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Jewelry Wardrobe Buying Guide

by Staff Writer

Gorgeous wood jewelry box containing a lovely jewelry wardrobe

Does a jewelry wardrobe sound like something your mother or grandmother would own -- a little train case full of brooches, pearl strands and ornate rings? This jewelry throwback to the mid-20th century evokes images of Hollywood starlets and royal princesses. Well, mom was right; every woman needs a jewelry wardrobe, just not necessarily full of mother's jewelry accessories. With a few new styles, you can refresh your fine jewelry and fashion jewelry to match today's sophisticated fashions. This jewelry accessories guide will serve as a checklist as you build a collection of fashion jewelry and fine jewelry to really be proud of, and our tips on buying men's jewelry are perfect for any hip, modern gentleman. Start here when shopping for a jewelry wardrobe.

Creating a Jewelry Wardrobe:

  1. Metals: Gold has made and lost many fortunes over the centuries, but you just need to dig into your jewelry box to find this dazzling yellow metal. From simple gold chains to ornate fashion rings, gold jewelry is an essential fashion accessory. Of course, gold isn't the only metal for jewelry, and the fashion industry has embraced several alternative metals in recent years, such as stainless steel. Update your metal jewelry collection with these ideas:

  2. Many consumers today prefer the subtle shimmer of white gold jewelry to yellow gold's intense color. White gold earrings, rings and necklaces provide a sleek design to match modern styles.

  3. Stainless steel chains, pendants and bracelets are contemporary and durable. Both women's and men's jewelry categories offer stainless steel pieces. Stainless steel rings are especially popular, as are designs mixed with black rubber and leather.

  4. Titanium and tungsten offer clean lines, durability and cool grey hues. Titanium is light in color and weight, while tungsten is scratch-resistant. Men's wedding bands made of these industrial metals are a current favorite, but pendants, bracelets and watches for both men and women can be found in titanium and tungsten.

  5. Gems: Pearls are especially romantic, and they never seem to go out of style. Diamonds, too, are timeless and gorgeous. Both pearls and diamonds can add a lot to a modern jewelry wardrobe. If you have a classic sense of style, wear a double- or triple-strand pearl necklace with a little black dress. To accessorize a wedding dress, try an elaborate set of pearl and diamond earrings. A variety of colorful gemstones will personalize your jewelry box and give any jewelry wardrobe and instant lift. Consider these ideas when shopping for jewels and gems:

  6. Chocolate pearls are very modern with their golden brown hue. Chocolate brown pearls are found in strands, dangling earrings, earring studs and pendants, and the lovely chocolate color goes well with today's khaki, turquoise and gold fashions.

  7. Add a diamond right-hand ring to your repertoire. Women of past generations often owned an elaborate cocktail ring to wear for fancy parties. The diamond right-hand ring updates the cocktail ring with sophisticated designs for today's woman.

  8. Your birthstone is uniquely you; rubies, emeralds and aquamarines add a lot of color to a jewelry collection. Consult our birthstone options for each month guide to find your gemstone and start shopping.

  9. Add a bit of drama to your pearl collection with black Tahitian pearls. A black Tahitian pearl bracelet adds some exotic style to nights on the town.

  10. Fancy color diamonds in dazzling yellow, pink and blue tones impact fashions with a trendy splash of color. Try colored diamonds in a bracelet, a pair of stud earrings or a nice ring.

  11. Variety: Every woman needs a wardrobe of classic clothes to get her through those "what will I wear" moments. Add a few fabulous pieces of jewelry to that wardrobe and you'll always have the right accessories:

  12. Earrings: Diamond studs complement dressy clothes, and hoop earrings accessorize more casual apparel. Start with basic studs and hoops and add more unique styles to personalize your collection.

  13. Bracelets: A few bangles in white gold, yellow gold or sterling silver are great, versatile accessories. Slender and wide bangles are both great for jazzing up plain button-up shirts or sweaters.

  14. Necklaces: Choose at least one necklace with a pendant or multiple strands to add interest to open necklines. Beads offer a modern take on classic pearl necklaces.

  15. Watches: A women's watch with a white gold bracelet or good leather strap makes you look sharp, smart and stylish at the office.

  16. Extras: Add a few slender chains in gold or silver to wear alone or with pendants. Also, a great ring with diamonds or vibrantly colorful gemstones is always eye catching.

  17. Men's jewelry: Long gone are the days when men's jewelry was limited to gold chains and pinky rings. Options have increased, and men now have a variety of jewelry styles to choose from. A few pieces will help any man achieve a sharp-dressed style:

  18. Cufflinks: Keep at least one pair for formal wear. Even if he will never wear a tuxedo, a man needs some good dress shirts, and the best have French-cuff sleeves, which require cuff links.

  19. Bracelets: Add a men's bracelet in one of the alternative metals, such as stainless steel or titanium, to your collection. Leather bracelets are also very modern and will last for decades.

  20. Watches: Men's watches feature a variety of sophisticated styles, and you'll want at least one dress watch and one sport watch.

  21. Earrings: If you wear earrings, consider diamond studs for fancy affairs. Simple hoop earrings are great for more casual wear.

  22. Extras: AChoose a sleek ring, a classic Figaro chain in sterling silver or gold and more watches to enhance your jewelry wardrobe.

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