual and formal wear (usually these are studs, simple diamond pieces and simple 18-20 inch necklaces) and then add pieces that offer versatility or a fashionable touch.
Step 3 – Body Styles: Don’t overlook the importance of selecting jewelry that suits your body type. For instance, your height and bone structure play a big role in determining the kind of jewelry that looks best on you. A smaller, petite woman would be better served with necklace lengths that fall below the breast but above the waist to elongate her figure. Meanwhile, a tall, slender woman should look towards chokers that cut the line of the neck and de-emphasizes height. A full-figured woman should consider jewelry that isn’t too small or delicate.

Step 4 – Face Shapes: Equally important to style are face shapes. The four basic are oval, round, rectangular and heart-shaped.

Oval Face Shape

If your face is oval, triangular-shaped earrings are especially flattering.

A round shape should seek elongated, dangling styles that draw the eyes down, rather than around.

Round Face
GRACE EARRINGS - AMETHYST SWAROVSKI DROP EARRINGS
Long earrings by OYINDOUBARA

For a rectangular face, try jewelry that adds width, camouflaging the length of the face and for heart-shaped faces, look for earrings that are wider at the bottom, because style can soften a pointed chin look.

Rectangle Face Shape

Step 5 – Rings: If you are a ring person, don’t forget to consider your hand type. If you’re long-fingered, wider bands will look especially good on you. If you’re short-fingered, thinner bands and stone shapes such as marquise or pear that elongate the hand would be a good choice.

Whether you are building your jewelry collection from scratch or adding on to an existing one, remember the most important thing is comfort and fun. Make sure you have fun when buying your pieces.

What are your favorite styles in your wardrobe?

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