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Still Hate Everything You Own?

Are you still beating yourself up about your wardrobe? Talking crap to yourself about what a terrible shopper you are? How NOTHING fits your body so you keep buying the same boring thing is 20 different colors so you don’t screw it up? Just like any bad behavior, it takes time to re-work old habits that don’t serve any real purpose in your life. Time to stop the self-loathing…..

I always tell people I’m more shrink than stylist. Literally we are talking 70% therapist, 30% fashion guru. I’m here to talk you off the ledge, remind you that fashion is meant to be fun and that screwing up an outfit will only ruin your day (maybe), not your life. It is time to re-think the stress that this part of your existence is causing you and make it fun. I constantly remind people that there is logic behind the concept of style and being “born with it” is mostly BS. I sucked at shopping and styling until I was in my mid-20’s. I should mention that I had already decided I was going to be a stylist at that point, talk about changing your mindset into awesome…..

So just like last time we are going to start with the basics. This is the first step in getting out of the rut, you don’t hate your wardrobe, you just haven’t been taught how to build it correctly. 

 

EMAIL ME WITH QUESTIONS!!! 

 Grey pencil skirt

I’m sure a lot of you are going to argue that you look fat in a pencil skirt because it hugs you everywhere you hate. I’m also pretty sure you already know that I’m going to tell you that you are wrong, dead wrong. The pencil skirt was created for a gal with curves, big curves, little curves and everything in between. Actually, the irony of this piece is that the only person it doesn’t really look that great on is someone with absolutely NO curves. You don’t have to be a business woman to covet the iconic pencil skirt. Pull it out for date night with a leather bomber to edge it out. Rock it at a school function where showing the other mother’s you’re awesome looks like it comes naturally. As I have hammered this next point home before, choose a style that suits your lifestyle and personality. My black pencil skirt has a large zipper up the back for added badass effect. And, more then anything else, make sure it fits correctly. This means it should touch just below your belly button at the top, pencil in tightly at the bottom, land just above your knee and fit snugly. You will most likely think it is slightly too tight if it actually fits properly!!!

Pencil Skirt 

 

 

Black sheath

Next up, the LBD, or little black dress for those that are still new to the lingo of awesome style. This could literally mean anything when it comes to your lifestyle. I personally own at least 5 versions of the LBD depending on what the function is that I’m attending, from work to play, she is a vital piece in any stylish girl’s wardrobe. Almost every single client of mine has an LBD and for every one of them I restyled it in a billion ways. That is the beauty of this piece, she can go from the office, to drinks after work to a wedding. The material is really what changes it up, so picking a neutral option that isn’t too shiny or too dull is the best bet for maximum styling potential. Changing up the jewelry, shoes, tights (or lack there of), bag and layering piece changes the magic of your LBD.

 Sheath Dress

 

Black blazer

The single breasted, simple black blazer is dope. It can be worn with anything. You name it, jeans, pants, skirts, dresses….. From casual to dressy, this item will be worked to a pulp. This tuxedo style is super sassy and definitely will not work for everyone, but I really wanted to make sure you understand the concept of “making it your own”. Most people would choose a more demure option, most people aren’t me. My basic black blazer is a tuxedo style and I wear it with everything. Mine has a slightly smaller lapel so it doesn’t make quite the statement the one above does. Even I have my boundaries! Pick a style that has just enough flare to take you to the edge, you always want to push yourself slightly while keeping in your comfort zone with your foundation items. Basics do not = boring.

 Blazer

 

black tote

Your bag is like the trunk of your car, except this one you take inside with you so it better be good. You throw your life in it, most times it isn’t organized and you lose things you swore were in there. Your bag is essentially the most important thing you own so making it functional and obviously stylish is SUPER important. This is the biggest “cost per wear” item in your entire wardrobe. If you shop correctly, you will truly only need one neutral bag for everyday. Before I even discuss style with clients, I discuss function. What do you do everyday? Where are you going? What are you carrying? Do you need to be hands free? What annoys you about your current bag? You have to start by being honest with yourself about your life and how your bag can help to make it easier. Then start focusing on styles and colors that you like. Yes, color! Your everyday bag does not have to be black. Neutral can mean a whole bunch of different things to different people. A great bag is like the cherry on top of the sundae of your outfit, it truly can make the entire look that much better. Spend moolah on this piece, it is will make everything you have on look more expensive…..

