Take off your jewellery; start again. Lisa Armstrong can help
We know it has sentimental value. But be honest: does it have style value too?
To paraphrase, for a moment, Sting: if you love something, set it free. But not for free. So it is with jewellery. Every so often, you need to divest yourself of all of it. The friendship bracelets from your godchildren. The pushing ring from your husband. The copper bangle that’s supposed to ward off arthritis…
This is how it is with jewellery. It accumulates, even more than clothes, heavy with memories and symbolism, cluttering up your fingers and wrists.
Jewellery can make an outfit. It can also break it. It can modernise or fatally date – but it’s hard to tell when it has become part of your furniture. So take it all off. Go jewellery-naked for a few days. See what you miss. Perhaps all of it. Perhaps nothing. Come back to the mirror with fresh eyes. Maybe hoops never suited you after all.
Larger necklaces should sit neatly (see The Crown for masterclasses in how to wear necklaces, from queenly five-strand pearls to Margaret’s 1950s designs. John Lewis and susancaplan.com are good for
Jewellery can modernise or fatally date – but it’s hard to tell when it’s part of your furniture
vintage costume jewellery). Fine gold pendants are lovely if you wear open-neck shirts (Monica Vinader is the place).
Good earrings are everywhere, but for inspiration look to Céline, JW Anderson, Aurélie Bidermann. Coloured stones are on trend (see Kiki McDonough), but white or black diamonds and pearls (try Mizuki’s modern designs on net-a-porter.com) are more versatile. Earrings should accentuate your bone structure and not drag your lobes down. Uncomfortable pairs must be written off and chalked up to experience. Rings? Make a statement out of wearing one or more on every finger, or pare right back.
Sell any jewellery you’ve fallen out of love with. You can make money that can be put towards better ends. Start compiling a list of pieces you’d really love – from SJ Phillips’ antiques to Susan Foster’s contemporary designs. It will be a lifetime’s work.