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Everyday Jewelry Styles That Go with Everything

If you're on a limited budget, these versatile jewelry pieces will give you the most "bang for your buck"!

If you're like me (and millions of Americans right now), you're probably having to stretch your budget a bit due to higher prices for things like gas, food, etc. Since jewelry is generally viewed by most to be a luxury or "splurge" item, you may be thinking that it may not be the right time to treat yourself to that new designer necklace or bracelet due to the need to focus on essential purchases.

Interestingly enough, jewelry has remained popular even during times of great economic hardship, such as the Great Depression (due to its morale-boosting effect). When times are bad, it's human nature to want to mentally escape, feel good about how you look, and indulge in little affordable luxuries. As we all know, jewelry has the power to transform the way you look and feel or elevate a cheap t-shirt and jeans into a super-chic outfit. It can also make you look more put-together, professional, and elegant when you need to make an impression during an important work meeting. In the 1930s, jewelry designers were forced to produce new pieces from non-precious metals and other cheaper innovative materials (such as plastics that imitated real gemstones) in order to survive in the industry. The result was the rising popularity of what we now know as costume jewelry, which now a thriving and booming area of the jewelry market. It's all about learning to adapt to the circumstances of the times.

So, rather than giving up your love of jewelry, how can you find great, versatile pieces that will give you the most value for your money? See below for some versatile, flexible pieces that you wear with practically everything for practically any occasion:

  • Diamond (or Imitation Diamond) Studs: It may seem obvious, but it's pretty hard to go wrong with a simple pair of diamond (or diamond-like) stud earrings! You can wear them with pretty much everything from a t-shirt and jeans to a formal gown. If purchasing diamonds just isn't in the budget right now (which is true for a lot of us), go for an imitation option, such as cubic zirconia, moissanite gemstone (usually 1/10 the price of natural diamonds), crystal, or white sapphire.

  • Simple Chain Link Necklace- It's always wise to invest in a timeliness jewelry piece like a simple chain link necklace that can be worn alone or layered with other necklaces. You can choose from the basic cable style chain, a paperclip style (which has been particularly trendy in recent years), or mix it up with a more unique style like the mariner chain. This piece is extremely versatile and can be worn with a variety of casual, office, or formal outfits. To the Nines offers several chain link necklaces (in non-tarnish stainless steel or gold plated metals) HERE.

  • Initial Pendant - One of the great things about this classic piece of jewelry is the fact that it is more personalized or customized. It also makes a great gift for jewelry lovers when you are not quite sure of their style, tastes, or preferences. There are variations of the initial necklace in terms of scale or style that may change depending on current trends. If you're looking for a version that is more timeless, look for simple, smaller-scale, and elegant pieces. You can also easily create different looks by layering it with other necklaces as well.

  • Stackable Rings - Another awesome jewelry staple is the thin stacking ring set. Although you can certainly buy this style of ring individually, the advantage of a set is that it allows you to "mix and match" them to create a wide range of looks. You can also find very affordable sets in many different designs or metals (including hypoallergenic versions) that make them comfortable for everyday wear. As any ring-wearer knows, they can take quite a bit of punishment throughout your daily activities (ex: hand-washing, washing dishes, sweating while exercising, etc.), so choosing a non-tarnish metal can also help you get more value out of them (as well as reduce the need to polish/clean them as often).

  • Solitaire Diamond (or Diamond-Like) Pendant - As you can probably guess, the simple diamond pendant is also an extremely versatile piece that can be worn everyday (with pretty much everything)! You'll also have the benefit of knowing that it is one of those classic pieces that is never expected to go out of style. Be sure to check out current sales because you can often find many versions of this necklace at different price points. Can't justify buying diamond jewelry moment? Check out the numerous cubic zirconia versions out on the market (or one of the diamond alternatives already mentioned earlier). As a fun fact... Did you know that natural cubic zirconia was actually discovered in the 1930s? I just learned this in my research for this blog post.

  • Tennis Bracelet - A tennis bracelet is a thin bracelet that contains many tiny gems (usually diamonds or stones that are made to look like diamonds). Aside from being a timeless piece, these bracelets are also considered to be a unisex style as well. If you have a harder to fit wrist size (like me), check out all of the great adjustable versions.

  • Hoops - These earrings are also a classic, although depending on the occasion, you'll want to pay attention to the size. If you are going for a version that will work with casual, work, or more formal looks, it might be best to stick with a smaller, simpler style (ex: small hoops or huggies).

  • Other Options (Minimalistic, Interchangeable & Adjustable)- It's important to remember that you can achieve versatility in your jewelry but looking for simple silhouettes & designs that have a minimalistic style, as well as neutral color stones that will coordinate with a variety of outfits. Even super-trendy pieces can work for everyday wear if they fall within these general parameters. You'll also want to stick with standard metals (gold, silver, or rose gold tone) that will complement your skin tone and coordinate with a variety of outfits in your wardrobe. In general, the simpler the overall design, the more versatile the piece will be. Another option you may want to consider is purchasing necklaces that are adjustable, so you can wear them with a variety of different necklines. Interchangeable jewelry pieces (or those that allow you to add different charms, stones, etc.) can also maximize the overall value you can get out of the piece. There are some interchangeable pieces available in today's market, but you can also find some great vintage costume sets as well that are of great quality. If you go the vintage route, just be sure to select simple, clean, and classic looking designs to get the most versatility.


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