 Tote

 

 

Black Shell

And drumroll please….. For our final piece of the TOP 10 FOUNDATION ITEMS TO OWN, I introduce to you the basic shell! Everyone should own a black and a white shell. This means simple in style, a round neck line (V neck is way to difficult to style with everything) and silhouette skimming. The world should know you have a body under there. If you are having a moment and cannot figure out how to style something, it will ALWAYS go with a basic black or white shell. Always. So this is truly the no-fail piece in your wardrobe that will make everything else work.

 Shell

Are you still standing on the ledge? Back up, your style world has just become a lot sunnier. You now know how to begin this journey and broaden the horizons of your current wardrobe without all that much effort. Focus on building your foundation pieces and put a hold on the “trendy” part of your wardrobe. You need the glue girl to hold it all together! Shopping for foundation items is going to be more fun then you think. What really brings the joy is when you get home and you realize you CAN STYLE THINGS and that you don’t suck as bad as you thought you did. You just didn’t own the right things yet…..

EMAIL ME WITH QUESTIONS!!!

 

 

 

 

“I Hate Everything I Own!” NO YOU DON’T.

I hate shopping because I inevitably buy the “wrong” pieces and spend WAY  too much money on things I don’t love.

I try to style fabulous outfits, but I always end up not quite liking what I put together. It’s my fun way of pissing myself off.

I cannot figure out how the hell to dress my body! I’m damned if I have big boobs and damned if I don’t. Should I mention my derriere? 

EVERYONE FEELS LIKE THIS, YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL. OK, so you are special, but not in reference to feeling overwhelmed, aggravated and deflated when it comes to shopping and styling clothing for yourself. I want to help you. I want you to know you don’t suck and teach you how to overcome these feelings and how to actually be confident in your choices.

Shoot me an email back if this sounds like you. I want to know your pains, your issues the things that make you say, “I hate everything I own”. You probably don’t, you’re just having a moment and you are allowed to do that. But let’s get you back to reality and figure out why you think you “hate everything you own” and fix it.

EMAIL ME HERE!!!

The first step in conquering these feelings (aside from emailing me) is to make sure you have the right foundation items. It is a common phrase of mine to say, “you can’t build a house without a foundation, how could you possibly build a wardrobe without one?”. Once you own the right foundation items, you can essentially build any outfit with any other item in your wardrobe. These items are the glue that hold every outfit together. So, right here and now, let’s chat about what the top 10 foundation items are every gal should own. You get a glimpse into 5 pieces with this post and  5 more coming up in my next post…. I love to keep people wanting more!

 

 

nude patent leather pumps

Oh the nude patent leather pump, she is a beauty. She goes with EVERYTHING and makes your legs look a mile long. Yes, please. The key to a great nude pump is to make sure that the nude color matches your skin. Nude does not necessarily mean the color above. Pick a heel height that is actually realistic in your life, you don’t want to be hobbling around, that ain’t sexy. I prefer pointed toe because it screams vampy, sexy bitch. If you are a more sweet and feminine lady, go with round toe. You always want to tailor each foundation item to represent you and your style!

Patent Leather Pumps 

 

 

 Burgundy long cardigan

The long cardigan might be a surprise visitor on the foundation item list for many, but I swear, she is insanely useful. That’s what foundation items are all about! The ability to re-style it a billion ways without having anybody bat an eye that you are wearing the same freakin’ thing again. No one should even notice you are wearing it again if you do it right. Again, your choice of long cardigans is strictly up to you, your lifestyle and body type. I prefer oversized and fabulous, but most of my clients veer toward a sleek style that is neutral in color. Neutral does not necessarily have to be black or white, this cranberry color definitely falls under the neutral umbrella. The long cardi is great for casual weekend days with jeans or buttoned up with a sheath dress for work. She can go everywhere!

