27 In Getting Dressed/ Shopping Tips

Shopping Tip: Why you need those earrings and the bracelet

Artful Home jewelry

Handcrafted earrings and bracelet from Artful Home


My friend Amy Roseveare, the author of the popular Jewelry Fashion Tips blog, has a time-honored tradition of buying herself pretty jewelry on all the occasions her would-be boyfriend would be showering her with gifts: Christmas, her birthday, anniversaries, you get the picture. Amy is single and looks forward to the holidays probably more than most married ladies because she knows she’s going to open a box and find something so perfectly suited to her, almost as if she picked it out herself! (Wink, wink.)

I think it’s a great idea to be generous with yourself during the holidays. It almost happens naturally. You’re shopping for people on your list and you spot something that you can’t stop thinking about. But before you make that purchase, there’s something I want to suggest: Consider buying a companion piece for the one you’ve fallen in love with. Let me explain why.

Why you need to purchase the earrings and the bracelet

It’s easy to fall in love with a piece of jewelry. You spot an earring you love or maybe a bracelet. It’s fine and dandy to purchase that one piece that’s so perfect for you but you won’t wear it nearly as much as if you purchase a companion piece for it at the same time. I can back this up with years of professional experience.



For instance, I’ll be in a client’s jewelry box and I’ll pull out a gorgeous pair of earrings. “How beautiful!” I’ll say. And then the client says, “I know, I love them, and I’ve never worn them.” I practically lose my balance when I hear that! I investigate and discover she doesn’t have a bracelet or necklace that relates to the stunning earring. To fix this problem I’ll insist she bring it with us when we go on our next shopping trip so I can find a companion piece for it. Once I have a companion piece for the earring, my client will happily wear her treasures five days in a row if she cares to!

Have you noticed this with your own things? You have some pieces you’ve purchased individually but you can’t quite get them to work together?

To have a pulled together look, different parts of an outfit need to be talking to each other. They need to share a language; some element needs to be repeated in order to see each of them better. The natural consequence is that now it’s easier to see you, too. The combination is making you more visible.


Style Strategy: Slow down the eye

Well, Brenda, why don’t I just buy matching sets of things?

I’m not suggesting you do something matchy-matchy. Sometimes that works, but matchy-matchy doesn’t do much to slow down the eye. When I use those words slow down the eye I’m talking about the difference between racing past a painting in a gallery and not seeing it at all versus spotting a painting that has something going on, you may not know what it is, but it draws you in. The more you look at it, the more you appreciate it. Your eye has slowed down to take the whole painting in. Ah!



You can expect your jewelry to do the same thing for you. Now you’re the work of art. Your jewelry can slow down the eye so you’re seen and appreciated.


How my earrings and bracelet talk to each other


Jewelry from Artful Home

Jewelry that speaks to each other


It takes some concentration to figure out how to pair two pieces from different sources. But it’s not hard. You want to look at ways that they’re similar, yet still different.

The earrings and bracelet that I’m featuring in this post to explain slowing down the eye and reasons to shop for more than one item at a time are handcrafted by two different artists. I chose them from the Artful Home catalog.

You probably remember me talking about Artful Home. Remember my great pants that I used when I created 3 festive outfits in 15 minutes? Those Crepe Barefoot Pants by Lisa Bayne were from Artful Home. Artful Home works with a large collection of North American artists. Their unique jewelry is right up my alley. As a brand ambassador for them, I got to choose items to wear and use to demonstrate my styling principles. Lucky me!

When I looked through their catalog I looked for items that could work together, support each other, be companions. This is how I shop for myself and it’s how I shop with my clients. The general idea is to not leave the store until you’ve got everything you need to put the outfit together. Otherwise, you could buy things and not be using them. This way of shopping might seem like a new concept to you but if you start using this tip, getting dressed and out the door will be fast and easy for you.


Finding the language that’s shared by the earrings and the bracelet

I studied the catalog and felt these two pieces would make a good pair.

One of my personal style phrases that I use when I put together outfits for myself is Organic Elegance. These earrings and this bracelet line up well with my style words.

The earrings look very organic. It’s in the texture. The Dotted Pebble Dangle Earrings designed by Wendy Stauffer are sawed, textured and hammered. The hammering on the earrings definitely catches your eye. The garnet, citrine, and the amethyst draw your eye to the earring but the hammered “dotted pebble” surface keeps you lingering longer.

