Everyone can benefit from a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe saves money, space, overconsumption, the environment, unethical labour, etc. It makes life easier for you to decide what to wear, to pack for travelling, and to know what you need when you go shopping. Most everything is coordinated, trendless and high quality so it lasts a long time. If your capsule wardrobe is neutral, as many are because it is easier to coordinate, then you jazz up your outfit with accessories: jewelry, scarves, belts, purse, shoes...You end up buying less quantity and have better quality and more exclusive looking clothes. There are lots of guides to putting together a capsule wardrobe online.
Capsule Jewelry Wardrobe
You can apply the same principles of a capsule wardrobe to jewelry. A capsule jewelry wardrobe would include a variety of jewelry pieces to match your wardrobe's colour pallet. In addition to matching the style and type of jewelry, texture, weight, and the colour of the metal also need to be considered. For example, yellow gold looks warm and stunning on women with darker complexions whereas lighter skin often has a more cool, almost blueish tinge to it which presents better with silver. In addition to your hair and skin colour, you need to consider the colour palette of your wardrobe because just like skin, warm tones of clothing tend to look better with golden metals whereas white (silver) metals pop off of cool neutrals. For example, women with red hair and Celtic rosy complexions look great in greens and blues. Copper looks great against those colours and would highlight their hair colour. If your hair colour changes by whim or age, the wardrobe may have to adapt somewhat. So it is always nice to have a few pieces of warm and cool metals just so you have them on hand should you want to change things up. Some of us still remember the days where we shopped according to our "season" and restricted our wardrobes and jewelry according to four arbitrary categories. Although it was somewhat helpful to fashion beginners to guide their wardrobe choices and reduce impulse buying, some went overboard and adopted it as fashion religion.
Once you have decided on the dominant preferred metal type/colour, you can start with a few basic foundation pieces to build from. Similar to your capsule clothing wardrobe, you want to purchase the best quality pieces you can afford. They may seem expensive up front but they last longer, look better for your image and can be considered an investment that will likely increase in value over time.
Some women prefer a particular type of jewelry: bold, simple, delicate, impressive or vintage, for examples and wear it almost all the time. I fit in this category. I like big bold gemstone pieces because I just love the rocks and love looking at them and sharing their beauty with onlookers. These women will be looking for statement pieces of jewelry.
Adding one--of-a-kind jewelry is an easy way to make a capsule wardrobe outfit spectacular. Original designs and gemstones are timeless and trendless so you can wear them with anything and often for any occasion. Many gemstones, because they are natural, are neutral or contain a blend of colours and patterns that will suit most styles, colours and fabrics. You can have as many statement pieces that you can afford because they do not devalue and can be passed along, just wear one at a time. If you are wearing a statement necklace for example, keep your other jewelry simple/minimalist and complimentary to the statement piece. If you want your jewelry to be a matched set, then go for simple otherwise your jewelry will compete with one another or as one blogger said, "you will look like a jeweller threw up on you". Charming. Don't follow my example where I wear big bold gemstone rings, necklaces etc at the same time because I am my own billboard.
Other women who don't have a preference and love all styles will be looking for a variety of jewelry depending on what they will be wearing. So what should they look for as foundation jewelry pieces that will go with particular outfits and for particular occasions once they have decided on the metal colour they prefer:
- a delicate necklace that is 16 or 18" long would be appropriate when the outfit is already bold. You don't want your jewelry to compete for attention with a fabulous clothing piece. Quiet occasions where you don't want to attract too much attention or want to convey a more conservative or traditional image, are best served by understated jewelry. Could be a delicate chain with a charm or a small but elegant ring. The advantage of smaller pieces is that you can layer them. Layer your thin chains at different lengths or stack your thin rings when you want a bigger impact with your conservative jewelry.
- you likely want at least one statement piece that will attract attention and be a conversation starter. A bold original design or amazing gemstone are perfect for this kind of function. Women who attend business events, conferences, trade shows, or even social events benefit from making an impression with a big bold beautiful pendant, ring, bracelet or earrings. If you attend these type of events or see clients regularly you may need more than one piece to rotate along with your wardrobe.
- you want several pairs of earrings: studs, dangles, hoops; some with gemstones and some plain metal. This way you will always have a pair to match a casual, professional or glamourous outfit/occasion. Some women have a "go to" pair because they are comfortable and seem to match just about everything. If this is you, make sure they are the highest quality you can afford because they will be associated with you and if you are wearing them all the time, you want them to be good quality against your skin. Stay away from costume jewelry for the "go to" pair unless you swap the earwires for good quality Gold, Silver or Niobium.
- you want to make sure you have necklaces for a variety of necklines (see blog post on necklines and necklaces) unless you only wear one type of neckline which makes it easy. Often you can wear whatever length you want as long as the position of the necklace fits with the neckline and doesn't compete with it. With a V neck for example, you want the bottom of the necklace, whether it is a chain, beaded necklace or pendant, to land either above or below the edge of the neckline of the top. If you have a blouse, for example, you would wear a long necklace under the collar and outside of the blouse and wear a shorter necklace inside the collar and above the first closed button so you can see the jewelry. Crew necks or boat necks go well with just about any length of necklace.
- bracelets are often a jewelry piece that women do not wear to work or shopping because it can get in the way. If you are wearing long sleeves you likely don't want a cuff unless the wrist area of the sleeve is tight enough to fit the cuff over it. Otherwise I suggest a looser bracelet like a bangle, chain or beaded bracelet so it drops beyond your sleeve and drapes slightly over your hand. A bracelet looks lovely with short or sleeveelss tops because it draws the eye down the length of your arm and gives a more finished look. If you are wearing a statement bracelet, keep your other jewelry simple. Otherwise keep your bracelet to a simple chain.
- "matchy matchy" jewelry sets are not very popular at the moment in favour of complimentary/coordinating jewelry. If you like a more matched look, wear jewelry of the same metal colour even though it is quite acceptable now to wear different colours metals together. I prefer to wear jewelry metals in the same colour palette, such as Rose Gold with Copper, Yellow Gold with Brass and White Gold with Silver. Bronze is great because it goes well with Copper or Brass.