Building Basics

Whether you're seeking to build a jewelry wardrobe from little more than a pair of pearl studs or you're a designer jewelry "expert" familiar with such design luminaries as Michael Beaudry and Chris Correia, you've come to the right place. I've been in the business of making women and men's dreams come true for 30 years -- all of them here at Pearlman's Jewelers. During that time, I've learned a bit about jewelry -- and the human heart. The award-winning designers we feature create enduring pieces that unite style, form, superb craftsmanship and materials.

To the uninitiated, choosing which pieces to buy -- both when and in what order can be daunting. Here are some quick tips and guidelines when it comes to choosing the right pieces for your lifestyle.

First, I always say, "start with the head." That means that your first purchase might be a pair of earrings. You can keep it simple with elegant white or black pearl studs, round diamond studs set in platinum, or clean and classy white or yellow gold hoops. Starting with these pieces makes it easy to match as you move down the body, and into necklaces, pendants, bracelets, pins, and rings.

Here are three lifestyle options, and some suggested designers that correspond with each look. Keep in mind that these are just suggestions -- it's my goal to work with you to create your desired look and jewelry wardrobe.

Business attire for women

9 to 5 Professional

9 to 5 transcends the office. It's wherever your day takes you and it's about looking sleek, stylish, and pulled together. Think pearl studs, diamond studs, white gold "wedding band" earrings, pearl strands and chokers, and thick or thin white or yellow gold necklaces and chains. An elegant or sporty wristwatch with either a leather or lizard strap is a smart finishing touch.

Designers to consider: Bellarri, Dorfman Sterling, Pearlman's (Diamonds)

Casual attire for women

Casual Everyday

Casual pieces are ones that make you feel comfortable reflect your unique personal style. Like a cashmere sweater or your favorite pair of jeans, it's jewelry you can wear anywhere, anytime. If you're married or engaged, your engagement ring or wedding band is likely the piece that you wear without fail. Other casual pieces might include a sport wristwatch, whimsical-yet-substantial sterling or white gold rings and chain bracelets, and artistic pendants suspended on leather or wire.

Designers to consider: Michael B., Michael Beaudry, Sasha Primak,
Whitney Boin (Bridal), Beverley K (14k, 18k, and platinum jewelry).

Evening gown attire for women

Evening Dressy

After dark jewelry can reflect a range of different levels of formality: from a dinner party to a big date, to opening night at the Ballet, or an evening out with the girls. This is the time to take it up a notch. But dressy doesn't have to mean flashy -- unless you want it to! Try unusual and striking touches like Edwardian-inspired colored stone earrings or matching pink sapphire earrings and necklace. If it's truly a special night out, opt for a sumptuous serpentine diamond and platinum collar and cuff necklace. The possibilities are infinite.

Designers to consider: (Cathy Carmendy) Edwardian-inspired Colored
stone earrings and necklaces, Jane Taylor (pink sapphire jewelry).

Stay tuned for more Wardrobing tips, including bridal and partner jewelry, special event, and young professional. If you ever have a wardrobing question or just want to know what you should wear, please email me at