My friend Alice asked me if I’d written about jewelry yet, and I had to admit I hadn’t. She suggested I write about how to choose your “everyday” pieces that will last you a lifetime, and I was immediately intrigued.
Jewelry is such an intensely personal part of you—your style, your memories, and what you value. I don’t think that jewelry needs to be expensive to be meaningful. I also don’t think that jewelry needs to be inherited to be special to you.
I don’t wear or own a lot of jewelry—I have never been a “jewelry person.” For me, I’ve worn the same everyday jewelry for the entirety of my adult life (except my wedding ring, which I’ve only worn for the past five years.)
I wear pearl earrings from my grandmother, my class ring from high school, and my wedding ring. For special occasions, I wear my emerald engagement ring (emeralds are a bit soft to wear everyday) and a pearl necklace from my mother.
These pieces make sense for my life because they are all easy to wear, not fussy, and are all meaningful to me. I value meaning in my possessions, and jewelry is inherently meaningful.
For me, these pieces came together to be part of my “uniform” without much conscious thought. But perhaps you are looking to invest in pieces but aren’t sure how to begin.
To start, what does your everyday life look like? Do you have young children; do you garden every day; do you move frequently? Perhaps dangly earrings and larger necklaces won’t quite fit your lifestyle at the moment. Or do you work in the arts; do you live in a city; do you wear monochromatic outfits? In that case, you might prefer your jewelry to make a statement.
In any case, choosing your everyday jewelry required thought. Think about the pieces you’re interested in and see how you’d feel wearing them. Think about what you want your jewelry to convey–do you want it to shout or whisper? Will you actually be able to wear this jewelry on an everyday basis, or not?
Do you have your set of everyday jewelry, and if so–tell me about it! What do you wear?
6 thoughts on “Everyday Jewelry”
Jewelry was my first “uniform” and has been my most consistent over the years. I wear a wedding ring, a necklace with a special biblical verse engraved on it, my grandmother’s watch, and a pair of white pearl stud earrings. I’m a middle school teacher, so quieter jewelry is more appropriate.
The one thing I will change up is bracelets. I typically don’t wear bracelets in the winter due to long sleeves, but in warmer weather I switch them up frequently depending on my mood and what is going on that day. I like Hermès leather wraps and enamel bangles, my David Yurman cuff, and a silver charm bracelet- but only ever one at a time!
If it’s a busy week, I just stick with the uniform pieces.
That sounds like the perfect combination! I have been thinking about a Cartier tank watch for years and hope to invest for a special occasion in the future. I like your collection of bracelets! Certainly timeless 🙂
Like you, I hardly wear any jewelry for everyday. Usually just pearl earrings and my wedding set, occasionally a pearl necklace, too.
I have a few other sentimental pieces that I wear sometimes- a necklace my parents gave me when I turned 25 and the necklace my grandmother was married in.
Thanks for your tips! I’ve been considering adding an item or two to my collection.
Oh, I love these! Yes, I find that simpler is better for me as well, especially with a toddler! If you are looking for antique jewelry, I love James Robinson in NYC/Nantucket. We found my engagement ring there and the staff there are so wonderful. It’s a beautiful place to spend a few hours the next time you’re in New York!
Oh, I love this topic! I really love jewelry, but I definitely have a jewelry uniform. I wear my wedding band and a lover’s knot ring daily. I have a monogrammed disc charm that I wear on a short chain, and I almost always wear stud earrings of some sort (pearl studs are my favorite). I definitely am my mother’s daughter here. She also has a similar jewelry uniform. It never occurred to me that we shared tastes in jewelry until about 5 years ago. My brother’s girlfriend asked me what kind of jewelry my mom preferred so she would know how to shop for her. I started describing my mom’s jewelry and realized I was basically describing what I was wearing myself! 🙂
That sounds like a wonderful jewelry uniform, and that’s so nice that you share that with your mother! 🙂