These are the pieces that are on rotation for fall:
Confession: I’ve always had trouble with jewelry.
In the past, I would either fall under the spell of “But it’s a good deal!” and buy super cheap jewelry that I didn’t love + never wore.
I would buy nicer costume jewelry that was way too sparkly for me — pieces that were in style, but not my style. It was the same syndrome I used to have with my clothes. I’d think, “If I’m going to spend money on this, it better be a wow piece!” But … then I’d end up with a bunch of wow pieces that didn’t work together + didn’t feel like me.
Finally though, I feel like I’m coming into my own when it comes to jewelry. I’ve figured out that I like delicate, minimal jewelry — jewelry that doesn’t demand attention but adds the tiniest bit of glimmer.
And I’ve figured out that it’s worth investing in pieces I’ll wear every day, no matter how simple or small they may be.
Not that that lesson came easy.
It was a tough mental hurdle for me, especially because I was all: Shouldn’t the price correspond with the size of the jewelry? So like all delicate jewelry should be a dollar, right?
Anyway, but then I met my friend Jen Moulton, who makes miracles out of metal, and I quickly changed my tune + decided quality jewelry is worth it.
And honestly … I just love Jen and want to support her work. It’s always easier to part with money when you know it’s going towards someone or something great.
Speaking of money, about half of these pieces are old + half are new for fall. Even though these pieces aren’t included in my budget for my capsule wardrobe, Aaron and I still did what we always do: budget carefully + save up over time until we can afford them.
Here’s a bit more about each piece:
Statement Cuff / My statement cuff is really old from Francesca’s, and doesn’t really look anything like the one up there in the picture, but if I was shopping for a new one today, it’s the one I’d pick.
Geode Necklace / This handmade necklace was a gift from my dear sister-in-law, McKenna. I throw it on when I want to add some cool-girl factor.
Delicate Cuff / This is one of Jen Moulton’s creations — and I’m obsessed. I have two — one in gold and one in rose gold. If you want the pair for yourself, Jen and I have teamed up to offer a special price for Unfancy readers! :)
Delicate Hex Necklace / Another one of Jen Moulton’s creations. Obsessed! And … special pricing on this piece too.
Statement Necklace / Mine is from a couple of years ago, so the color is different than the one shown, but it’s still one of my favorite necklaces. And now Madewell makes their necklaces adjustable — which is awesome.
Stacking Rings / Another one of Jen Moulton’s creations that (surprise!) I’m obsessed with. And, in case you didn’t guess by now, there’s also a special price on this bundle of 4 rings too. :)
Bangles (Solid + Cutout) / I used to wear these a lot more, but now I’m more prone to reach for my delicate cuffs. Still love them though.
Tiny Bar Earrings / These were inexpensive + awesome. I wear them every day.
Which one is your favorite?
Eeek! SO happy to see this post!! Thank you so much for sharing!! :):) Just curious, I believe you have the hex necklace in rose gold, right? How did you decide on which metal color to invest in? Was it because you have pops of red in your capsule for fall and you figured you’d wear that the most? Or just bc rose gold is awesome? :) And I’d love to know which stackable rings and which metals you chose bc I LOVE the look but don’t know how to put one together for myself! Haha. :) Love your heart for supporting your community too! xo!
Eeek, omg just discovered the ‘Unfancy Bundles’ on Moulton’s website! How cool are you?!!! You’re so amazing, Caroline! Would still love to hear your thought process but I may just have to put the Unfancy Casule Bundle on my christmas wish list now!! :D
I’m loving the geode trend!! I’m thinking about springing for a bracelet instead though, because that would be a tempting chew toy for my kids hanging around my neck :)
I feel the same way – jewelry is a real effort for me, but I’m working on it!
Steph M says
I love all of your jewelry picks! The Madewell necklace is awesome; I would love that!
My trouble with jewelry is that I never felt comfortable wearing anything flashy or exciting. And I hate spending a lot on costume jewelry because I’m afraid I’ll tire of it or not like it with anything and waste the money. So I buy from Walmart clearance (my rule is $5 or less) and Reitman’s sales (http://www.reitmans.com/Jewellery/Jewellery,default,sc.html). I live in a small town and Reitmans is one of the few women’s stores we have. :)
I’ve learned to be more careful, figuring out what styles I like and will wear, and what just doesn’t suit me. Like, delicate bangles look funny on my big bone structure, so I tend to wear bracelets that are a bit thicker, and will stack a few together. I’m breastfeeding so my necklaces get pulled all the time, so I’m not wearing those so much right now.
As for earrings, I went through a ‘wear all of the different earrings’ phase for a few years but I’ve had my same Dutch Zeeuwse knoop studs in for the past month. (Like this but earrings: http://www.degoudeneeuw-antiek.nl/Zilveren-Zeeuwse-knoop-als-broche) They are just pretty and go with everything.
And I *love* that mixing metals is “okay” now. It makes it all a lot easier.
I like your clothing styles but I really love your jewelry, especially the one from Jen Moulton. It is all about finding the stuff that suits oneself :)
For me also jewelry not too fancy but still delicate is best.
And I absolutely adore necklaces based on geodes, natural crystalls or opals.
Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's says
I actually prefer more delicate jewelry! Loving the delicate cuff :) -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s
My favorite is absolutely the hex necklace. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a former chemist, so I adore hexagons in any format :)
I love jewelry – love, love love it. So much that I started making it several years ago, though I’ve slowed way down now. I like jewelry with words, so I’ve got some hand stamped pieces I’ve made for myself.
I’m also discovering that with a simpler, more versatile Capsule Wardrobe, I like wearing bolder jewelry so I’ve got a few long, chunkier beaded or chain necklaces I made that I wear a lot.
There’s also something special about wearing something I’ve made myself, or bought from someone else who made it. (I agree it’s easier to spend money when it’s for someone you know!)
Lane Harbin says
This jewelry is spot on. I experienced a style awakening when I realized that, despite the statement necklaces and costume jewelry I saw stocked in every store, I felt the most myself when I was wearing a ton of never-take-it-off minimal gold jewelry. I love those “ah ha” moments of figuring out another little aspect of your style / yourself!
Me, too, Lane. I’ve always worn sentimental jewelry, and most is “delicate”, definitely not “statement”-style. Bangles and pearls given to me when I graduated high school, watch given to me when I graduated college, charm bracelet with charms I’ve collected from travels & been given throughout my life, necklaces & earrings given to me by family. Nothing is large, but all is fine medium to small jewelry. No more than 4-6 pieces in each category: bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings. It all happens to be my taste and style, so I’ve only bought 3 pieces of my jewelry myself, one of which I bought right after college is the biggest piece I own & it’s still not large: a moonstone small-beads long tassel necklace, almost looks like super-iridescent small pearls. I’ve never thought about trends or fashion, I’ve just always worn my own jewelry that I like, and I enjoy the memories when I look at them. It’s all timeless stuff, I guess, just never goes out of style…
Tania [girlwithanakita] says
I discovered I liked dainty jewelry when we went engagement ring shopping and all I saw were wide bands that you can see from space. They were almost like finger sheaths they were so wide!
I found Jen Moulton from And Kathleen and actually debated her stackable rings and bangles. They are a bit steep for dainty jewelry – since I have your same mindset of dainty = $1. Are they bendable? I worry I will get them and they are super malleable like F21 :(
I think that the Moulton cuff, worn in a pair like you do, is my favorite. They stack so beautifully and work so well with your fall capsule. :-) I inherited a large amount of vintage jewelry. Some is costume. Some is not. Some pieces are broken. I found a really great jewelry repair person who has been helping me get the broken pieces back into wearable shape. I feel like I need to play around a bit more with what I have before investing in anything new or I would be all over those cuffs. ;-)
I have struggled with the same things wit my jewelry! I realized most of what I own is too flashy for my tastes. I think I should clean out my jewelry box now.
I do a clean out every couple of years. I have a few expensive “real” pieces that always stay – my wedding jewelry and a few things from my husband.
Everything else is either costume jewelry from a department store or something I made myself that isn’t CRAZY expensive in materials. In college I bought a ton of cheap Forever21-type stuff, so over the years I’ve been clearing that out as it discolors or isn’t my style any longer, or is way too “young” for me, etc.
I donate a lot to Goodwill, or give the sturdy stuff without sharp edges to my 5yo daughter for dress-up. If you have pieces that wouldn’t be worth much to re-sell, you may have luck finding a preschooler to take it off your hands :)
Andrea H says
The delicate hex cuffs are beautiful. Do you ever have trouble with them catching and then getting bent way out of shape? I have a similar (though cheaper quality) cuff to this and it seems to always catch on things and then open way up. But maybe I am always in too much of a flustered rush…
This is such a great post! I feel the same way about jewelry – I always want to have nice things to put on, but somehow I feel guilty about investing in them (it seems somehow more “necessary” to buy a shirt), but then all I have are cheap-o jewelry, and a few classic pieces that I’ve received as gifts (that I’m very thankful for, but don’t always want to wear day-to-day to make me feel hip :).
I LOVE Moulton’s stuff, and that geode necklace, too…I’m going to have to check both of those out in the future as I invest.
As always, thanks Caroline! I’m loving this site!
Yes! I totally know how you feel. Remember a few years ago when big chunky, statement necklaces were all the rage? Very J. Crew. I bought one, got it from J. Crew Factory at least, but it just wasn’t me. I am much more minimal and also really don’t like it when jewelry feels heavy on me. So delicate pieces are much more my style. It’s nice to find a lot more options recently and Moulton’s pieces are just beautiful! I love the cuff.
I was going to make a guest post entry but i feel our styles are too similar. I have the exact pieces you do from madewell. And the scarves. And its too uncanny.
Andrea H says
I am starting to worry the same thing! I think that’s why I am so drawn to your blog, because your aesthetic is very similar to mine. Caroline, are you looking more toward variety in terms of a guest blogger?
Hi Andrea! I’m looking for variety in lifestyle more than actual style. :) So I’d love to see you apply! xo Caroline
Hi Archana! I’m looking for variety in lifestyle more than actual style. You’d bring a new perspective, so I say apply anyway. :) xo Caroline
Girrrrl I feel you on the jewelry struggles. I’m working on building my quality/stylish/artisan/meaningful pieces right now.
Just came across your blog a few weeks ago and I’m loving it. Keep it up!
Is the maxwell necklace heavy or light in weight? Love your blog!