 Long Cardigan

 

 black cardigan

So yes, I love cardigans so much that there are 2 on this post. Well that isn’t exactly true, but they do serve very different purposes when styling and it is why I suggest that most clients have both options. I consider both cardigans, the long and waist length one category item. The longer option appears to be is a little more edgy and laid back while the shorter version seems a little more severe and buttoned-up. The truth is that a huge purpose of the shorter, waist-length cardigan is to define your waist, it works wonders! Most would consider the shorter cardigan part of their “work wardrobe”. Don’t. Wear it on the weekend with funky jewelry and dressy sneakers. Throw it on with a T and ripped jeans. Stop pigeon-holing your wardrobe!!! If you just stopped assigning your clothing a destination and specific audience you would have twice the amount of clothing. Head blown.

Cardigan 

 

 

nydj 

Dark slim straight ankle jeans are your new best friend. No seriously, this is literally the only pair of jeans you actually need to own. But I HATE skinny jeans, I look fat!!! No you don’t, you actually look way skinnier than those out-dated boot cut jeans that only out-dated people think look good. Throw them out, they are never coming back in style. You want to find a dark blue pair that is super fitted until just below your knee and hemmed at the ankle bone. This means you can wear them with flats or heels because the length does not affect your shoe choice. It also means that you can tuck them into high boots without having a baggy knee. That is not a look people. They are universally flattering and have the most styling potential like a foundation piece should!!!!!

 Denim

 

 Black ankle pants

Black ankle pants should have the same general fit as your new, awesome jeans. The only difference is they should be silhouette conscious (meaning I can tell you have a body under there) and not skin tight in the thighs. They should still be higher waisted and ankle length. Just as I have been promoting throughout this post, make them your own! My black ankle pants have a stretch waist, slight pleating and a tuxedo stripe down the leg. I don’t work in an office people, why would I dress like it? If you do, choose a more conservative style. Make your foundation pieces your own, it’s YOUR wardrobe.

Black Pant 

 

 

 

 

camisole

And to round out this post let’s focus on one of the most important things ALL of my clients own, neutral layering tank tops. Basically no one is ever really going to see these, but they can change the life of an outfit. I have one on almost every day. You really only need a black and white one, they are not meant to be a focal part of your look so you don’t want to draw attention to them by choosing bold colors. I prefer lycra ones because they act like a smoothing agent (not quite Spanx, but in that realm). They help if your shirt is too low, if your button from your pants is showing through your blouse, if your top is just a bit itchy, if your sweater is too hot to pair with a long sleeve shirt, and so on and so on and so on…. You get the idea.

Layering Top

Time to start your shopping engines ladies! You have the first 5 items on your list, 5 more to come. And remember, you are not along in your frustration, we all go through it. All you can do is breathe, remember you are awesome and EMAIL ME WITH QUESTIONS!!!!

Amy Hits The Red Carpet

I LOVE dressing up. My life consists of casual this and casual that, so being handed a reason to create a red carpet look is fine by me. Add in the ability to use a microphone and talk to people all night and I’m good to go. This is truly what heaven looks like in my twisted mind.

 

Not only did I have a fabulous LBD waiting to be worn in my closet, but I got to borrow diamonds, lots and lots of diamonds. Um, yes please. I found this perfect Nicole Miller dress at Lord & Taylor (the best place for cocktail dress shopping) and I had to have it. I had no particular reason to own it at that time, but there is always a need to possess the perfect little black dress. It is the, “Oh shit, I have something to go to and I have nothing to wear!” dress, but now you do. She waited patiently for about 6 months to be worn, she wanted to make a big splash for her initial outing. She got her wish.

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Did I mention that whole borrowing diamonds thing??? Oh yea, I definitely did. What girl doesn’t dream of going to a custom jewelry designer’s home and riffling through hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of accessories? The answer is NO GIRL. Those types of moments are what drive me and allow me to continue to live in what feels like a fantasy world sometimes. I landed on these mase style earrings and not one, but two pave diamond swirl rings. I decided to wear them both on one finger to really punch it up. It made holding the microphone look SO much more fashionable. Thank you Rebecca Koven for making my jewelry dreams come true!!!

