My Everyday Jewelry Essentials

When I was in college I’d set my alarm to go off 15 minutes before class started, roll out of bed, throw on norts and an oversized tee (normally one that was a souvenir from a sorority or fraternity event), brush my teeth and slap on some eyeliner before walking – or driving if I felt extra lazy, which was most days – across the street to the design building. Given that all this happened in the span of 5 to 10 minutes it was important that everything was streamlined: from the clothes I wore to the makeup I applied. I wasn’t very far off from showing up to class in my pajamas, except for one thing – jewelry.

Every single day I’d put on the same bracelet, ring, earrings, and necklace (I actually slept in the necklace most nights) right before I walked out the door. These finishing touches were what made me feel like I had at least attempted to put an effort into my appearance.

These days I spend a bit more time on my routine, but my jewelry has for the most part remained the same. These essentials work regardless of what outfit I’m wearing or how formal of an event I am attending. I literally have to put zero thought into it, which is great when you’re juggling a full time job, freelance work, a thriving blog, running a social and philanthropic organization, having a social life, familial obligations, and chores. (Yes, this is my life.)

Here are the essentials that keep me looking polished and, in the words of my friend Sydney, super classy:

David Yurman 7mm Cable Classics Bracelet. I love this bracelet because it is both silver and gold, meaning that it goes with all my accessories and I’m never clashing my metals. Also, the cuff formation means it won’t slip off my wrist like bangles inevitably do.

David Yurman Cable Classics Cross Necklace with Diamond. If you’re going on a caribbean cruise anytime soon keep your eye out for jewelry stores carrying Yurman. You can get steep discounts on authentic pieces, just be sure you get the tag guaranteeing authenticity. I got this necklace in St. Martin and paid just a fraction of the price I would here in the US.

David Yurman Pearl Band Ring. Now, this ring is no longer available, but you can find a similar one here. I like that it’s a thinner size than most Yurman rings since my fingers are so thin that thick bands look really out of place and overwhelming. Once again, this is both silver and gold so it will go with anything. If you’re balking at the price tag, check ebay. I got my ring there for a great deal and it came with the statement of authenticity. Just be sure to check that the seller can provide proof of authenticity.

Eve’s Addiction Cable Hoop Earrings. Now, I really wanted these earrings from Yurman to round out my set. But, I couldn’t afford them. So I went with the next best thing and found a matching pair without the designer label. Eve’s Addiction is an online jewelry seller that specialized in “designer inspired” pieces. While their stock changes all the time, (they don’t have the ones I bought anymore) you can find ones like these that look almost exactly like a Yurman piece. Mine were the same except for the diamonds, I even wore them into a Yurman store and the manager offered to clean them for me because he believed they were authentic. Now that’s a deal!

So, that’s the rundown. Remember, it doesn’t have to be designer to be elegant, and it doesn’t have to be purchased directly from the designer in order to be authentic. So choose what’s important to you and run with it. The most important thing should be that you love the set. My only suggestion is that your daily items should be versatile and understated – nothing flashy or too colorful. That way you won’t even have to think about whether or not they “go” with your outfit.

 

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Hattitude

When it comes to accessories, there’s one that most women tend to forget. The hat is a 3rd piece that can elevate any outfit from drab to fab. There are a lot of women who are afraid of hats. Yes, they’re big, attention grabbing, and slightly ostentatious – but with the right amount of confidence anyone can pull them off.

If you’re like me, you’ve been wanting to try the style for a while. You’ve been envious of the girls who wear hats like they’re no big deal. You’re intimidated because you don’t know how to wear them or when to take them off. That’s why I’m giving you the rundown of things you’re wanting to know, but are too afraid to ask. Ladies, it’s time to pay attention!

  • Fashion hats (like fedoras, floppy hats, and berets) can be worn inside, unless you’re blocking someone’s view or at work.
  • Baseball caps, beanies, and sunhats should be removed indoors, at meals, in public buildings (courthouses, schools, etc.), in restaurants, and when the national anthem plays or the flag passes
  • You should never wear hats (with the exception of beanies) at night

So now you’re prepared and ready to go! Check out some of my favorite choices here, here, and here.

Throw Some Shade

Sunglasses are an iconic part of every woman’s wardrobe. They can take even the most basic outfit from drab to fab in an instant. From tortoise shell ray bans to gold rimmed aviators the right shades can elevate your look. For me, my go to sunglasses are a pair of black cat eye Kate Spade shades. While the pair I have aren’t available any longer, you can pop by any Kate Spade store and pick up the similar Kiersten Sunglasses. I find that they go with everything from my little black dress and pumps, to jeans and a basic tee shirt with chuck taylors. All in all they’re versatile, sophisticated, and make me feel like Audrey Hepburn. What more could I want from an accessory? And the case – how adorable!

The Essential Bag

There are certain items that every woman NEEDS in her closet. One of those is a high quality, versatile leather bag. It should be made of real leather, come in a neutral color (AKA black or tan…or have one of each if you can), and be the proper size and shape to carry you from Saturday shopping trips to evening cocktail parties.

I’ll be the first to admit that there aren’t a lot of bags that can check all of those boxes. (I still have yet to find a tan leather one.) That’s why, when I saw the perfect little black bag sitting demurely on the shelf at Banana Republic I grabbed it and refused to leave the store without it. It didn’t matter that I was in a rush to pick up my parents, whose car had gotten a flat tire as they were coming home from the grocery store. It didn’t matter that my friends were already walking out of the store. All that mattered in that brief moment was that this little bag was mine!

The Italian Leather Chain Bag may not have a designer label or be named after some stick thin society girl, but that’s part of why I love it. Instead of noticing the label, people will notice that I have great taste. Because who wants to be known for having the latest and greatest thing named for someone else? I personally believe that the only person wearing a bag named for a celebrity, should be the celebrity herself.

Therefore, I now dub my little purse The Stefani!

The pebbled leather finish makes it appropriate for daytime, and the chunky gold chain adds a bit of bling when heading out on the town. Plus, the chain can be tucked into the bag when I want a simple envelope clutch. It can easily fit everything I want to carry, which is a lot to say when most small bags can’t even fit a lipgloss and my phone without straining to close. This can fit all of my necessary card in its building packets, along with a compact, perfume, sunglasses, and even foundation! Really It can fit everything you need and then some.

It’s versatile, elegant, understated, and has a fun edge with it’s triangular shape. Best of all, it didn’t cost an arm and a leg, although in that moment I likely would have paid far more. But what can I say? It spoke to me 😉