11 Jewelry Essentials To Have In Your Collection

Look in your closet right now and you'll likely find some version of the essential wardrobe building blocks that everyone has: a boyfriend jean, a Chelsea boot, an LBD. These are the wear-every-day pieces we happily invest in (in multiples!) knowing that we'll love them season after season. Now, it's time to apply the same discerning treatment to your jewelry collection.

These are the finishing touches that you'll wear until they've become your signature. And if something is going to become recognizably you, it's worth making sure it's really, well, you. Are you more classic, or do you prefer something that's ahead of the game? Whichever vibe you're after, you can be sure it's represented in each staple jewelry item you own — the delicate chain that feels like second skin, the stud earrings you never take off, the watch that's more for style than time-checking, and so on.

Ahead, we break down the major silhouettes to know and love, and offer up options likely to suit your core fashion personality. Consider your jewelry box properly attired.
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The Second-Skin Necklace
It's the delicate chain you wear day in, day out. You shower with it (even though you're not supposed to); you wear it under all of your clothes. You give it as little thought as possible, because it's basically a part of your body. The more streamlined it is, the better: It's either gold or silver, dotted by a diamond or cluster of stones at the very center. This simplicity allows you to layer and pair it with other necklaces, as well as with other jewels in your arsenal, seamlessly.
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It's as subtle as the previous style, but an acrostic alphabet necklace allows you to personalize your sparkle. You can pick your stone according to your first name, last name, nickname, pet's name — whatever nomenclature your heart desires.

Erica Weiner Acrostic Alphabet Necklaces, starting at $300, available at Erica Weiner.
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The Everyday Bling Ring
Don't bother with the could've and should've. You like yourself, so put a ring on it — a simple but bling-y ring that lends itself to stacking. So as to not be confused with an engagement sparkler, a baguette cut, east-west setting, and a straightforward gold band is our style of choice.
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However, there's still room for innovation in that classic formula. This open-faced style displaces the stone to the side, creating an unconventional silhouette that's still dainty and elegant.
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The Grown-Up Watch
Once you're an adult and expected to contribute to society, you've got to get places on time. While a phone becomes our de facto time piece (and date book, and personal assistant, and navigator, etc.), a classic wrist watch gives the illusion of having your life together. A leather strap feels sophisticated, while a gold bezel adds a touch of luxury (without necessarily straining the wallet).
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Graduate your wrist to adulthood with a watch that serves multiple purposes. This Movado number will help keep you on schedule, yet with its numberless face, minimal design, and subtle sparkle, it also doubles as a bracelet. That's kind of like two upgrades in one, no?
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The Understated Hoops
A lot can be said about your personality from your preferred type of hoop earring: You could love a playfully oversized pair, or prefer an understated, lobe-hugging style. And this streamlined shape is an undying classic.
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The silhouette remains untouched, but how you wear it gets a slight tweak. This open-bottom hoop earring is about illusion: With a perfectly symmetrical front and back, it creates the look of a singular ear piece.
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The Dangly Earrings
Sometimes, we stop ourselves from heading out the door because we feel our #OOTDs need something. If you can't put your finger on it, odds are, a sculptural earring will give your ensemble that special touch you need.
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These stringy chain earrings deliver on the dangly-ness, without weighing down your lobes. Instead, they create a cool visual that's just as eye-catching — and much lighter — than a detailed art-deco design.
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The Barely-There Bracelet
When you don't have time to craft an #armparty, but don't want your wrist to go bare, the barely-there bracelet swoops in for the win: a single thin chain, gently dangling from your arm.
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Multi-tasking applies to jewelry, too. This mixed-metal bracelet doubles as a lariat necklace, so you can choose how and where you wear it.
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The Accent Pendant
Boyfriend jeans and a white T-shirt is one of the most fool-proof outfit formulas. So how do you set your jeans-and-tee combo apart from those of the rest of your brunch party? A long tassel pendant that adds sophistication to your laid-back favorites.
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With the growing popularity of naked jewelry we've seen the rise of understated chains that still pack a whole lot of punch. This lariat necklace hangs like a pendant, but is a lot more delicate. It's dressy without being distracting, eye-catching without being clunky.
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The Ear Crawler
For those who want the cool multi-piercing look but are too scared to poke any additional holes in their ears: Meet the ear crawler. It's a single earring that creates a four-stud look, while sitting pretty on your ear lobe.
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These three-point studs have more going on than your average sparklers. The opal center branches out into tiny opal- and diamond-ended legs that sit on the lobe like an ear crawler, only more delicately.
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The Statement Cuff
If there's a piece of jewelry that makes us feel like a superhero, it's the cuff bracelet. It's strong, it's bulky in a good way, and it can instantly turn any outfit up to 11. This style blends a classic shape with contemporary details.
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This cuff can be the main attraction, or just one of the guests at your arm party. It's sculptural and minimal, and will match everything.
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The Throwback Choker
Think back to your favorite childhood necklace. It probably sat close to your neck, and was made of some sort of elastic material. Consider this the grown-up version: a braided, dusty-pink leather band, dotted with a single floral charm.
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For weekday wear, a gold wraparound collar necklace fits right in with the rest of your put-together wardrobe. It still sits high on your neck, like a choker, but doesn't look or feel constricting.
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The Don't-Think-About-It Studs
The best earrings are the ones you don't really worry about — in fact, they mostly slip your mind, because you forget you're wearing them. These itty-bitty black diamonds dot your ears in a glamorous (but not obviously glitzy) fashion.
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Switch up the everyday stud game with a mismatched pair. That way, you don't have to play favorites.
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