The bracelet has an organic feel to it but the design is more elegant. The Diamond Autus bracelet by Christine Mackellar is refined, more delicate, and has rose gold granules and two brown diamonds set in 18k gold. Diamonds spell elegance for me. The fact that they’re brown diamonds makes them a little more natural, organic.

They share that gunmetal gray color (oxidized) which is a true favorite of mine. They go well with my ash brown hair color.


Earring and bracelet relate

Loving how the two pieces relate to each other


So how are they different from one another?

The earring has movement. The earring says, “I’m flirty!” The bracelet is solid, grounded. The bracelet says, “I’m sublime.”

The stones in the earrings are larger than the diamonds and gold granules in the bracelet. The earrings are louder in design. They’re more forward. The bracelet is quieter, finer. It’s satisfied to lay back a little and let the earrings be more prominent. They aren’t arguing for attention! They’re excellent team players.

The texture of the earrings is rougher than the texture in the bracelet.

I wore these on Thanksgiving Day and guess what? People slowed down, took notice, and admired them both. Together they slowed the eye down. I felt visible and confident. I know myself: now that I found these great companions I’ll wear these every day for the next five days.

Are your jewelry combinations slowing the eye down? Are they speaking to each other? Do you realize you have some shopping to do to find companions for pieces that aren’t being worn? Tell me about your jewelry experiences. I know we’d all love to learn from each other! Please share!



Artful Home sponsored this blog. The opinions, strategies, and formulas come from working with my precious clients for over thirty years.


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  • Reply
    Trinnie Q
    November 24, 2017 at 1:53 am

    Hi Brenda, ohh how lovely those newish jewellery pieces are. Very you, sophisticated, interesting, unexpected, creative and subtle, all rolled into one! Your post made me think.

    I want to share a sweet story of what happened when i read your blog. I have a precious little nine year old called Dominic, who sometimes likes to read over my shoulder to see what I am reading. He said to me tonight, oh Mum, is that your American friend who is the blogger about clothes ? Yes , I said, so he read on and said, Mum she could be like an older sister, because you always say, your things are talking to each other! Then he got my bracelets down from there shelf, and asked could he look at my necklaces too. We got them down, and he proceeded to tell me which ones, could go together, because they could talk together, but ‘ not too matchy !’ It was so cute, he absolutely understood what you had been saying. So , out of the mouths of babes! Thanks for inspiring the next generation as well. Thanks as always Brenda. Sending much love from us here in Oz.

    • Reply
      November 24, 2017 at 9:39 am

      Dominic! I wish I could interview him for a blog post, I mean, that’s just fantastic!!! What a precious story. I think what he did with your jewelry is a great visual for everyone else reading this post. I’ll share a funny story, too. I’ve heard it more than once when it comes to writing a speech that you’ll be delivering to the public to be sure a 9-year-old could understand it. (Not 8, not 7, not 10, 9!!!) I was giving a talk at a conference and I practiced it in front of my daughter Caitlin and my sweetie Russ. I told them it needed to be clear to a 9-year-old. Whenever they heard something they didn’t understand or a 9-year-old wouldn’t understand, they’d stop me. I got stopped a lot and did a lot of rewriting! So to hear this from dear Dominic is simply grand! Love from Sonoma and a hug to Dominic!

  • Reply
    November 24, 2017 at 4:25 am

    Brenda, I am so enjoying your insights! I have always preferred the look of jewelry that coordinates and compliments rather than is perfectly matched. I shop a lot of consignment stores and sometimes will find an amazing bracelet and then a couple of weeks later, will find the perfect necklace that coordinates with it. Fun!

    • Reply
      November 24, 2017 at 9:32 am

      Yes, that happens too when you buy something and come home and realize you have something that will work well with it, something you haven’t worn in ages or ever! If I don’t find a combo at the same time I am willing it give it a little time but if it’s not coming together, I’ll take the piece back and start over. I’m allergic to buying something and not wearing it!!

  • Reply
    Annette R
    November 24, 2017 at 4:52 am

    What a lovely combination – and your matching nail varnish brings the jewellery colours out too! Ever since reading your blog I’ve been thinking about how I can layer necklaces and bracelets and this has helped me to picture combnations when buying jewellery instead of them as just standalone pieces. I found a small silver bracelet in a local antique shop the other day comprising large links and bought it because I knew I had another silver bracelet at home, made for me especially by a friend, comprising small links. I had not worn the small-link bracelet much but now I wear both together – a lot!

    • Reply
      November 24, 2017 at 9:29 am

      I LOVE how things pair well together and suddenly you’re wearing them all the time. Yay!!!!

