Accessories are such a fun way to change the look of an outfit. Wearing a turquoise necklace with a plain tee can give it more of a bohemian vibe as opposed to donning a simple pendant necklace. It is great to have the options that allow you this versatility in your wardrobe. Question is: how long is that piece going to last? Have you bought something that will make it for years or did you grab the necklace that is going to break the first time you wear it?
Though options are amazing, when it comes to your jewelry it is important to spend wisely. Here are my basic rules for shopping jewelry.
Know Your Material
True gold and silver pieces are going to cost you more. That is just the bottom line. Ask questions of your salesperson if you are not sure! What is the material? Do you offer a warranty? If it is silver, does it have a 925 stamp (as it should for any real sterling silver)?
Be sure to know what color looks best on you between silver and gold. This is another “closet edit truth” moment. Ask a trusted friend to weigh in on which looks better on your skin tone if you are not sure. If you are like me and wear silver but want to try gold, consider testing the waters with rose gold or matte gold tones in costume jewelry first before making a huge financial commitment to a longer-lasting gold piece.
Where Are You Shopping?
You’ve heard it before: Location, location, location. Where you buy your jewelry will impact the longevity of the pieces because you are buying the quality and craftsmanship or lack thereof. Splurging on a piece from Tiffany & Co means a lifelong piece that you will still be able to pass down for the next generation to enjoy. However, that cute necklace from Forever 21 won’t last you more than a year (less if you wear it often). That said, there are good middle-ground options, like Swarovski or other jewelers as well as brands like Michael Kors and Kate Spade, that sell pieces that last longer due to the materials being used. To save on these brands, check their website for sales! Kate Spade is one that always has great classic pieces as well as their more fun statement pieces for less on their sale page.
Caring For Your Items
Make sure you ask about the care of your pieces when you are buying them! This is integral for the life of the piece. For example, I have a number of pieces from Swarovski that ranged in cost. I’ve worn them countless times and they still look as good as the day I bought them. I attribute that solely to the fact that I take care of them in the way that the company recommended. After removing any piece of jewelry, take a dry, lint-free cloth and wipe it over. This will remove any excess oil from your skin that is on the metal or precious stones. Don’t get grossed out at the idea of this! Everyone’s skin has oils! Also, it is vital to know if your items will withstand a jewelry cleaner. Many people think that a cleaning solution will solve the problem and dunk their jewelry in only to find out that the materials were not made to be submerged in any liquid. (Note: Tiffany’s has a cleaner that they sell for their jewelry, but Swarovski specifically tells customers not get their jewelry wet with water or cleaners as it can decompose the adhesion agent that keeps their stones in place.)
Then store those items! I have the boxes that came with my Swarovski pieces because they are perfectly sized for that item and are velvet lined. A good jewelry box or hanger will do the trick, too.
With all that said, there is always room for some fun pieces that are more trendy than long-lasting. Those are the ones that may not need the big investment. Target, Bauble Bar, and Francesca’s (among others) offer you statement pieces that fall into the current trends. If I am looking at a price tag with a higher dollar amount, it needs to be a brand and quality material that will last for at least a few years. Costume jewelry pieces are those that are lesser in quality and, therefore, will not stand up to water or cleaning solutions. Make sure you are wiping off excess oils from them in order to retain them for more than just a few wears.
Happy shopping, lovelies!