Hoop earrings are a style perennial; no jewelry collection is complete without at least one pair. For such a simple design, they’re remarkably versatile: oversized gold hoops are a summer essential, while lobes stacked with tiny ‘huggies’ – made famous by Maria Tash – are the modern way to wear diamonds.
Beginners should start with fine gold hoops such as Jennifer Fisher’s ultra-lightweight Thread design. “There’s a reason hoops have been around for centuries – they’re incredibly comfortable and go with everything,” says Fisher, whose designs are loved by A-listers including Yara Shahidi and Margot Robbie.
The ultimate hoop-earring collection should also include a pair of mid-sized chubby hoops, such as Laura Lombardi’s sculptural pair for everyday wear, along with a shot of color in the form of Alison Lou’s Jelly hoops or Diane Kordas’s bead-adorned design, perfect for an instant holiday vibe. And, proof that hoop earrings aren’t just for daytime, Anita Ko’s ultra-glamorous rose-gold hoops are embellished with over three carats of diamonds, making them the perfect finishing touch for most after-dark looks.
A chain necklace
One of the biggest jewelry trends of recent years, the chain necklace is here to stay. There is something to suit every style and budget – from Pippa Small’s delicate 18-karat gold chain, each fine link crafted by hand, to unapologetically chunky styles by Ippolita or Carolina Bucci, who finishes hers with a chubby heart pendant of scintillating Florentine-finish gold.
LA-based brand Spinelli Kilcollin has become known for its interconnecting Galaxy rings – loved by fashion editors and celebrities alike – and now its Crux chain necklace, comprising yellow, pink and black gold links in varying weights and sizes, is destined to achieve similar cult status. Italian house Pomellato has created chains since the 1960s: its newest style, the slinky rose-gold Brera necklace, hugs the skin and can be adjusted to suit any neckline.
Chains work best when worn casually – layer two or three over a white T-shirt or tank top in summer – or to add interest to weighty knits in colder months. Bigger styles also serve as the perfect industrial-chic counterpoint to ladylike looks: Lauren Rubinski’s polished-gold chain lends instant cool to a strappy sundress.
A classic watch
A watch is the ultimate everyday accessory; the finishing touch that makes any outfit complete. Every watch wardrobe should include a pared-back classic by an established brand that carries both style and horological cachet.
Round dials are universally flattering, while square or rectangular dials are the epitome of elegance. Choose whichever-color metal you wear most, and invest in the best materials and craftsmanship that your budget allows.
The beautifully minimalist dial of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Ultra Thin Moon Automatic comes with pictograms that indicate the phases of the moon and the date: an aesthetically beautiful detail as well as a useful function. The label’s Reverso watch, created in the 1930s for polo players, is redolent of the art-deco era, as is Cartier’s Tank Américaine, with a chic brown strap that will only get better with age.
Cartier’s Ballon Bleu, as worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, is another understated yet instantly recognizable design: in practical and durable stainless steel, it will never date. The Hermès Heure H, meanwhile, is a more contemporary design that has earned a place on the world’s most-fashionable wrists. Its interchangeable strap means it will complement any ensemble.
A diamond bracelet
Known as a tennis bracelet after the US champion Chris Evert wore hers on court in the 1970s, a diamond bracelet is one of the hardest-working pieces in any jewelry collection. Smart enough for the office, and glamorous enough for black-tie dinners, it adds just the right amount of sparkle to your closet.
“Diamond bracelets look great on everyone; they will never go out of style and can be worn day to night,” says Suzanne Kalan, who reinvents the classic style by using a melange of her signature Firework baguette-cut diamonds. “You can wear one bracelet for a minimal look or stack them up for impact. Just have fun with them; they’re so comfortable that you forget you have them on.”
Anita Ko also wraps the wrist in baguette-cut diamonds and rose gold: a beautifully simple, contemporary take on the classic design. Ofira’s graphic diamond-set bangle comes in white or yellow gold, ideal for mixing your metals, and Repossi adds an architectural element with jagged rose-gold peaks; particularly striking when stacked against a classic timepiece. Jennifer Meyer, meanwhile, adds a pop of color with turquoise or blue sapphires set amongst the white diamonds, while Lorraine Schwartz’s diamond-set smiley faces offer a playful twist on this classic piece and have achieved cult status in the process.
A cocktail ring
Popularized in the Prohibition-era 1920s, when flapper girls wore oversized rings to draw attention to their illicit drinks, cocktail rings are redolent of an era of bygone glamour. Forget less-is-more minimalism or dainty layers of diamonds; the joy of a cocktail ring is that you only need a single piece to make a statement.
Traditional cocktail rings feature large colored gemstones accented by diamonds. Amrapali’s 3.49ct emerald, surrounded by rose-cut diamonds, is a timeless example, brought up to date with blackened gold. Usually worn on the right hand, cocktail rings are a symbol of independence and self-love. Selim Mouzannar’s triple cluster of morganite and diamonds, inspired by the architecture of the designer’s native Beirut, is proof that more really is more, while Sylva & Cie’s iridescent, oversized opal can’t fail to attract attention.
Cocktail rings are a no-brainer evening accessory, but for true decadence, wear yours in the daytime, dressed down with jeans, a tee and a relaxed blazer. In polished gold set with a raspberry-pink rubellite, Kimberly McDonald’s chunky, one-of-a-kind domed ring is an heirloom piece of epic proportions.