(The Shopping List)

I’ve Only Invested In One Item For Summer & It Goes With Every Outfit

I wear it 24/7.

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Courtesy of Hannah Baxter
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I’m certain I’m not alone when I say that for the past 15 or so months, 98% of my closet has been flat out of commission. While I once spent hours finding the perfect vintage patterned flare pants to add to my wardrobe, I reluctantly traded them in for t-shirts and sweats because, honestly, who was going to notice except my partner and my cat? While comfort ruled the bulk of my outfit choices, my jewelry game only became more involved, especially layered gold necklaces, the kind my friends and coworkers could still appreciate over Zoom and help me feel like less of an aimless gremlin. And now that summer is tantalizingly close, I’m even more obsessed with helping my neck resemble that of an Italian heiress languishing on the Riviera, my forever style icon.

If you’re new to neck parties and you have the means to do so, I highly recommend investing in fine jewelry. Sure those purchases tend to mean more money upfront, but in terms of cost per wear, it will beat out fast fashion every time. Plus, classic pieces like herringbone or curb chains have the added benefit of lasting well beyond the latest trend cycle, something I’m much more attuned to as a 30-something living in a tiny New York apartment. 10K gold is a great option to start if your budget is smaller, and then you can work your way up to 14K, 18K, and so on.

However, if you’re a fan of the more-is-more vibe with necklaces — a style philosophy I wholeheartedly endorse — there is absolutely nothing wrong with including demi-fine or costume pieces (like gold vermeil or gold fill) into the mix.

Although my motivation for dressing up (read: putting on real pants) is increasing, there are still days when I’d rather stick to my gym shorts and a concert tee when I run to the grocery store, but who cares when you’re rocking a buttery yellow belcher chain? Blind ‘em with diamonds. Dazzle ‘em with charms. Even better if you’ve already found a few new summer dresses to pair with them in just a few short months.

Want to elevate your most basic, inexpensive, or just plain uninspired outfits with a perfectly curated neck party? These are the necklaces I can’t stop thinking about adding to my jewelry collection this summer. Just remember — the more the merrier. Your Italian alter ego deserves her time to shine.

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Layered Gold Necklaces: Start With Simple Chains

These are the core for any necklace stack, your jewelry bread and butter if you will. I have a few thinner styles that I rotate, and then I have a thick belcher t-bar beauty (a 2020 survival gift from myself, to myself). A chain will never, ever go out of style, and they look just as gorgeous layered all together as they do alone. If you want to dip your toes into the fine jewelry pool, this is the perfect place to start.

Layered Gold Necklaces: If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Charm ‘Em

Whether you prefer a ‘90s era nameplate or a delicate enamel locket, there’s really no limit to the number of ways to customize a charm necklace. Try mixing gold and silver pieces with a few pops of color via enamel or gemstones to add some intrigue to your minimalist summer tank or t-shirt.

Layered Gold Necklaces: A Touch Of Sparkle

I mean, does this really require an explanation? Whether you go with crystals, lab-grown, or natural diamonds, a little something sparkly around your neck will help you feel like a million bucks, even if you can’t remember the last time you washed your hair. They’re worth it, and so are you.

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