five classic pieces of jewelry every woman should own

every classic wardrobe needs to include classic jewelry. yes, jewelry will last you a lifetime if chosen wisely. fine jewelry is an investment that can be full of intrinsic memories. many of my most treasured pieces were gifted by my parents or mr. style. now it’s up to me to continue to update my jewelry collection and share my favorites with my daughter-in-law kelly and future dil’s. whether it’s costume jewelry or the real deal, there are five classic pieces of jewelry every woman should own. today, i’m sharing my must-have list. 

pearl or diamond studs

opens in a new windowpearl studs are the perfect earrings to wear no matter if you are sixteen or sixty. what i love most about pearl studs is that they can go to school, work, or an evening out and still look fabulous. pearls are the gemstone that can be dressed up or down with ease. in my humble opinion, pearl studs are the go with anything go everywhere earring. 

not everyone is as ga-ga over pearls as i am. but we all know diamonds are a girl’s best friend. honestly, who doesn’t love diamonds? especially opens in a new windowdiamond studs that are simple and chic. if you love an understated yet elegant look, the sparkle from a pair of diamond studs is a perfect choice.

chasing the chill

leopard jackets and suede booties

diamond earrings at JCP



pearl necklace

this timeless classic necklace is the perfect gift for a cherished family member. every time i pull out my opens in a new windowstring of pearls, i think of my parents who gifted my first pearl necklace. pearls go perfectly with a little black dress as their white iridescent luster bounces off the black for a simple, elegant look. you can’t go wrong with this timeless classic. don’t be afraid to add faux pearls to your collection, a.k.a jackie kennedy. long strands of faux pearls look fantastic layered a la coco chanel.

style formula

beth at Style at a Certain Age wears an Ann Taylor tweed military jacket, Everlane crewneck cashmere, J.Crew cropped flare denim, pointy-toed boots and strings of pearls

it's a privilege to vote



diamond tennis bracelet or gold bracelet

we have chris evert to thank for the name of this iconic bracelet. can you believe she lost her diamond bracelet during a match at the US Open? play was halted until chrissy found her precious gems. afterward, we all rushed out to buy a replica, and the must-have opens in a new windowtennis braceletwas born. the simple design is what makes it a classic, with its symmetrical line of diamonds sitting neatly in a row. there are many different sizes when it comes to a tennis bracelet, so there’s definitely one that’s in your budget. i like to keep one real diamond bracelet and one faux in my lineup. as a matter of fact, i always travel with costume jewelry for a hassle-free trip. there’s never a worry if i lose a bracelet or earrings, or in the rare case, it’s stolen. but it’s safe to say most of us don’t have kim khardashian’s net-worthy baubles to fret about.

a gold bracelet is an easy-to-wear classic that looks chic paired with jeans or a dress. stack them to your heart’s content or wear one at a time. choose a opens in a new windowbangle or opens in a new windowlink bracelet for a go-anywhere classic.



classic watch

there are many beautiful timepieces that could be added to your jewelry box. but the granddaddy of them all is the classic opens in a new window tank watch from Cartier. it’s always been on my must-have list. mr. style was a watch aficionado and could rattle off random facts about any and every watch known to mankind. as a matter of fact, all of my classic timepieces (and many of my handbags) were gifted from him. in his eyes, a watch was the ultimate everyday accessory. round dials are universally flattering, but i love squares and rectangles too. i know, i know many of us keep time these days with our phones, but a classic watch is a finishing touch that completes your outfit. these days technology has been integrated into timepieces. i have to admit i love my opens in a new windowApple watch with opens in a new windowinterchangeable straps that complement any ensemble.

fair isle sweater

five classic pieces of jewelry



gold chain necklace

when it comes to gold chain necklaces, there’s something to suit every style and budget. delicate gold chains have been trending the past few years. layer two or three over your white tee. but i love a chunky statement necklace that grabs all the attention. when paired with the right outfit a statement necklace is guaranteed to turn heads.

five classic pieces of jewelry

five classic pieces of jewelry



hoop earrings

yes, the title of the post is five classic pieces of jewelry every woman should own, but when i released my YouTube video, many of you suggested that hoop earrings were a beloved classic that you couldn’t live without. and you’re right! hoops belong in every woman’s jewelry box. whether you prefer gold hoops, silver hoops, or diamond hoops, we can all agree hoop earrings are simple, versatile, and have been around for centuries. cleopatra might have owned one or two pairs…

five classic pieces of jewelry

five classic pieces of jewelry

today’s list isn’t exhaustive, but it’s a start. one thing i know for sure it’s a safe bet these five classic pieces of jewelry will never go out of style. happy sunday, ladies!





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  1. Carol wrote:

    The photo of you in the houndstooth baseball jacket with your head ducked just so is very reminiscent of Princess Diana. It’s a similar look in wardrobe and a similar pose.

    Posted 1.24.21
  2. Linda Bell wrote:

    I couldn’t agree with you more when speaking of pearls! I never had a daughter, but I’m blessed with two granddaughters who will inherit my mother’s pearl and diamonds. I think there is a lot of sentiment connected to jewelry for me.

    Posted 1.24.21
  3. Bonnie wrote:

    Love the pearls with the VOTE shirt! Significant for me.