 

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Accessories expert Michael O’Connor (@stylingspy) and I tag teamed the red carpet at the Women’s Jewelry Association Awards. I always love working with someone who is quick on their feet, witty and funny. Then we can be awesome together:) The key to any good red carpet interviewer’s look is to be fashionable without overshadowing the interviewee. I’m going to toot our horns and say that Michael and I hit the nail on the head in that department.  Simple and chic.

 

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This was seriously the most comfortable dress I have ever worn. It is a thicker stretch material with ruching making it oh so comfy and sexy at the same time! The only problem was a slight wardrobe malfunction at the beginning of the night that involved a hole in the seam of my dress at the top of my bum. I don’t think butt crack is a look these days unfortunately. Luckily one of the nominees had a safety pin so I was back in full form in no time. Note to self: Remember your stylist kit  of tricks next time so this doesn’t happen again!!!

 

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There is nothing like a good ridiculous selfie. My beautiful and stylish friend Monica of Elias World Media put this whole shindig of a red carpet together. I joke that she is who I want to be when I grow up even though we are the same age:) She is possibly one of the only people that could top my energy making our times together hilarious. The fact that we work together only makes it that much better.

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Unfortunately literally everything I had on for the red carpet is not available to you anymore!!! With that said, above is the best look-a-like outfit you could get. Since my jewels are one of a kind diamond pieces, they were really an option, but these costume pieces definitely capture the essence of the look. Throw on a LBD and a pair of thin, strappy black heels and you are good to go. This simple, yet sexy ensemble is pretty much the perfect look for almost anyone going to almost any cocktail event. Consider it your sexy uniform…..

cocktail ring, earrings, snakeskin clutch, sandals, black dress

Best (Swim) Suits of Summer!

That’s right folks, it’s time for everyone’s favorite subject, swimsuits. If the sarcasm isn’t apparent in that last statement, then you are a rare creature because NO ONE likes swimsuit shopping. Alas, pools and oceans await and since head to toe spandex onesies are not yet in style, let me guide you through choosing the right bathing suit for your lifestyle and shape.

 

Now before we begin, I want to address the fact that this post appears to be a bevy of gratuitous shots showing off my near-naked swimsuit clad body. In response to this I say, you damn right peeps. I work hard to keep my bits and pieces in place and although I mostly look like the shots below, I want to offer some “full-disclosure” information: Yes, I filter.  And yes, I have no shame in admitting this. I believe in health, fitness and honesty. We all come in different shapes and sizes and if I have learned anything working in this business for over 15 years, it is that no matter what size a person is, they still have some issue with something. I want for all women to understand that clothing and/or lack there of (swimsuits) can help to create a more confident and sexy you. No body is perfect, not even Christie Brinkley (who looks hella good at 63!!!!).

 

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I am very down with the one-piece bathing suit right now. Anything that can serve two purposes (act as a body suit AND a swimsuit) is dope. If you read this blog regularly, you now I am the queen of function and fashion. On this fabulous day I was in Capri with no idea how my time was going to play out. I wanted to wear something that I could shop, eat, sunbathe and swim in. Voila, one piece swimsuit with shorts and a fabulous hat, yes please. I was covered enough to walk into Cartier (because I shop there SO much:) and naked enough to take a dip in the Mediterranean. I found this cute bathing suit at Zara for only $30. I am truly an advocate of buying more expensive swimsuits typically, but this one was a good fun and done, one season piece. More on why spending money on bathing suits is so important later…..

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Oh the infamous white bikini.  It is what I would consider the end all, be all of perfect swimwear. So sexy and chic. It is almost like a unicorn, beautiful and fabulous yet essentially impossible to find. That is why when you do find one that lifts, tucks and covers correctly, throw down your credit card. I came across this beauty at Beach Bunny in Miami. I really love their designs, but they definitely are not known for coverage. Somehow they can take the smallest amount of material and have it lift everything just right. At $200, it’s a little pricey, but as I mentioned above, spending money on swimsuits is vital. Cheap bathing suits lose their shape quickly and truly do not offer the proper support for your boobies or bum. I know it is a tough pill to swallow considering how small bathing suits are and how crazy the mark-up must be, but you just have to go with it on this one. Spending more to look better in less material is a no brainer folks.

