How to build a capsule jewellery collection
Some women tell me that they’d love to wear jewellery but find choosing and shopping for it a little bewildering. They feel it’s hard enough to decide on an outfit let alone the accessories. Some of us grew up in times when the man in your life bought the occasional fine jewellery pieces as a gift and you may have the odd precious pieces with genuine stones but to be honest, though they have their place, I rarely have the occasion to wear this sort of thing nowadays and unless you have a lot of money these pieces will be quite minimalist and not in keeping with current fashion trends so can actually make you look frumpy, dare I say it! But maybe you have a faithful pendant that gets thrown on whatever you wear and/or maybe you have accumulated a multitude of necklaces, bought on impulse over the years, that are just gathering dust and tarnish so when you go to put a piece on you’ve got to disentangle/clean it first and likely end up wearing nothing!
Then there are some women I’ve met who have lost or never got into the habit of wearing jewellery at all who tend to feel self conscious about the prospect of starting to wear it even though they’d actually love to! Often they are dealing with confidence issues and trying to tackle some of this by looking at their wardrobe as a whole, sometimes with the help of a stylist, to understand their colours, personality style, body shape etc. I thoroughly recommend this for anyone especially if you have confidence issues. Stylists can help you totally change the way you feel about yourself and the way you shop, but I digress so I will return to this subject in another blog methinks!
Now as you will know if you’ve come across me on social media or read previous blogs, when I walk out the door earrings along with some lippy are a minimum requirement. As someone who’s not naturally confident I find this essential for my ‘ready to face the world’ persona.
You’re familiar I’m sure with the term ‘capsule wardrobe’ from stylists and fashion media/bloggers; – pieces of clothing that reflect your personal style that can be worn again and again in combination with one another? The same principles can be applied to jewellery as well, resulting in a jewellery collection that contains simple, versatile pieces that can be worn with anything in your wardrobe for all your day to day needs. The key is to buy quality (that does not have to equate to expensive!) and to buy with purpose.
First have a clear out!
If you have jewellery items in your drawer, possibly going back years, this is a very therapeutic exercise and with a clear out comes space for new things. Discard anything you don’t love, anything you haven’t worn for a couple of seasons (as long as it’s not valuable of course!) and anything which has deteriorated/tarnished beyond help and certainly those that turn your skin green!
As with any purge I guarantee you’ll feel good for having done it.
Ok, so now you’re ready to start planning
Now choose your metal colour
The first choice you need to make is silver or gold. Now this could be a simple matter of preference but if you’ve had your colours analysed by a stylist you’ll know what suits you better. If not, the rule of thumb is this that if you suit soft muted colours, or bold, vibrant colours you should consider sticking to silver. Rose gold is good for just about everyone but there is often less choice available in rose gold. There’s nothing to say that you can’t mix and match metals but to start with choose one so that you are guaranteed a cohesive collection and if later others wish to buy you gifts they’ll know which to buy!!
Now choose the pieces.
My suggestion is that you keep it really simple to start with and buy one piece from each main category ie one pair of earrings, one short pendant, one long, one bracelet and if you don’t have engagement/eternity rings that adorn your hands the majority of the time, a ring. With the base collection achieved, you can then add to this as you go along and gain more confidence. Additional options include, for instance, a pop of colour, more sparkle/statement pieces for those party nights and more season specific pieces for holidays (these can be very inexpensive while still choosing a quality brand).
My preference is for a pair of studs as my go to earrings but a small pair of hooks would work just as well
Prices of the stud earrings above range from just £27.00 – £210.00 for the Collette Waudby solid gold handmade studs
Featured above L to R Collette Waudby Leaf Drops, Muru Feather Hooks, Tara Kirkpatrick Silver Ball
If you are uncomfortable wearing studs, which won’t apply to many I’m sure, then simple hooks like these will definitely work for you.
Prices of those above range from £32.50 to £72.00
Fairly straightforward but worth giving a little thought to the type of neckline you tend to wear. You have the option of a simple horizontal necklace if you tend to wear rounder necklines rather than v neck or sweetheart necklines. Also if you wear collared shirts a horizontal style can work really well to pretty up the neck. If going for the more common form of pendant, think about where you want a person’s eye to be drawn, how tall you are and therefore what length you need. Sounds obvious but if you have a broad neck a 16″ chain is going to be almost choker style. I offer a choice of lengths on most of the Muru pendants and other brands will vary. Anything from 16″ to 20″ will be appropriate depending on your body scale.
Featured above L to R: Rachel Jackson Hexagon Muru Purity Mandala Collette Waudby Leaf Reeves&Reeves Organic
Prices of these necklaces and pendants range from £35 – 75.00
You may wonder why I feel this is important enough to be included as part of the basic capsule but short necklaces don’t work with everything. If for instance you have a turtle neck jumper or a shirt a long necklace can be far more effective. Even with some dresses a long necklace can work a treat. For instance I have a plain Boden dress that has a collared neckline which conflicts with a short necklace but a long necklace takes the plainness away and gives the outfit a real lift. With a short and long necklace at your disposal you also immediately have the tools for layering, something which will very easily take your outfit up a notch and keep you very much on trend. Some long necklaces can even be doubled up to give an instant layered look on their own.
Prices for necklaces featured above range from just £12 – £125.00
Bracelets really do add a touch of ‘finish’ to an outfit so I recommend you give some consideration to adding a bracelet to your capsule collection. With short or 3/4 sleeves a bracelet will have impact however delicate but a sophisticated bracelet at the end of any sleeve is a very feminine touch especially in an office environment where perhaps you have to dress in a corporate style. It also just adds a touch of elegance and class.
Featured above top left to right: Star Bangle, Lila Heart Stretch Pearl, Coil Pearl Bangle, Muru Prosperity and Muru Feather Stretch, Clementine Stretch Heart, Muru Dragonfly Stretch, Bottom left to right: Star Bangle, Lucky Eyes Flat Stretch, Circle of Life Stretch, Gold CZ Friendship, Rachel Jackson Sunray, Rachel Jackson Serenity, Cinderela B Hummingbird and Honeybee
Prices of featured bracelets range from just £9.50 to £75.00
To sum up…..
I hope you have gained some inspiration from this blog. It is not prescriptive, there are of course many other options but the basic premise is that from a nucleus of pieces you can build a collection that will mean that you are never short of something to ‘dress’ your wardrobe. I hope this will give you the confidence to add in bolder, more adventurous pieces that will make a statement about you and your personality. Whatever your budget there will be something for you but inevitably the less expensive items will not last as long. Nothing outlives solid gold, platinum and real gems which is why they are called ‘precious’ but materials such as vermeil, gold filled metal, and the better quality costume pieces will last you for years and give great value for money if they are looked after.
If you have any questions, comments, style dilemmas I’m always happy to try and help or suggest someone who can.