Here is my unofficial list of must-have jewelry:
1. Simple pendant necklace
4. Dangly earrings
Yes, you really only need four pieces of jewelry. As mentioned in my guide to clothes for college, jewelry is a wardrobe essential, but at the end of the day, it's better to have four pieces of high quality jewelry than forty pieces that you don't love.
In this day and age of consumerism, it's important to take a step back and think about what you really want to spend your money on. It's also better for the Earth to minimize the amount of consumer products and goods you use!
The four pieces of jewelry I reach for again and again are simple, eye-catching, and well-made. I didn't include bracelets or rings since I personally find them distracting to wear on a regular basis. Plus, jewelry that centers around your neck or face is more prominent in an outfit, as people will make eye contact when they speak to you.
Here are my top four pieces of jewelry and where I bought them:
1. Silver Lotus Flower Necklace
This is my favorite piece of jewelry of all time; lotus flowers are an important symbol in the religion I practice, Buddhism, and I love that lotus flowers also represent balance in life. It's a gorgeous and simple piece that works well with any outfit. Since my mother gave this to me for a birthday gift, it's also a meaningful necklace that comforts me.
When choosing your own go-to necklace, seek out something that's meaningful to you, whether that be a spiritual motif, your initial, zodiac sign, or another symbol that's significant in your life. That makes it all the more special and a true signature piece.
Find a similar lotus necklace on Etsy.
2. Gold Choker with Faux Gemstone Accents
I actually got this choker for free at Charming Charlie because I had a coupon; talk about amazing! I love this necklace because it's not like every other choker I've seen since they became super popular.
Chokers are easy to wear with everything from a crewneck tee to a cute dress. Yes, it's "trendy" now, but a chic and simple chain choker like this won't look dated after a few seasons. It's something you'll be able wear for years to come.
It also has gold and silver incorporated throughout, so it's easy to mix and match with my other pieces of jewelry. I have neutral undertones, so that means both gold and silver can work for me, but you can definitely choose whichever metal color you prefer when picking your perfect choker.
Find a similar choker necklace on Etsy.
3. (Faux) Pearl Studs
There's a reason pearl studs are a classic: they pair well with any outfit; even a sweatshirt and messy bun. If, like me, you're from a preppy part of the East Coast this will come as no shock to you, but for people outside of the bubble, hear me out.
Pearl studs instantly make you look classier, more put-together, and like you put some serious thought into getting ready. They will elevate your outfit without any effort, and since they're cream-colored, they will match everything you own.
Have I sold you on pearls yet? Since I lose these little guys pretty frequently, I highly recommend this jumbo pack of faux pearls from Amazon for a low-cost commitment.
Find similar earrings at Banana Republic (a.k.a. relatively inexpensive, real pearl studs for the people who have their lives together).
4. Minimalist Prism Earrings
I bought these earrings while on a recent vacation to France. They replaced the last pair of dangly silver earrings I owned, and I absolutely love them. Plus, they only cost me $8 at H&M, and were an absolute steal for the quality and unique, modern style.
These earrings accentuate my face without overwhelming it, and they seamlessly match both of my must-have necklaces. Dangly earrings like these are perfect for drawing attention to the face. Find a pair with clean, geometric lines for a minimalist look that can be styled so many ways.
Find a similar pair of dangly earrings on Etsy.
There you have it: the only jewelry I really need.
If you're a jewelry person like I am, you probably own more than four pieces. So, am I telling you to toss out everything else? No!
You should definitely feel free to experiment and try new trends, and if you're a ring or bracelet girl, your list of four must-have pieces will probably look different than mine.
Just make sure your jewelry box has a solid foundation and your collection isn't so full that it's hiding the pieces you love. Hold onto those sentimental pieces from your mother and grandma too; you never know you might need them!
So, what are your jewelry box favorites?
What did you think about our must-have jewelry? Did we include your favorites? Is this too short of a list? Let me know in the comments below!