Accessorizing is one of the hardest parts of getting dressed, but it doesn’t have to be. Keeping a few staple items on hand makes the process simple. Every woman should own just a handful of everyday basics (if they choose to), but what that item is will depend on their personal sense of style. What works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for the next!
1. Every woman should own one truly great necklace!
I’m a necklace person, so necklaces are the first place I start when someone is building their jewelry repertoire. They’re the least obtrusive form of jewelry: you don’t have to have pierced ears to wear them, and they’re typically non-hazardous in the workplace. (Rings, for instance, can pose issues for those who work heavily with their hands.)
My collection is pretty minimal. If I won’t wear something at least once a month, then I won’t buy it. But what’s stayed constant throughout the years is that I always have the one magic necklace; the one thing that I can add to almost any outfit and have it look great. My first “staple necklace” was a choker-length string of baroque-shaped pearls that belonged to my mother. I’d be hard-pressed to find it in a pinch, but I know I still own it somewhere.
After that was a multi-string necklace of similar length and shape, but this time in a lovely mess of mossy green and grey hues—a gift from an old friend. Today, my go-to necklace varies between two; a black statement collar and a fine gold swoop. The one that I reach for seems to vacillate on a monthly basis, but it’s been the gold swoop for a solid season. Its princess length chain and light weight make it easy to wear with anything, and it completes any outfit without being attention-grabbing.
How to pick your perfect necklace
I always think that necklaces are a great item to own lots of, but there’s a certain allure to having just one or two “perfect” necklaces that you swap in. Every woman should own that one thing that they can grab at any time.
A princess length is the most versatile, so it’s recommended as one of those items that every woman should own. Look to fine jewelry for the classics. Lockets are a great choice for a younger person, while simple gold chains are a very popular choice for a more established woman.
But if I had to pick just one item, I would recommend a pendant necklace. It’s a wardrobe staple that’s incredibly flexible. Choose a metal that matches your wardrobe: white gold or silver if you wear a lot of cool colours, like grey, blue, purple, and green, and gold if you wear a lot of warm colours, like red, beige, coral, peach, and brown. (For a modern twist on a classic necklace, consider rose gold!) If you wear a lot of different colours, I recommend selecting a diamond, white sapphire, or cubic zirconia feature stone—something that won’t clash with your outfit. Or, if you wear a lot of monochromatic outfits, your staple pendant necklace is the perfect item to wear your favourite colour in.
2. A classic set of earrings
If you have pierced ears, I recommend owning at least one classic set of earrings. Choose either hoop earrings, pearl earrings, or diamond studs.
Small hoops are a refined way to bring attention to your neck, ears, and jawline, while large hoops are more popular with a younger crowd and pull the eye more obviously downwards. (I love small hoops that feature a line of gemstones in the centre—they really “class up” any outfit, and are terribly pretty to look at.)
Pearl earrings tend to come as studs (or solitaire) earrings, but are also available as small drop or hoop earrings. While certainly classic, pearl earrings have fallen out of style as fashion earrings have become more popular. They’re great for a dressy night out, but aren’t as common in daywear as they once were.
Finally, diamond studs are an extremely popular choice when it comes to “must-have” earrings. They’re eye-catching and simple, and pair well with virtually anything. Like with a colourless pendant necklace, your diamond studs don’t necessarily have to be diamond, although diamonds are the typical choice. Look for brilliant cut or princess cut diamonds, cubic zirconia synthetics, white sapphire, or white topaz stones, and match the tone of the metal in your earrings to the tone of the metal in your must-have necklace.
Variation in styles will help make your wardrobe more flexible, so start with your one “must have” and build outwards. Pendant earrings, studs, and hoops are all appropriate for different occasions, but simple studs are a great item to begin with for versatile wear.
3. A great piece of fashion jewelry
Here’s something that you won’t find in every jewelry guide out there. We’re used to seeing the classics: every woman should own a pendant necklace. A set of stud earrings. A beautiful ring.
But why not something fun?
Everyone, I think, should own one great piece of fashion jewelry. Something big that makes a statement—something that makes you feel wide open with confidence every time you put it on. It can be anything, and it’s often a gift: the perfect item that someone else saw that was so you that it made them think of you immediately.
Keep your eyes open for a long necklace with your favourite animal on it, or dangly earrings from a book series that you loved as a child. (Radish earrings, anyone?) Or, if you just want something chunky and indulgent, perhaps a big ring with colourful baubles on it. I had a hammered metal necklace that I loved as a teen and wish I still owned, with gunmetal rivets and a shiny finish. It wasn’t a universal item by a long shot, but it was the right necklace for me at the time, and I absolutely adored it for years.
Sure, every woman should own a few staple items of fine jewelry. But why not make your third staple item something that you can love right now, with all your heart, with room to love something else next year?
Shop jewelry online at Best Buy.