We all have the wonderful memory of our first payroll landing in our hands. The hours in the office pays off and after we pay our bills, we often treat ourselves a little (or sometimes too much) with a pack of earrings or a comfy pyjama set.
But with more passing birthdays, impulse buys turn into logical buys – classic pieces that we could wear over and over again and still look trendy or brand new, with the proper care of course. Really, there’s nothing as satisfying as being able to finally bring home the products that we’ve been eyeing from behind store windows.
So start saving up for things that would still look good decades after you buy them – like that Cartier Love bracelet or a mesmerising string of pearls. Who knows, they might even end up as heirloom jewellery.
Here, we’re showing you 14 classic jewellery pieces which would give you the best bang for you buck, guarantee an accessory for every outfit and will definitely stay gorgeous through the ages.
Jade bangles are heirloom pieces meant to be treasured and passed on, so choosing one made with high quality stone is important. For a modern take on jade, opt for a piece that’s got that extra something, like this one from Choo Yilin, made with a sakura blossom design.
The Sakura Jade Bangle by Choo Yilin, price upon request at Choo Yilin.
A statement necklace may seem extravagant, but investing in one can elevate any outfit or bring a party outfit to the next level. If you’re only going to buy one, make sure it’s representative of your signature style so it goes with everything in your wardrobe, and so you’ll wear it for years to come.
Marni Geometric Necklace, about $481 on Matches Fashion.
Celebrate your birthday all year round by wearing your birthstone; they’re a beautiful way to represent another year around the sun… or in the case of those born in June, another year around the Moon(stone).
The Petra Stacking Ring by Monica Vinader in Moonstone, $180 from Monica Vinader.
A staple that belongs on all necks. Wear it alone, link your favorite charms to the chain, or layer multiple chains to create a casual look.
Adjustable plain chain yellow gold by Catbird, $158.95.
Diamonds really are forever when it comes to these bracelets. Opt for one with fewer diamonds to keep things simple and wearable on a daily basis.
14K gold diamond tennis bracelet by Zoe Chicco. $1,395 on ShopBop.
Diamonds are truly a girl’s best friend.
They – studs in particular – are a staple in every woman’s jewellery box. Within seconds, they add glamour and elegance to your outfit.
Best of all, diamond studs are designed so minimally that they’d look good in every generation (even your descendants could wear them). A worthy investment? We think so.
We included a pair from Van Cleef and Arpels (left), because we adore how it gives off an old-school chic Audrey Hepburn kind of vibe with its onyx-diamond combo, golden beads and iconic Alhambra shape – which are related to the lucky clover leaves.
L-R: Vintage Alhambra earrings, Van Cleef & Arpels, price available upon request; Griffe earrings, Bulgari, price available upon request.
Our grandmothers and mothers had them, so why shouldn’t you? If you haven’t been passed down pearls, it’s time you get yourself one.
Although pearls are more often seen as jewellery to wear to formal occasions, modern adaptations of the timeless classic have made pearls something you could wear on the daily.
There’s gorgeous earrings, chokers and of course your traditional strand of pearls. Whatever the style, one thing is guaranteed – sophistication.
Pearl choker necklace, Poppy Flinch, S$1,062.
It’s a fuss-free classy piece that elevates almost every outfit in no time. Whether it’s for a fancy wedding dinner or a casual brunch with your friends, a long chain necklace always suits the occasion.
The plus side about having this style of necklace is that you can layer it with other ones you have – be it chokers, pendants or more chain necklaces.
What we love about these pieces in particular are the subtle bling they have. It gives your ensemble an extra oomph, and who doesn’t love that?
L-R: Colour by the Yard Sprinkle necklace, Tiffany & Co., US$1,800; Nut & Bolt Bling Chain necklace, Carrie.K, S$358.
Marriage required? Nu-uh.
A simple diamond ring (as a gift of self-love no less) will do. It effortlessly elevates your outfit and adds a little flair when you move your hands.
Trust us, buying yourself a diamond ring would feel just as, or even more amazing than when your other half gets you one. It could be a single rock, or a row of tiny ones.
L-R: UNO Diamond ring, Soo Kee Jewellery, price available upon request; Metro ring, Tiffany & Co., US$2,300 (S$3015).
Formal dinners, weddings, events – any opportunity you have to dress up, wearing a statement necklace is an easy way to do that.
