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Image / Fashion

How to create a capsule collection of everyday jewellery

by Freya Drohan
26th Feb 2020


Green fingers and necks? Not anymore — thanks to this curated guide of affordable investment pieces that will never let you down

An image of one particular woman sprinting with all her might on the treadmill next to me at a Barry’s Bootcamp on New York’s Upper East Side will always stick with me. It wasn’t because of her speed on the belt or anything; more the fact that she looked turned out to perfection (albeit a bit sweaty) in all of her gold jewellery. Stacked chains, miniature hoop earrings, blink-and-you-won’t-miss-’em rings: the whole shebang.

Whilst I spent years thinking that this — wearing fine jewellery to your exercise class — was strictly the territory of the well-heeled, it recently occurred to me that your accessories can be the building blocks of your everyday outfits (athleisure or otherwise) without breaking the bank.

Like a lot of people, one of my New Year’s resolutions has been to nix my reliance on fast fashion and stop buying into fleeting trends for the sake of it, and that goes for jewellery too. I’ve purchased the same packets of sleeper studs from H&M and those failsafe Penneys’ thin rings over the last decade, only to be eventually left with tarnished castoffs and green marks from the inevitable copper reactions.

After significant research, which obviously means trawling Instagram, as to which are the most commonly-layered, versatile and elegant pieces, I’ve come up with a blueprint of sorts.

Think of it as your cheat sheet to Upper East Side-approved, timeless elegance — no townhouse required.

Two Necklaces 

When it comes to your chains, here’s a trick to ensure more leverage: invest in two simple, un-embellished strands of varying lengths that best suit your neckline. Having this foundation will allow you to then add other pendants or lariats if you feel like it, giving you maximum styling opportunity.

Carmen Necklace, €131.05 from Daphine 

Short Bar Necklace, €75 from Juvi


Yes, there’s many differences between the 4 billion-odd women on the planet, but I still wager a bet that there are only two distinct camps. A) Those in favour of hoop earrings and b) those who couldn’t think of anything worse. If you’re a subscriber to the club (I am a card-carrying member since sometime back in 2007) why not finally splash out on a pair that will retain their lustre.

Gold Strata Hoops, €120 from Inner Island

Simple Rings 

The jewellery box equivalent of a great biker jacket; you simply can’t go wrong with dainty, stackable rings as they jazz up every outfit. Not sure where to hedge your bets? California-based brand Gorjana is known for trendy yet enduring pieces that don’t tarnish.

Gorjana Amara Ring Set, €75 from Loulerie

A Gold Bangle

Whether it’s jeans and a T-shirt day or an all-glam affair, a striking gold bangle has the ability to elevate just about any look.

Newbridge Dalique Gold Twist Bangle, €40 from Kilkenny Design

Read more: I swore I would never wear bucket hats, but fisherman’s hats have my head turned

Read more: The 10 best outfits I saved on Instagram this week
Read more: 12 XXL collars to wear over every outfit this spring

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