My friend, Leslie, and I were recently talking about jewelry and the fact that so few women wear any. Every woman should have a jewelry wardrobe—and it doesn't cost a great deal. But a well-planned wardrobe will stand you in good stead for years to come.
First, every woman should have a string of good pearls, meaning cultured. These could be the classic 16-inch length, or, if you can afford it, longer. But don't opt for length over quality. You'll be wearing these for life and they'll look elegant with jeans as well as an evening gown.
The second thing is a good watch. It could be a Cartier tank watch or something tasteful with diamonds or something quietly refined and low-key. I don't like very large watches for women but that's just a matter of taste. I may be the only woman who doesn't like Rolex watches. Technically, this is not a watch, but I wear my grandfather's pocket watch on a long black satin cord around my neck. And his watch chain I wear doubled around my wrist as a bracelet.
A gold bangle bracelet is important. It dresses up any outfit and adds interest.
And don't be afraid to wear your jewelry with casual clothes. Don't save your jewelry wardrobe. Wear it and let people admire it, and feel good when you wear it.
Many women love a diamond tennis bracelet. I don't care for it primarily because you see too many. But they're certainly pretty and if you have one, you'll get a lot of use out of it.
If you have pierced ears, diamond stud earrings are timeless and can be worn with everything. Gold hoops are also classic and pretty. But not too big, please—you're not a fortune teller.
I have a number of pairs of earrings that started out in life as my father's cuff links. He had them made into earrings for me. This is a good idea if you have cuff links that aren't being worn.
So few women wear pins and I can't understand why. You can wear them with so many things—on a jacket lapel, on a sweater, or bodice of a dress. I have a turtle that I sometimes pin near the hem of a skirt or dress.
I hope you get a lot of pleasure out of putting together your jewelry wardrobe. If you can think of anything I've left out, please let me know.
Miriam Silverberg is a freelance writer and owner of Miriam Silverberg Associaties, a boutique publicity firm in New York City. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.