A riviére necklace (or riviéra) originated back in the 1700s. Although it’s a timeless, show-stopping piece, finding a piece would be tough. The necklace is made up of a row of large precious stones surrounded by other precious stones.
You can find them in a multitude of designs – multi-coloured jewels or just an entire row of brilliant cut-diamonds. One thing we know? It’s always a delicate stunner in any time. We love the pink tones on this one, which perfectly compliments Asian skin tones.
Sadie Riviere necklace in multi-sweet pea foil, Larkspur & Hawk, S$5,094.
Going free of any arm candy is sometimes ideal if your outfit is studded in all things glittery. On the other hand, if it’s a simple outfit, adding a bold bracelet would do wonders.
When picking a bracelet, go for one that reflects your personality the most – then it’ll truly be as bold and iconic as Anna Wintour’s sunnies.
Camélia bracelet, Chanel, S$148,000
We don’t mean big, attention-seeking hoops.
A delicate pair that instantly adds poise is what we’re talking about. Don’t go for a lavish pair with diamonds around it – you’ll want something that’s classy, gives off a nice glow and looks good in almost every outfit.
This pair from Van Cleef and Arpels comes in rose-gold and silver too, if you’re not a gold gal.
Perlée hoop eartstuds, Van Cleef & Arpels, price available upon request.
Less is more, especially with the tennis, or line bracelet.
A row of diamonds does nothing but stun, in a subtle, dainty way. Wear it everyday, or as an accessory for special nights.
Fun fact: Tennis bracelets were given their name when a professional tennis player lost her diamond bracelet during the US open, and stopped the game to find it.
Tennis bracelet, Thomas Sabo, S$369
Having something that’s truly yours adds meaning to the object. It’s treasured for years and holds significant sentimental value – whether it’s simply engraving your jewellery, or putting a photo into a heart-shaped locket. It could also mean choosing jewellery based on your star sign, zodiac, or birth month.
The idea for this necklace by UK-based Irish blogger Anna Saccone spun off from the very same zodiac necklace she received from her father (who received from his father). It held great stories and maybe with your own personalised jewellery, you could do the same too.
Zodiac sign necklace, Stilnest, US$94
You don’t necessarily need to inherit jewellery, but we’re saying that pieces typically worn in the past can and should be revived.
We’re talking about jewellery with emeralds, jades and every precious stone. They’re great for formal occasions and spin things up a little.
Here, we picked a gorgeous pair of earrings from local jeweller On Cheong which has emeralds and diamonds – a pair which goes hand-in-hand.
Emerald diamond earrings, On Cheong Jewellery, price available upon request.
Something you could wear everyday, to events or even to sleep.
They’re bracelets that’ll follow through your days and become something personal to you – so you wouldn’t want something too spiky or fancy like diamonds. On the other hand, if you treasure it a whole lot and want to wear it for special occasions, it makes for the perfect subtle bling, or another layer of jewellery around your wrist.
In a way, it adds a pinch of sweetness and feminism to your look – so they need to look good, no matter what season or year it is.
Here are just two of our favourite timeless picks.
L-R: Bracelet with trademark heart, Gucci, US$180; Love bracelet, Cartier, S$5,600.
Just like a simply-designed bracelet, a pendant bears a lot of poise and elegance within its tiny body.
It especially flatters your collarbones, if you go for choker-length pendants. Again, you’ll want to go for a timeless design so anything as simple as a single gem or stone will be perfect.
Heart ruby necklace, Anita Ko, US$3,050.
In the recent years, stacking rings has become a trend. You don’t want to go too heavy, which is why these rings are a marvel. They come in a variety of materials and stones which typically go well together.
Local designer Carrie K’s Nut & Bolt II collection perfectly captures the essence of this jewellery style – her rings come either as a single ring or double ring, which can also be fit together to become a full ring. Worn on separate rings, they still look good and more importantly, edgy and chic for every age.
Nut & Bolt single ring, Carrie K., S$128; Nut & Bolt double-band rings, Carrie K., S$258.
A timepiece is a must-have. Whether it’s been passed on to you, or you want to spark a new tradition, a watch is a great way to do that.
It’s versatile, ages well and adds a little poise to your look.
Cartier’s Tank watch is a perfect example of a timeless watch – it looked good on the late Princess Diana and still looks good on Angelina Jolie. We particularly love the hint of colour on the watch’s hands and crown.
Tip: Go for a watch with a black or dark brown leather strap. The colours will fade and age beautifully!
Tank Solo watch, Cartier, S$6,500