Before you kick your beloved baubles to the curb, be sure to read our guide of those overlooked classics that have been stashed away in your jewelry box for years! While they're not quite as coveted as a Cartier or that perfect strand of pearls, these pieces will still add years to your wardrobe and deserve a round of applause.
Enamel Bangles: Whether they're Hermes or yard sale finds, enamel bangles add playful sophistication to any outfit. Better than their spaghetti-thin relatives, chunky enamel bangles pop against outfits and require less bulk to look like a substantial stack. (Hermes Clic-Clac H bracelets, available in a variety of colors, for around $540 each.)
The Statement Necklace: It can turn a cotton t-shirt into a party or your LBD into an affair, this piece will always kick up the drama with a click of the clasp. We particularly like the retro chic look of a pearl collar necklace or the chic flare of modern and chunky pieces that look straight off the runway. (The Showstopper Necklace from Banana Republic, $62.)
The "I Got This on Vacation" Piece: Whimsy and tacky beware, we're walking a fine line with this exotic beauty. But heck, who cares! We got this when it was in a sunnier time and we were under the influence of many paper umbrella stirred tropical drinks. And in case there's still any concern, don't worry, we have a great story to back them up. (Wooded Saints Bracelets can be picked up for miniscule amount of Euros at an Italian Flea Market, or order online for under $5 each from GiftsCatholic.com.)
The Shameless Designer Piece: We're all guilty of it. Designer lust. And we may or may not have broken down out of despair from not being able to buy that handbag or shoes we were craving and opted for a more financially responsible purchase. (Sort of.) Whether you still love it and get a little thrill from that logo, or if you keep it as a cautionary tale to control your impulses, this one is still a keeper. (Chanel plexi and metal cuff, find at Chanel Boutiques, price upon request.)
The Studded Stud Earring: We think there's something so glamorous about the statement studs. Those times when your conventional sparklers or pearls can take the night off because you have something more special in mind. Bonus points if they're a hand-me-down from grandma's treasure chest - take clip-on's to the jeweler to have them altered! (24K electroplated Crystal Fireworks Earrings, for $55 at J.Crew.)
Wooden Beads: Pieces made of wooden beads can be dramatic or subdued, but either way will show your natural instincts. Typically inexpensive (or easily made at home like this set from Martha Stewart), they can be wrapped around your wrist or lei-ed and layered; these beads have to multiple uses to dress your blue jean look with style. (Martha Stewart's hand-dyed wooden beads, find full instructions online.)
Tiffany & Co.
Lucky Charms: Our Tiffany charm bracelets from high school have definitely seen better days (or rather, decades.) And while this year's generation is trading up Tiffany's silver for David Yurman, those chunky chains and flat heart pendants always hold a near and dear place in our hearts. Hold onto this one to pass along to your daughter when Harry Winston becomes the new right of passage so you can remind her of the simpler times of yore, when a sterling silver bracelet and a robin's egg blue box still meant something special. (Return to Tiffany's Heart Charm Bracelet, available at Tiffany & Co. in Farmington.)