‘Tis the season for overhauls and fresh starts and lying to ourselves about being able to stick to pretty much… anything.
Successful resolutions are realistic and easy to repeat. Let’s make accessorizing easy—not just for the first few weeks of a new year, but every single day. A sure-fire way to nail it is by building a capsule jewelry wardrobe.
Have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear? Same. If we knew what was best for us, we would overhaul those hangers and build a smaller collection of ready-to-wear basics and essentials that keep the fashion high without the burden of making choices. In other words, a capsule wardrobe.
In the 1980s, Donna Karan popularized the term "capsule wardrobe" when she unveiled a collection of workwear that kept the driven women of the 9 to 5 era slaying from Monday to Friday.
The same idea applies to a jewelry collection. A capsule jewelry wardrobe has everything you need—hello, shiny simplicity—and none of the superfluousness you don’t—goodbye decision fatigue, you will not be missed. The items in an ideal collection can make power moves on their own, or just as easily be an essential element of a multi-layered cascade of jewels
We’ve outlined six essential elements of a capsule jewelry wardrobe to help you build your collection while elevating your basics—even if you’re starting from scratch.
1. Simple Chains
When it comes to simple pieces, quality is important. Will this chain melt off your body the moment you break a sweat? Does it hold substantial weight without feeling cheap? Most importantly, how does it feel? We constantly ask ourselves these questions when selecting products for our collections.
A perfect foundational piece that fits the bill is the Ariel Gordon Cuban Layering Chain, which pays homage to that 70s aesthetic that we can't get enough of. It’s designed to hit the perfect spot on your neck; a spot that invites other chains to dance around it but can also shine on its own.
On the topic of shine, the Hannah G 4 Diamond Curb Chain Necklace has mastered the art. With four evenly spaced diamonds on a 16-inch chain, this 14-karat gold necklace is a bold staple and a true classic. You can’t go wrong with a gorgeous round link chain. It's the perfect width for wearing on its own or to hold a charm or two, and adds a sturdier silhouette to contrast with more delicate chains when layering.
2. Statement Necklaces
As much as we love “simple,” there’s also room for its more opinionated cousin, the statement necklace. Statement necklaces like the Kloto Link Necklace offer the reliability of a staple chain with a dash of something slightly bolder. The mix of textures and combination of gold and silver, also seen in the Union necklace, adds effortless interest with just one clasp.
For a layered look without the tangle, try the Catch Necklace for three looks in one. And if you love a bold shine, the Jumbo Ball necklace is as elegant on its own or as the start of your stack.
3. Easy Studs
Remember how much we love simple? We love “easy” even more. Studs that you can wear day after day are just—*chef’s kiss*. By focusing on other accessories—like layered necklaces or bold bracelets—easy studs are subtle but striking.
For gold devotees, the Starburst Triangle studs are an obvious choice. If you prefer a classic diamond moment, these 6-prong grey sparklers are a go-to, and the Labulgara Tiny Trio Stud Earring brings sparkle in a stack.
Do you love experimenting with metal mixing? Try the Defne Bar Studs for an angular look, the Selin Kent Josephine Studs for a playful interpretation of a tropical motif, and the White/Space Andromeda Stud Earrings for a delicately geometric interpretation of an everyday favorite inspired by twinkling stars.
4. Elegant Hoops
You know those people who can work out, shower, and go to happy hour looking effortlessly stunning in the same gold hoops looking flawlessly fresh? You might think “it couldn’t be me”—well believe it, baby. Here’s your sign that it can be.
Start small, try the Triptych Hoops or the Luz U-Huggies, which are designed to closely hug the lobe. If you want to make more of a statement, the Vera Hoop and Drop Earrings add movement and sparkle while the Annika Inez Heart Hoops give a nod to the moment that silver is having. And to achieve the gold hoop look in its most classic form, The Gild’s Large Hollow Hoop and Melissa Joy Manning’s Round Hoops are lightweight and designed for daily wear.
5. Everyday Bracelets
“Everyday” is the star of this show. This collection is meant to be reached for every day because of its functionality and versatility. Throw a wrist party on the regular with bangle, chain, and tennis bracelets that play nice together and also when worn individually. To showcase more gold try the mesh-inspired Bismark Bracelet or the Jumbo Ball Bracelet.
Invite silver to the party with Kloto’s Balance Cuff, which features perfectly balanced silver and gold pieces. And for fans of sparkle (who isn’t), the Bezel Tennis Bracelet is the perfect update to a classic, and the Diamond Curb Chain Bracelet is a subtly elevated staple.
6. Staple Rings
Speaking of staples: rings. Tradition implies that the rings most often worn every day come with a relationship attached. Tradition be damned! Show your deserving digits love every day with the Ariel Gordon Lady Finger Ring, a smooth, elongated, pillowy statement piece.
Other bold gold beauties to commit to are the Petal Wrap Ring, the Annika Inez Bigger Heart Ring, and the forever classic gold signet ring.
To offset the gold with delicate elegance, the White Space Bar Ring features a fine line with four floating diamonds, and the Bossa Nova Band and Diamond Ring Set can be stacked flush or in opposite directions to create multiple looks with one set.
Capsule jewelry wardrobes built on pieces like these transcend seasons and trends by being functional and mix-and-match friendly. Building your own envy-inducing collection with these six elements as a starting point will keep this year’s looks as fresh as they are reliable.