 

 

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I know the concept of a smaller bottomed bathing suit is absurd to most Americans (except for people that live in Miami), but do you want your arse to look better or not??? Go ahead, argue with me that this concept is ridiculous. That having a smaller bottom will only enhance the “problem area” you call your ass, but I will continue to disagree. We are not talking g-string here folks, I am just saying that it should slightly give you a comfortable wedgie. I am half kidding. No matter weather your bum is smaller, bigger, flat or round, wearing a smaller bathing suit bottom will create a much more sexy and flattering backside. 

 

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The sporty swimsuit is in and it is here to stay. Florissant colors,  fun piping and actual support are cool and you should go out and pick this style up. The great thing about this bathing suit is that you can actually have fun doing summer sports while wearing it. Look hot while playing volleyball. This particular suit has a string style top, but go for the sports bra-esque look and really rock out while playing paddle ball.

 

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I love a good theme, even in a swimsuit. I am kind of obsessed with this cha cha bikini. I need to book a trip to Mexico just so I can prance through the ocean in it. Yes, I buy clothing to match non-existent trips. The story behind this bikini is a tale of, “Oh my God, I just found the greatest secret trove of bathing suits and cover ups in all of New York City”. I went into a sporting goods store (Paragon Sports, check it out, it’s dope), and low and behold, they had a massive selection of mostly on-sale bathing suit related items. I went nuts. This particular suit had mix and match tops and bottoms so I literally “designed” this look. This is a very hot trend right now and makes you the creator of your own bathing suit destiny. Try it within your own bathing suit collection, mixing and matching what you have will “double” the amount of swimsuits you already have! Obsessed.

 

 

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Finally, what are the trends of the season and which ones are best for your body type? Here are my top 5 picks in no particular order:

1. The High Waisted Bikini: I don’t actually love this style. Ok, so that’s probably not my best sales pitch, but as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, honesty is the best policy. People have been tricked into thinking that the higher waist is covering your stomach and therefore making it more flattering. Wrong. It is actually accentuating the negative and making you look 3 months pregnant. Even if you are a skinny minny, this swimsuit style will just make you look like you borrowed your grandmother’s sexy bikini. I.E. NOT SEXY.

2. The Ruched One Piece Swimsuit: This is truly one of the best styles on the market. As opposed to the high waisted bikini, this bathing suit actually does cover an imperfect stomach. The front knot on this black option does double duty by drawing the eye to the center giving the illusion of being even skinnier. Who doesn’t want that? There is extra coverage down below, but by keeping the top open, the suit is still sexy yet functional. I have bought this for several clients with both big and small chests, don’t worry, they aren’t going to fall out.

3. Off the Shoulder Bikini:  This bathing suit is super cute and super trendy, but be warned, funky tan lines are in your future. Yes, you can take your arms out while you sunbathe, but then don’t you lose the whole point of this style? Essentially, if you want to look cool while sipping cocktails in a shady area and don’t mind that you have alligator arms (you seriously can’t move your arms), then this cool and uber fun bikini is for you.

4. Cut Out  One-Piece Bathing Suit: Again, there is a strong recommendation to avoid sun tanning in this (unless having a tan triangle in the middle of your boobs is your thing). This swimsuit is made for yachting and fabulous cocktails at the pool club where you never actually set foot in the pool. The criss-cross panels give you amazing coverage and the cut-out pattern says, “I’m sexy in a “rich bitch sort of way”. I’ve never been on a yacht, but at least I know what I’m gonna wear when I am.

5. String BikiniOh the good ol’ string bikini. It inflicts sheer terror in so many people and I completely understand. It is literally the smallest thing you can wear in public and still be respectable. With that said, if you got it, flaunt it. The string bikini is here to stay, it is not a fad, it is a staple. To wear this bathing suit there are a few simple rules: Have high, perky boobs and a tight butt. No miracles here, your everything is showing when you wear this so your everything better be pretty good.

