From bangle to pendant, brooch to shoulder duster, jewellery influencer Liza Urla believes you should always choose jewels that make you happy, and that bring positive vibes to your ensemble.
This was some of the sage advice the founder of the Gemologue blog imparted during an exclusive session at The Jewellery Cut Live in February. Above all, she advised, reach for jewels with personal meaning; it’s not about having a vault full of bijoux, but a collection that speaks to you and reminds you of what you treasure in life.
For Urla, who last year published her debut book Gemologue: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling, each type of jewel plays a particular role in setting the tone of your style. To ensure your jewellery box is filled with versatile capsule pieces that will allow you to look stylish in any situation at a moment’s notice, seek out the following five pieces.
1. A ring to keep you uplifted
Wedding and engagement rings aside, chose an everyday ring that evokes a special memory, or triggers a positive emotion, advises Urla. It should be a joy to put on in the morning, and enlivening each time you see it on your hand. For special occasions, a striking cocktail ring can be a dynamite addition to an evening outfit. Keep the look elegant by sticking to one statement ring per hand.
2. Earrings to energise you
Earrings are an essential finishing touch to your look, and since they frame your face, choose ones that “match your inner rhythm”, as the influencer phrases it. These earrings should enhance your best features, be that your skin tone, eye colour or hairstyle. Going asymmetric with your earrings – wearing one stud and one drop, for instance – creates an appealing imbalance that draws attention to your face, so play with this technique to put focus on your visage.
3. A bracelet to define your mood
Bracelets anchor the aura of your jewel ensemble, believes Urla. Think of the power Coco Chanel achieved with her ever-present duo of Verdura Maltese cross cuffs. If you want armour to tackle the day, consider finding your own pair of cuffs to take on the world, or another bracelet style that makes you feel your strength. A stack of colourful costume bangles is bold and fun, and a hand chain, which links a bracelet to a ring, can be a delicate and sophisticated flourish.
4. A necklace to express yourself
Other people see your necklaces more than you do, so make sure that they convey the message you want them to. If layering pendants, pick one to be the showpiece, and place it in the middle or at the bottom of the arrangement with subtler ornaments. While mixing metals of rings and bracelets often works easily, a group of different coloured chains can be distracting, so when in doubt, stick to one metal colour, advises Urla.
5. A brooch (or three!) to add spice
The brooch is the most overlooked piece of jewellery, according to Urla, and can add instant chic to an outfit. The trick to avoiding a dated or overly formal look is to play with tension and scale so that the effect is a surprising delight. Add an intricate and delicate pin to a masculine blazer for contrast. Fasten brooches in unusual spots, such as on a skirt or in place of the top button on a blouse. Or group three or more together for a richly clustered look. Just be sure there’s a common thread to the brooches when grouping, so as to avoid a hodge-podge effect.