Jewellery Capsule Wardrobe: How to Build a Timeless Collection


We’ve all heard of capsule wardrobes, but how do you apply the same principles to jewellery? Read on for ways to build a collection of go-to pieces.

“Jewellery should feel like icing on a cake; it’s not just about how it can instantly pull an outfit together but also how it makes you feel,” says Vancouver-based jewellery designer Leah Alexandra. Like a dream closet of Chanel jackets, a jewellery capsule wardrobe should be filled with worthy investment pieces that you can choose from on a daily basis to elevate any look. As the seasons change, your trendiest clothing may come and go, but you can count on your most versatile jewels to still be shining. While Alexandra notes that her jewellery must-haves include stud earrings, hoops and a chain necklace she never takes off, don’t be afraid to look beyond these oft-suggested essentials while amassing your own feel-good collection. Treat the following tips as a foolproof guide to building your own seasonless stockpile.

Festive extras

A couple of glitzier options are crucial for keeping you on your toes during party season as well as for those times when you want an outfit to instantly feel worthy of a special night out. While a cocktail ring or drop earrings in diamonds are anyone’s best friend, don’t be afraid to consider more-budget-friendly options, such as cubic zirconia, moissanite or natural gems like citrine, morganite, topaz and amethyst.

Add your signature

Since incorporating personal touches is the key to making your collection feel curated among a sea of oh-so-basics, a signature item you can wear any time is the last piece of your sparkling puzzle. Look for something with special meaning that will go with just about anything — the crown jewel in your trove of well-thought-out treasures.

jewellery wardrobe

Pure vs. plated

To invest in jewels you’ll feel confident will go the distance, remember that not everything has to be made in solid silver, gold or platinum to make it worth its weight in, er, gold. Pieces labelled “gold-filled” are perhaps the most durable “impure” option, with an extra-thick layer of solid gold permanently bonded to a metal base, while vermeil is beneficial for those with metal allergies as it’s made of hypoallergenic gold-plated sterling silver.

Tap into your personal style

“How you mix and match your pieces will create your own recipe,” says Justine Lançon, chief creative officer for Canadian jewellery brand Mejuri. After all, not everyone gravitates toward a classic bangle bracelet or a run-of-the-mill pearl necklace. And having a relaxed approach to mixing metals is a way to not only bring a more modern and interesting appeal to your jewellery wardrobe but also help you tie various looks together.

Want more suggestions? Think outside your jewellery box and prepare for brilliance with our expert roundup of bejewelled faves.

Serious studs

Van Cleef & Arpels Fleurette Earrings

jewellery wardrobe
18 karat rose gold and diamond earrings, Van Cleef & Arpels

Diamond earrings are a timeless piece that will not only accompany you throughout your life but can also be passed on to the next generation.” – Nicolas Bos, president and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels

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A good luck charm

Hermès Planètes Ring

jewellery wardrobe
Rose gold, white agate, moonstone, chalcedony, tourmaline, rhodochrosite and diamond ring, Hermès

A signature piece that you can wear with anything will not only be a great investment but is destined to become your personal trademark.

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Eye-catching earrings

Mejuri Pyra Drop Earrings

Mejuri Pyra Drop Earrings, jewellery wardrobe
Gold vermeil earrings, Mejuri

“Dangling earrings can take any outfit to the next level with the way they fill up negative space, especially when you have your hair up.” – Justine Lançon

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Quintessential cable bracelets

Tiffany Forge Medium Link Bracelet with the David Yurman Sculpted Cable Bangle Bracelet

Tiffany Forge Medium Link Bracelet and David Yurman Sculpted Cable Bangle Bracelet
Sterling silver bracelet, Tiffany & Co.
18 karat rose gold bracelet, David Yurman

“A mix of metals brings so much energy to an outfit and creates endless styling possibilities.” – Justine Lançon

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Perfect pearls

Melanie Auld Amavi Pearl Necklace

Melanie Auld Amavi Pearl Necklace, jewellery wardrobe
14 karat gold vermeil and pearl necklace, Melanie Auld

“Pearls have this natural glow that can light up your face — just like when you finally find the perfect foundation.” – Leah Alexandra

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Tried-and-true hoops

Leah Alexandra Emerald and Diamond Pavé U Hoops

Leah Alexandra Emerald and Diamond Pavé U Hoops
Emerald, diamond and 14 karat gold hoops, Leah Alexandra

Non-round hoop shapes tend to be incredibly flattering. A lavish gem-encrusted version will do double duty for special events.

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A VIP necklace

Swarovski Millenia Necklace

Swarovski Millenia Necklace
Gold-tone plated necklace, Swarovski

Start with a collar-length necklace and then continue to incorporate longer pieces, which can be layered and complement various necklines.

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A stylish signet ring

Sophie Buhai Walter Ring

Sophie Buhai Walter Ring
Silver and quartz ring,
Sophie Buhai at Net-a-Porter

Signet rings automatically give you that feeling of a gender-neutral heirloom because they’ve been used so much throughout history. I love them as pinky rings.” – Leah Alexandra

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This article first appeared in FASHION’s Winter 2024 issue. Find out more here.

This article contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.

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