Yves Saint Laurent once said, “fashion fades, style is eternal.” When it comes to styling jewelry, his statement certainly holds true. You may think that the more you spend, the more stylish you will be. But when it comes to jewelry, style is about more than just cash flow.

Consider some pieces that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars that are visually stunning but gaudy. They quickly become relics, shorthand for dated moments in fashion history. Whether you are balling on a budget or looking to spend big, here are some pointers for achieving your perfect style with jewelry.

Keep It Simple

Sometimes less is more in the jewelry scene, especially when discovering your personal style from the beginning. It takes time to develop your look, and that means starting simple. Even thinking about engagement rings, a solitaire ring has always been a timeless classic.

Coming right out of the gate, layering several chunky chains with a flashy pendant will seem like overkill and cost you style points and cash. Opting instead for understated pieces can elevate your look without overpowering your entire outfit.

In choosing a necklace, thinner ones made of gold and silver are a great entry point. When adding a pendant, opt for tags or simple geometric designs. They will add a touch of flair without distracting from your overall look or breaking the bank.

Best Materials 

Materials have a major influence on whether a piece will be within your budget. Here are the best materials, regardless of if you want to strike the ideal balance between beauty and affordability or go all-in on a showstopper.


When we talk about gold, it’s easy to get confused by the sheer amount of terminology. Familiarizing yourself with a few key terms will give you the confidence to find affordable pieces while still maximizing your style.

Solid Gold

Solid gold is the standard bearer for quality and style. Ranging from 10-24 karat, pieces like these last a lifetime when treated properly, and over a lifetime of use, the cost is justified. In the meantime, you can utilize credit jewelers and other offers to get your gold piece sooner.

Financing options like credit jewelers are a fantastic way to sparkle now and pay later. If you have your eye on something special for yourself or a loved one but can’t yet afford it, fear not; many credit jewelers offer a wide variety of ways to finance the piece over time. But remember, it’s always wisest to always shop within your budget, even when using services like credit jewelers. 

Gold-Filled and Gold-Plated

Gold-plated jewelry is made from a base metal such as brass, copper, or silver and covered in a thin layer of gold through a process called electroplating. Gold-filled jewelry is made from base metals mechanically bonded with gold. These pieces have between two and three layers of gold, making them quite durable.

Both of these options give you a show-stopping look without the hefty price tag of solid gold. When styling gold, earth tones are a great starting point. A gold chain paired with a white t-shirt, beige blazer, and blue jeans is a simple way to achieve an effortlessly cool vibe. 

Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is beautiful, boasting an eye-catching shine and understated subtlety, making it ideal for both casual or more elevated settings. This material is a workhorse and durable enough to withstand frequent use. You will often see jewelry labeled “Sterling Silver .925,” which signifies a composition of 92.5% silver, with the remaining 7.5% made from other metal alloys.

Sterling silver jewelry is hypoallergenic, high quality, and sold at approachable prices – perfect for adding to your daily rotation. Style sterling silver rings, necklaces, and bracelets with black, gray, and white clothing for a look that is balanced and complimentary. Think Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s iconic chain-over-turtleneck look. 


When selecting jewelry, it is important to consider context, setting, and circumstance. Considerations for everyday use are different from special occasions.


Your daily standbys will be frequently exposed to the elements. Sweat, dirt, and wear and tear can shorten the lifespan of these pieces, so sterling silver and gold-plated options are the way to go.  

When styling for the office, stick to one or two understated pieces that don’t draw too much attention. A signet ring or simple bracelet can be a great way to incorporate a little personal style in the workplace. 

Special Occasions and Going Out

Life’s biggest occasions are an opportunity to go big and spend on jewelry that will last you a lifetime. A wedding band made of solid gold is timeless. Properly cared for, it will last forever and is a bold representation of commitment.

Flashier pieces like solid gold earrings studded with diamonds or stacked bracelets can make a strong fashion statement for going out on the town. Jewelry is the last thing you put on but the first thing people notice! Keep this in mind when you style your outfit.


Selecting jewelry for style can take some time, research, and experimentation. Fortunately, as you hone in on your signature look, you can find quality pieces no matter your budget. Wearing the right piece will elevate your style and increase your confidence as you move through the world, so choose wisely!