6 Essentials of a Modern Woman's Jewelry Collection

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By now, we know what pieces we absolutely need hanging in our closets. We have the perfect button-down, the flawless pencil skirt, the cashmere sweater, the blazer. But what about the jewelry?

Accessorizing with bling is such an easy way to spice up tired wardrobe staples. How do you build a flexible, versatile jewelry collection? The key is variation! To avoid getting stuck in a jewelry rut, stock your jewelry box with these essentials.

Statement Necklace

Why it’s essential: A statement necklace, like the one Kate Middleton wears here, can seriously elevate a casual outfit. You can keep the rest of your look minimal without sacrificing style. A big necklace adds interest to a simple button-down shirt or plain LBD. You can even wear it with a T-shirt or oversized sweater for a super-cute weekend look.

Statement Necklace

How to pull it off: Go big when it comes to the statement necklace. This is costume jewelry, so you shouldn’t spend too much, but look for a quality piece that isn’t chintzy (Zara has great ones). Whether you prefer knotted chains, enamel flowers, or twinkling rhinestones is up to you!

Rhinestone Necklace, $35.90, zara.com

Stackable Rings

Why they’re essential: Tiny, stackable rings, are so hot right now. They are also an edgy without being risky. Cool girls pile rings on every finger! The look doesn’t take much commitment, and tiny rings won’t get in the way like chunkier pieces might. Go forth and stock up on minuscule rings. 

Stackable Rings

How to pull them off: There are two routes you can go with the stackable rings: either you invest in a few quality pieces, or you buy a giant pack of inexpensive ones. These from Dogeared fall somewhere in the middle. The range of colors is nice because it keeps your options varied, allowing you to mix and match. Looking for rings of different thicknesses is another way to create variation.

Mixed Metal Karma Rings, $58, dogeared.com

Stud Earrings

Why they’re essential: Stud earrings might feel a little prime and proper, but they don’t need to be. Kerry Washington’s studs are simple, but they pack a powerful punch because of their size. We can’t all afford giant diamonds for our ears, but luckily studs come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and materials.

Stud Earrings

How to pull them off: A good stud earring is bold enough to make that slick up ‘do pop! These Ted Bakers are perfect because they play off the traditional diamond stud but have a nice pink color and an interesting, vintage-inspired design.

Ted Baker Sully Cupchain Stud Earrings, $73.39, us.asos.com

Delicate Necklace

Why it’s essential: The delicate, wear-anywhere necklace is as important as one that makes a statement. Why? Because you can wear it with everything.

Delicate Necklace

How to pull it off: The right delicate necklace should be a versatile metallic that goes with most of your wardrobe. Be sure that the shape and length of the necklace work for the neckline of the clothes you want to wear it with. This should be a wear it and forget it piece.

Taner Shimmer Necklace, $65, gorjana-griffin.com

Cocktail Ring

Why it’s essential: You don’t have to squint to see Tyra’s cocktail ring — it’s huge! Like the statement necklace, a cocktail ring commands attention. Unlike the statement necklace, it doesn’t require you to tone down the rest of your outfit.

Cocktail Ring

How to pull it off: Your grandmother’s jewelry box is the best place to find a great cocktail ring. But no worries if grandma had bad taste in jewelry, because cocktail rings are all over the stores and they show no sign of slowing down. Look for something chunky with a vintage vibe.

Stone Embellished Chunky Ring, $25, us.topshop.com

Geometric Cuff

Why it’s essential: Maybe we can’t all look like Lupita Nyong’o on the red carpet. But geometric cuffs add warrior princess cred to any wardrobe. They do wonders for girly dresses and blouses, toughening up even the most flirtatious of floral prints. Bonus points if you can master the matching cuffs on each wrist look.

Geometric Cuff

How to pull it off: This is a piece to splurge on. Metallics are ideal for the geometric cuff because they stand out and won’t get lost against the fabrics of your clothing. The stone detailing on this piece makes for some fun contrast.

Geometric Cuff Bracelet, $365, jennifermillerjewelry.com