5 Classic Jewelry Staples, Great Fashion Jewelry & How To Mix and Match

Tina, here.

You can have the jewelry you've always wanted. I'm a firm believer in a woman's buying her own jewelry. (Shop my picks in this post below!) But I've also never refused a gift of a piece of jewelry. My grandmother identified me as a jewelry lover early on -  when I was a wee thing I would ask to wear her wedding ring (which was a carved amethyst with little diamonds as the pistils). I remember one Easter being at McClure's, an old Nashville department store, with her and peering into the jewelry cases. I asked if I could try something on, quite audaciously for an elementary schoolgirl at the time, and Gannie just laughed and said something about my poor husband one day. She loved jewelry, too. I have vivid memories of her sparkly Christmas pins she wore on her fur coat. When I was 18 she presented me with a strand of cultured pearls with a note, which I still have, that read every young lady should have pearls. When my niece and godchild graduated from high school, I presented her with the same.

Jewelry is a bank that stores memories and pays dividends when passed down. I sometimes close my eyes to see the shape of my mother's hands and the rings she wore on her long, graceful fingers, and the little gold watch she wore on her delicate wrist. I look at my own hands and can picture my mother's. This is why I implore my clients to wear their "good jewelry" every day because they are giving their children sweet memories they will cherish when they are gone. Just make sure you insure it! Oh the stories, really nightmares, I've heard! But all your jewelry doesn't have to be so serious.

Jewelry Rules

There used to be rules like no white jewelry til after dark (which meant no diamonds or platinum or pearls). In the South, everything could be fake but your pearls. Now you'll see big diamonds at lunch and fake pearls at weddings. And why not? There are still some good lessons in these old  "rules," but I'm fine with faux. I will, however, always be a fan of understatement when it comes to "real" jewelry, especially if you are wearing more than one piece at a time. So the question is, how do you mix and match classic jewelry with today's fashion jewelry? Or let me back up, are you mixing in your good jewelry with your fun jewelry? You've got to start now! It makes accessorizing so much more fun! High Low is our creed.

 5 Classic Jewelry Pieces, Great Fashion Jewelry & How To Mix and Match

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This is some of my favorite jewelry you see me wearing on the blog all the time. Turquoise makes up a lot of my "fashion" jewelry collection!

1. The 5 Classic Jewelry Pieces For Your Jewelry Wardrobe

      1. Pearl Necklace (I like these in the 10mm.)
      2. Stacking Bands (or your Wedding Rings)
      3. Studs, either Pearls or Diamonds; faux is fine (I like these in the 9mm).
      4. Link Bracelet (splurge or save)
      5. Watch

If you're going to spend some money, this is where you spend it, on the pieces you'll wear everyday for years and years to come. All of my classic jewelry here was a gift, with the exception of a couple of the bands. My watch is second-hand, the best way I believe to buy investment pieces. I listed one below for you, several images down.

You can wear all your classic staples all at once, as long as not any one of them is too gaudy, although I never really met a diamond I thought was too big :). I added another fashion pearl necklace on top of my classic pearl strand from my grandmother, and then added a big pearl ring (faux). When no one piece is the "statement piece" I like to wear multiples in a few categories.

2. Fabulous Fashion Jewelry You Need To Be Wearing (but not all at once!)

A collection of my good jewelry and my fashion jewelry (above).

My list:

  1. Hoop Earrings
  2. Chunky Beads (Necklace)
  3. Long Chain or Pendant Necklace
  4. Statement Ring
  5. Layering Bracelets (like leather wraps or cuffs)

These are the fashion pieces you don't want to spend too much on, especially if they are particularly trendy. If it's something that is your signature, like turquoise, then you may feel comfortable investing a little more.

I chose one statement piece, the beaded feather necklace, so everything else whispers and plays a backup role. I know there are plenty of folks who love to layer and layer and layer on the jewelry, and I love it on them. Like Iris Apfel (be sure to follow me on Pinterest!), the queen of overstatement, who is absolutely fabulous. It's great for others, just not me. So you can choose your own comfort level with layering. Here is how I do it.

The Formula For Mixing & Matching Your Classic Jewelry With Fashion Jewelry

The simple formula you need to remember is: 2 Classics + 1 Statement.

Choose two classic pieces for every one statement piece you wear. For instance, if I'm wearing one statement piece like a big cocktail ring, I'll probably wear just my pearls and diamond studs.

Before we go any further, I've got to mention the exceptions. Because as we know, we learn the rules so we know how to break them. If you have a fancy event to go to and nothing to wear, put on your best LBD and ALL your jewelry. This was a tip form my grandmother, who I'm sure got it from someone else. Layer your pearls, add dangly earrings, a few gold bracelets, and a cocktail ring. Now you look fancy.

Here's another example of the 2:1 ratio, 2 Classics + 1 Statement

(2 classics) Watch + Gold Link Bracelet : (1 statement) Turquoise Ring

Can you mix metals? Yes.

Silver and turquoise cuffs on one wrist (1 statement) with gold bracelet and watch on the other (2 classics).

I'll also wear theme jewelry, as in several statement turquoise pieces at once, but because they are the same tone and color, layering multiples doesn't feel too heavy for me.

You can break the rules with confidence when you know what they are.

Here are several more examples of mixing and matching classic pieces with statement pieces, for the most part sticking to the 1:2 ratio (but not always). The mix is what makes the look interesting and modern.

Remember, go easy on fashion jewelry unless it's a signature piece for you. You want to spend your real money on the classics. To see and shop my favorite Winter / early Spring classics every woman needs, check out my list here. Thank you for visiting. And you can always visit our Shop to see more of my Latest Loves plus all the Guides and posts that are Insider exclusives!



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By | 2018-02-13T17:47:09+00:00 February 14th, 2018|Categories: , , , , |Tags: |