How to Add to Your Jewelry Collection

I have a weakness for unusual pins.  I’ve been
collecting them since I was a teen and still wear
some of my older ones to this day.  In fact, one
of my favorites, a little giraffe about 2 inches
tall, was given to me by my “Secret Santa” way
back in third grade.  It’s seen better days, but
it’s whimsical enough to still draw comments
whenever I pin it on.  That’s why I still wear it

You probably have certain jewelry pieces that
draw comment whenever you wear them as well.
Earrings, a necklace, a bracelet, or whatever,
you probably have a few pieces that you love to
wear because they get you noticed or make you
feel good.

On the other hand, you may have a few “duds” in
your jewelry box, too.  Those gifts that “missed
by a mile” or those “what was I thinking?” pieces
that do nothing but collect dust.  How do create
a go-anywhere jewelry collection without getting
a few more “duds” in the process?

By planning.

Like your clothing wardrobe, your jewelry
wardrobe can be maximized so that a little does a
lot.  If you select carefully, a few great pieces
can help create a variety of looks to polish your
ensembles and define your style.

Here’s how you do it:

1.  Clean Out Your Jewelry Box

Set aside some time to go through your jewelry
box.  Pull those pieces you don’t wear and give
them to someone else.  Have broken items
repaired.  If you have expensive fine jewelry —
heirlooms perhaps — that you don’t wear, see if
you can have them redesigned to suit your needs.
If that doesn’t appeal to you, sell them via your
jeweler, a local auction house, or even
If you’re not wearing them it only makes sense
to get them out of inventory to make room for
something you do wear. 

2.  Assess Your Inventory

Once you’ve gone through your box, look at the
things you DO wear on a regular basis.  Why do
you wear them?  What do they have in common?  Are
they of similar color?  Shape?  Size?  What?
Once you can identify why those pieces appeal to
you, you’ll know what to look for when adding to
your collection in the future.

3.  Get Organized

Put your pieces back in your jewelry box in a way
that makes sense to you.  Put all the pins
together, all the rings together, all the
bracelets together, etc.  This may be in your
jewelry box or in some other container that meets
your needs.  I’ve seen women use utensil drawer
trays, divider boxes, and even pill boxes to
separate and hold pins and earrings.  These are
generally okay for inexpensive costume pieces so
long as they’re not jumbled together, but felt or
velvet-lined boxes are best for fine and bridge
jewelry so that pieces don’t get scratched or
marred.  Whatever you put your jewelry in, make
sure you can get to it easily.  If it’s hard to
access or out of sight, it won’t get worn.

4. See What’s Missing

If you regularly find yourself looking in the
mirror at an ensemble and thinking, “This would
look really cute with a chunky necklace” (dangly
earrings, sparkling bracelet, or whatever,) then
those are the pieces you should get first.  Make
a list.  Put a star by the pieces that you might
wear the most.

5. Go Shopping

When you’re ready to acquire new pieces, do so
thoughtfully.  If you use clothing capsules or
have a predominant color scheme in your wardrobe,
select pieces that work well with them.  Always
keep the rules of proportion in mind so that you
don’t buy things that over or under-whelm your
body.  If you’ll be splurging on expensive fine
pieces, like diamond earrings or a string of
pearls, opt for classic styles and lengths.
You’ll get more wear out of them than trendy

If your wish list is bigger than your budget,
move some of those items to your holiday,
birthday, or anniversary wish list – with
pictures, if possible.  While some gift-givers do
beautifully on their own, others – while generous
– may need more direction.  Give them pictures,
store name, even sales person’s name, if
applicable, so that you end up with what you
want.  That way, everyone’s happy.

Adding to your jewelry collection is a lot like
adding to your clothing wardrobe:  see what you
have, see what you need, and get rid of things
you don’t wear any more.  Getting organized will
allow you to do this.  And who knows?  Once you
get in there and look around, you may find that
you have more than you thought and don’t need to
anything at all – except to wear what’s in there
more often!

Need more tips on adding to your jewelry
collection?  Download a copy of ACCESSORY MAGIC

to see how you can use jewelry to define your
style and stretch your budget.


(c) 2006 Diana Pemberton-Sikes

Diana Pemberton-Sikes is a wardrobe and image consultant
and author of “Wardrobe Magic,” an ebook that shows women how to transform their unruly closets into workable, wearable wardrobes. Visit her online at .

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