  • Reply
    November 24, 2017 at 7:40 am

    They’re pretty, but I would never spend that much on myself, on jewelry anyway. I think it’s much too over indulgent. I do however love handmade, unique items and do seek those out in a different price range. 😉

    • Reply
      November 24, 2017 at 9:28 am

      The beauty of this shopping tip is that you can use it in any price range you shop in. I use the idea of finding things “to go with” the piece I fell in love with (so I’ll start wearing it right away) from discount stores to fast fashion to art faires to stores in the mall and online catalogs. You can do it with your lovely handmade unique items too!

  • Reply
    Margaret E. Murray
    November 24, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Hello! Spoken like an artist. Speaking of color, where did you find that fabulous magenta sweater?

    • Reply
      November 24, 2017 at 1:49 pm

      There’s a lot of art involved in getting dressed! The sweater is from J.Crew. It’s from their Tippi line. I have the same sweater in about four colors. One of my essentials!

      • Reply
        Margaret E. Murray
        November 26, 2017 at 5:29 pm


  • Reply
    November 24, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Reading your beauty bundle tips has inspired me to mix up my jewelry and look at the potential for combining like pieces which relate but do not necessarily match. I just love getting permission to buy myself an additional piece of jewelry! Especially at holiday time. Your friends self care focus on testing herself at special occasions is truly wise indeed! Love your ear rings and the bracelet.

    • Reply
      November 28, 2017 at 11:15 am

      It’s so fun for me to explain the idea of hunting, gathering, and then wearing pieces right off! Glad this post granted you permission to find something special.

  • Reply
    November 24, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Treating herself not testing herself ( can’t spell at all today)

    • Reply
      November 28, 2017 at 11:15 am

      Makes a difference but I think I translated that when I read it! I have those kinds of days too!

  • Reply
    November 25, 2017 at 12:31 am

    Thanks for inspiring words about jewelry choices! Something I guess I’ve always been only intuitively minimalistic about I e I don’t buy anything that can’t be worn with my everyday bracelet. I realize it’s an approach that is very restrictive and keeps me in the minimalistic area. You gave me some food for thought and inspiration to go out and look for new pieces!

    • Reply
      November 28, 2017 at 11:13 am

      Food for thought is a good thing! Hope you have fun looking for pieces that are calling your name!

  • Reply
    elena daciuk
    November 25, 2017 at 10:55 am

    i never realized amy and i share the same philosophy…can’t wait to receive my latest purchase (for my birthday) which was last week…i agree with you so much on the pieces relating to each other…but not matchy matchy…i love putting my pieces together…when they go but don’t go…for me the more eclectic the better…which is why i love piecing my vintage baubles with new contemporary pieces…knowing no one else will have that combination is ideal for my wanting unique pieces in my outfit…

    • Reply
      November 28, 2017 at 11:12 am

      I love your styling philosophy, Elena! You do such a great job of getting it all to come together in an artistic, creative way. Bravo! And happy to hear the kindred connection to Amy! Great minds think alike, right?

  • Reply
    November 26, 2017 at 11:54 am

    You are the queen of accessorizing Brenda. I always love your posts re accessories. I learn something every time!!

    • Reply
      November 28, 2017 at 11:10 am

      I’m honored! And I feel so stately being Queen of Accessorizing. So glad you enjoyed the post!

  • Reply
    Amy Roseveare
    November 26, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    Love the article, Brenda! My “boyfriend” gifts definitely have a special place in my life. Looking forward to a couple new pieces for this Christmas. xo

    • Reply
      November 28, 2017 at 11:09 am

      I love that, Amy! I remember when you told me this story. It’s got legs! I bet others are going to have boyfriend gifts this season, thanks to you! XO

  • Reply
    Katie Ross
    November 28, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    This weekend, while my husband is away at a retreat, I hope to at least go through all my necklaces to identify orphans…and then find possible earring or bracelet mates to put on my Christmas list. Thanks for a very inspiring post!

  • Reply
    Cindy Smith
    August 30, 2019 at 11:59 am

    Brenda, love all of your looks. Where do you get your glasses? I’m always looking for fun frames.

    • Reply
      September 3, 2019 at 9:58 am

      Uber Optics in Petaluma, CA is my go-to place for me and my clients!

  • Reply
    Austin Saunders
    January 13, 2020 at 9:58 am

    I like what you said about bracelets conveying the message that you’re sublime. My sister has been telling me about how she wants to try wearing more jewelry in the coming months. I’ll share this information with her so that she can look into her options for getting some bracelets.

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