    Posted 1.24.21
  4. Terry wrote:

    Beth, what is your opinion on when/with what to wear a black or white watch face? Thank you for this jewelry list.

    Posted 1.24.21
  5. Andrea wrote:

    Excellent post, Beth.

    Several of my friends love to wear different costume jewelry daily, tease me saying they can’t afford fine jewelry. All roads lead to Rome, but they probably spend more than I do. I have allergies so gold/sterling silver are my only choices for all except watches.

    Like yourself, my favourite pieces are family treasures. Heirlooms don’t have to look stodgy, if they are classic pieces they will stand the test of time.

    I have a delicate diamond/gold Longines Wittnaurer that is 50 yrs old, for formal wear, but my go to is a silver/gold Citizen eco-drive, same style as the Bulova shown above. The heavy design gives a real edge, as you say, to almost any outfit. The third is a Skagen from Denmark in a gold mesh. All are durable, well made, reliable – lots of compliments.

    Nothing wrong with costume jewelry for budgets – all roads.

    Posted 1.24.21
  6. Rosie wrote:

    Love the bling!

    Posted 1.24.21
  7. Susan wrote:

    A saleswoman at Talbots in Boston gave me some good advice a few years ago. She quoted Coco Chanel as saying that when a woman gets to a certain age, the color white next to her face is flattering. I find that in my case, pearls achieve this effect. Thanks for the interesting post.

    Posted 1.24.21
  8. Robin wrote:

    As soon as I saw this post, I was excited to read it! I am approximately your age and am anxious to be (appropriately) well dressed, and to see if I needed a new piece of “classic jewelry”. I am happy to say that I do have a piece of each suggested items. The best news is that you have now encouraged me to be using them in this Covid time. Most of my friends are now finding humor in “dressing up” to go to the grocery store—which is our big outing of the week! Keep up the good work! 🙂

    Posted 1.24.21
  9. Joanie wrote:

    I simply love your column. When I’m feeling down, your ideas perk me up and I try to stay a “happy and hip” 65 year old! Thank you!

    Posted 1.24.21
  10. Sarah wrote:

    I was so pleased to see that a watch made the cut for this post. I’d stopped wearing one when it became common to check your phone for the time. I missed this accessory and decided to include it, once again in my daily routine. My reasons…besides looking polished? One less time you have to pull your phone out and…a daily reminder that time does not stand still. I gifted one to my daughter with a note stating the above. I have yet to see her without it.

    Posted 1.24.21
  11. tina wrote:

    Love your posts Beth. Pearls are lovely I was given a baroque black/ peacock strand for our 35th anniversary and they look stunning have had so many compliments. Don’t have to just go with white. Much love and best wishes from New Zealand

    Posted 1.25.21
  12. I loved your article about the timeless jewelry items! I must say, I do own them all. You are a lucky lady to have someone who has provided the best for you to enjoy.

    I feel the Rolex two tone should be added to your list, or better yet, the ladies President! It’s been around for so many years with the design never really changing.

    I am a custom jewelry designer and have many items on my website I think you’d love. I use only genuine gemstones and precious metals. My prices are very reasonable, usually less than costume jewelry.

    Posted 1.25.21
  13. Lindsey A wrote:

    Love and own all of these. We’ve been spending so much of the pandemic time at our vacation home that I’ve kinda just permanently hidden my jewellery box at home in case of a break-in. Just kept out a few pieces that go with everything – you guessed it – monogrammed gold bracelet, simple pearl drops, diamond studs, couple of simple chain necklaces. Oh how I miss having my wider selection though! But the box is big and heavy, and I get so paranoid about dropping it and having jewellery flying all over the floor and getting lost that I’m just leaving it where it is for the foreseeable future.

    Much of my jewellery is sentimental too – eg, various garnet pieces as mothers day gifts (my daughter is 8 today and so they’re her birthstone), beautiful antique watch from my parents for my 18th, super long strand of pearls from girlfriends for my 30th. I’m lucky that my husband is a big fan of fine jewellery, understands my (good, if I say so myself) taste, and also great at finding some amazing deals!

    Posted 1.25.21
  14. Mila wrote:

    Classy and gorgeous , always in style regardless 👏👏👏

    Posted 1.25.21
  15. Cindy Woods wrote:

    I loved this post. And you included so many different price points, which I appreciated. The Fleur-de-lis necklace is very pretty; I think I will gift one to my daughter and daughter-in-law for Christmas 2021. Your beauty and fashion advice is top notch.

    Posted 1.26.21
  16. Teabag wrote:

    This is one of my most favorite of your posts ever and I have been following you a long time! I agree with your recommendations and have all of them. Love pearls, diamonds, and yellow gold! 🤗

    Posted 1.30.21
  17. Mary wrote:

    I really like the ivory blouse and jacket worn with jeans and pearls in the first picture on this post. There are links to the jewelry but not the clothing. Could you share please where the blouse could be purchased? Enjoy all your posts – thank you

    Posted 2.1.21
    • the outfit is several years old. the silk tunic was from Banana Republic. the tweed jacket is tailor-made. hope this helps!

      Posted 2.1.21
      • Mary wrote:

        Thank you Beth!

        Posted 2.5.21

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