What's the

What's the "little black dress" of your jewelry wardrobe?

November 29, 2020

Way back, I started making jewelry using silver earring wires, headpins and beads that I had been collecting over the years -- making small compositions of color, texture and shape in the form of drop earrings. It’s fun. Lots of people like it. But I loooved it!

I started dreaming about it. And the stones. Taking it with me on trips. And selling jewelry on Ebay (before Etsy). I made so much -- and again, I loved it. I had home shows and sales in my kitchen. I remember inviting my neighbor Tanya over before she knew me -- she was afraid that I would be selling macaroni necklaces that I made with my toddler son. But not only did I become her main jewelry supplier but I was also her overall jewelry consultant from that point on. " What should I wear with this? What about this neckline. Help!"

Being in Washington DC there is no shortage of high profile events for everybody it seems. But, many people feel more comfortable choosing an outfit than they do choosing the jewelry. More than once my always stylish neighbor Kate had her outfit and shoes ready but didn’t have the right piece of jewelry for an event. She came down to my home studio with her dress on so we could put something together on the fly. Same thing happened at my brick and mortar store all the time! Customers from the neighborhood would come in and show me their outfit and we would put together the jewelry.

I do know what I am doing! But here’s the irony -- I was not a natural. While integrating jewelry into my look is very important to me now, I used to be the first one to forget jewelry altogether. And when I’d remember, I didn’t feel comfortable putting it together until I learned how. Most jewelry artists begin making jewelry because they love wearing it ... not me. I started making jewelry because I love the stones and beads and I love making things. But I have learned to love jewelry and become knowledgeable in how it’s worn. Believe me, if I can learn anyone can!

But how do you learn and expand your jewelry horizons? Like anything else -- you watch what people are doing. You can get great tips watching TV and  movies, etc. … but there are also people in your sphere who have a sense of jewelry fashion. Think about it. Who do you know that you like their style...? See what they wear. Look at their Facebook profiles and see how they dress up a formal dress or what they’re wearing when they’re taking a selfie at a brewery. I bet you will see the same pieces of jewelry rolling out again and again. There ARE perfect pieces for you --  the proverbial “little black dresses” of jewelry. The pieces you pick up EVERY time you are stepping out. Not only is there your little black dress of jewelry but there are your favorite jeans and favorite T-shirt of jewelry. There's your power necklace and your sparkly evening go to.


My personal favorite go to - EARRINGS 


As the holidays approach and you set out to expand your jewelry wardrobe -- try wearing super glamorous earrings with jeans. Try wearing a big necklace or a bunch of them and tiny posts. Experiment and have fun! There are few rules except that it must resound with you. It must make you feel good when you see it in the mirror. And it shouldn’t just be the same thing you always buy and that you already have too many of. Also, we often buy jewelry items that are beautiful but that we don't have anything to wear with. Better to  take a mental note when you put on a favorite outfit and you don’t have the jewelry piece to go with it -- then look for it. This way you'll be smartly buying things that fit into your wardrobe 


How do we learn to purchase only items that will become part of our worn inventory and not part of the unworn masses? It’s like most things -- apply a few smart lessons, self knowledge and deliberation, and you can develop a great jewelry wardrobe.

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