Shoes, bags, belts, sunglasses and jewellery can all make an outfit, this much we know. But there is always something more personal and more important about the jewellery you choose to wear against your skin every single day, and as such, you can become more invested in finding the items that really speak to you rather than tick a trend box or magically go with everything.
As I get older, I realise that I am more sentimental and attached to jewellery than any other item in my wardrobe. I feel that I have so much love to give and find myself adding to the box of trinkets and goodies on a more regular basis than I once did.
Every subject whose home and closets I visit as part of our Best Wardrobes in Britain franchise will tell me the same thing: They certainly couldn't live without the jewellery pieces that keep them connected to one thing, person, time or place. This doesn't mean the pieces are always timeless or even expensive, but they are imbued with a kind of sentimental value unlike any other item.
I'm always on the lookout for cool jewellery brands to add to the fam, and recently, I've been bookmarking a lot of new (at least to me) names. From pieces for the über minimalistic to glitzy pieces worthy of Donatella's '80s look, here are my 12 favourites.
It was when I noticed this chunky chain and mix 'n' match stone charm necklace on Maria Bernad that I had to find out where it was from, and then buy myself a white vest.
Timeless Pearly is a French brand launched by Leslie Chetrit, specialising in handmade creations that feature vintage-inspired trinkets and mismatched stones in simple gold finishes. And, of course, there are pearls involved.
I first discovered this Australian brand through my friend (and co-founder of resortwear site BeachFlamingo.com) Lily Russo. She's always had an amazing eye for accessories, and these super-OTT '80s-style pieces stand out in a world full of minimal jewellery. These are the ultimate accompaniment to a totally extra beach look, especially when you add in one of the celebrity-approved gold chain belts.
Those giant conch shell earrings you've been seeing all over Instagram? They're NYC-based brand Luiny. As well as the super-popular Turbo Shell earring, this label also produced delicate gold chains, wavy ear cuffs and mother of pearl rings. All very delightful.
Made in Istanbul and rendered in 14K solid gold, Suda is all about chunky, substantial pieces that look great but also tick the ethically sourced box too. The brand belongs to one of the influencers we often feature, Elif of That's a Leaf.
You may already be acquainted with Wald Berlin as the brand started to pop on social last year. European influencers Jessie Bush (pictured here) and Beatrice Gutu are particularly keen. Maximalists and minimalists alike are also falling for the German brand's organic-looking, handmade shell and pearl combinations.
It was when we were raiding Monikh's wardrobe that Daphine came to our attention. Reasonably priced and perfect for those who like their jewellery to be subtle, this London-based jewellery is starting to pop up all over our feeds. The bangles and rings are particularly well worth checking out and stacking up.
If your weakness is cute barrettes then look away now. Scandi influencer Marianne posted her selection from Neophyte (alongside other treats) and we couldn't help but enjoy just how young and silly they were. The Toronto-based label was founded by Anna Stainsby who produces handmade jewellery as well as hair clips. Due to demand, however, the majority of styles are currently sold out.
This Los Angeles–based brand is all about offering fine gold jewellery without the retail markup. The founders, Shelly Sanders and Teddy Sanders, knew a lot about the jewellery business and therefore how they could cut out the middleman and bring you the well-priced jewellery staples every girl needs and wants. Although the brand does cater to those classics, you'll also find more adventurous pieces with multicoloured stones and more.
When I'm searching for cool new brands, U.S. boutique Lisa Says Gah is right at the top of the list. This store always picks up weird and wonderful little gems—the kind of things you can't help but show off about on Instagram, like these cherry earrings. Andrea Smith, an artist based in Brooklyn, has jewellery on the site that keeps on selling out. As well as the cherries, she creates earrings that look like bunches of purple grapes.
Corey Moranis is a favourite of my fashion friend and social media guru Isabel Mundigo-Moore. She discovered the Canadian brand's unusual lucite jewellery a while ago, picking up a pair of the brand's clear looped earrings. There are many other artsy options to choose from, including collars, hair bobbles and jumbo link necklaces like the one pictured.
If I haven't yet fulfilled your yearnings for understated jewellery, then maybe Another Feather will be the answer. Portland-based founder Hannah Ferrara describes her offering as "jewellery for the non-jewellery wearer," and the elegant chains, sculptural earrings and plain rings certainly do fit the bill.