High Waisted, Ruched One Piece, Off the Shoulder, String Bikini, Cut Out 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Jewelry = Awesome Outfits

Good jewelry is like the best friend who is always there for you, always pumps you up, always has you on your A game… Oh yea, it’s that fabulous. 

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I have been building my collection since I was pretty much 10 years old. I would go to the mall and stalk the sterling silver kiosk. I would search through my mother’s drawers in hopes of finding some bauble that she wasn’t interested in and steal it for my own collection. Unfortunately my mother wasn’t really into fashion so this adventure proved to be less then fruitful. Ironically, I think that experience has led me to become the treasure hunter I am today. I literally think about what pieces I can pass down to my future off-spring. Will they think grandma is cool based on her jewelry collection??? These types of questions haunt me and drive me to search for awesomeness. I wish I was kidding.

Good Jewelry=Awesom Outfits 2

 

It isn’t just “real” pieces that are included in my hunt. This huge crystal piece by Barbara Pellegrino actually hurts slightly because of the sheer weight of the stone. Who cares, it is amazing. It was a gift from a lovely gentleman I dated who truly took notice of my fun jewelry collection and gave me something that I couldn’t have even dreamed up on my own. Kudos to a dude who is that aware! It is doubly as cool because both sides of the chain are different. My grandkids are either going to think I’m nuts or amazing, but I don’t think that is specifically related to this piece of jewelry.

 

Good Jewelry=Awesome Outfit 3

 

I am also drawn to sentimental pieces. This broach is my own creation and I LOVE it. If you look closely you can see that it is family pictures of my brother and I. They were charms that my Nana had made for a necklace of hers. I took a hat pin and strategically placed them on to show off my own baby pictures. Weird, but awesome. I added another broach right above it to create a real “moment”.

 

 

Good Jewelry=Awesome Outfit 4

 

I am also obsessed with great costume jewelry. This ring is three stones, but really one piece. I can’t move my fingers all that well when I have it on, but who cares because people think it is so cool (which it is). It is by Kendra Scott and it is one of the only things I have ever paid full price for. It was too amazing to pass up.  Adding a layered up bracelet look (otherwise known as “arm candy”) only added to my funk factor. It is a great way to re-use pieces you may have had for forever in new and interesting ways.

 

 Good Jewelry=Awesome Outfit 5

 

Buying jewelry when I travel has become part of my reason for traveling. These earrings are from a tiny shop in no-where Colorado on a mountain top. They are made by a Native American women and are created from porcupine quills. How freakin’ cool.  The top silver bracelet is from a small surfing town in Costa Rica and the larger cuff with a medallion is from Big Sur. The watch in the middle is from Guess and I pulled it out of retirement from 10 years ago! Not exactly sentimental, but mixing pieces together is the key to showcasing your jewelry talent.

 

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My final and most important way of creating the grand collection of jewelry I have today is from flea markets, thrift stores and consignment shops. You literally have no idea what you are going to find, it is the best treasure hunt. You may not be fruitful every time, but continuing the search for  your next great piece is half the fun. I am obsessed with my silver Wonder Woman cuff. It certainly makes a statement. The middle silver ring is also from a flea market, but was from a sterling silver vendor showcasing brand new goods. The thin sapphire ring is real (I had it checked out) and it is from a consignment shop in upstate New York that I bought for 10 bucks. See, you never know what you are going to find…..

 

 

 

Good Jewelry Collage

With any client, I always begin with foundation pieces, even in their jewelry collection. It doesn’t matter if it is silver or gold, just pick the metal you love. For most people, I suggest getting these staple items in BOTH metals. They include a medium pair of thin hoops, a short delicate necklace, a long medallion type necklace, a thin layering bracelet and an elegant yet bold neutral ring. You can layer all of these pieces in your ever growing jewelry collection or you can wear them on their own. It is the perfect place for someone new to the jewelry game to begin. This is one of the only areas of your wardrobe where I say more is better. Jewelry can completely change your look and that is something worth collecting over….

 

 

 

silver hoops, gold pendant, simple chain, rose gold bangle, cocktail ring