Thursday, August 04, 2011

Building a Jewelry Collection

If you follow my style challenge, you probably know that I suck at jewelry. Before I began challenging myself to step it up, I wore the exact same necklace almost every day (and night) for a solid two years! Even now I rarely swap out my earrings, but at least now I have plenty of options and I've gotten good at hitting my jewelry box every morning to switch up necklaces and rings.... and just recently bracelets, woo progress! So as a a once suck accessorizer who has gotten better over the past few months, I feel like I can provide advice on builidng up your jewelry collection.

First please note that I am not saying "amassing a jewelry collection." This is not about hoarding every single piece you get in a gift bag or kept around since high school. It's also not a post on how you should only wear fine jewelry. This is about developing a collection that works for you!!

The plan starts with trying out everything - you may end up pleasantly surprised! Borrow pieces you usually pass by from friends or find cheap deals - I love scouting out Forever 21 for affordable jewelry! You may think you would never wear chunky beads, but until you spend a day wearing them you can't know for sure. I always thought that I couldn't wear bracelets since I work on the computer all day and it bugs the bejesus out of me. But I recently tried out a soft leather wrap bracelet and am in love!

Trying out everything counts in styling too! Maybe you think you aren't into simple & feminine jewelry... well how you thought about wearing 10 delicate necklaces at once??

Once you've tried out various items, accept what actually works for you. I did try various bangles and discovered there was no way I could deal with them jangling around whilst at my desk, so I relegated them to weekend outings. Dangly earrings also bug me... "OMG WHAT'S THAT ON MY SHOULDER" 100 times a day just isn't for me. So I now know exactly how long earrings can be when I shop.

Now that you know what you actually enjoy wearing, identify stores and brands that often design the items you like. Obviously a designer like Wendy Brandes is for anyone with a high level of taste. And I've found that I'm personally drawn to brands such as Iosselliani, Falllon, nOir jewelry and, strangely enough, Juicy Couture. Seriously, I used to make fun of that brand all the time but I now own more jewelry by them than anyone else!

Before buying anything think about how you'll wear it. I own a great arrowhead pendant that I rarely wear because it looks silly unless worn with other necklaces but I don't own anything that looks good with it! The next piece I buy obviously needs to be its new companion ;)

Finally, don't go nuts. If you're like me, deciding to budget for anything gets me so excited I want to run off and splurge it away in one day. Remember that building anything worthwhile will take time and trying to force it will result in unworn jewelry box clutter!

But really, if you buy pieces you genuinely love you'll find yourself building a collection to last throughout the years without even realizing it!