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I’ve never been a big Jewelry Person. Or at least, I didn’t grow up to be a big Jewelry Person after a middle and high school career filled with chokers, dangly earrings and really just a lot of costume jewelry from Charming Charlie. (For anyone who grew up without a nearby Charming Charlie—a veritable barn of rhinestone-encrusted pieces sorted into huge, color-coordinated bins—my condolences.) For me, jewelry has always been an aspirational thing. Partially because—and you might’ve guessed this based on my chosen career of “freelance writer”—I rarely have excess cash to spend on accessories. And partially because I’ve never landed on a jewelry aesthetic that really, consistently works for me. That is, until recently, when I discovered the joys of tiny, dainty jewelry for the very first time.
I’ve long admired people who know what kind of jewelry they like. Who know what looks good on them. Who know where to find it. I’ve never been much of a statement necklace person, and I’ve never been an Anthropologie twine-and-oh-is-that-some-kind-of-bone person, either. And of course, the elegant route has long been thwarted by my lack of expendable income. I needed something versatile—something I could buy once and wear on any occasion, in any place, at any time. I needed something understated enough that it would play well with even the most statement-making pieces in my wardrobe. And I needed something affordable enough to buy on the rare occasion that I had an extra $20 or $30 to spare. To put things simply, what I needed was minimalism—efficient, budget-friendly minimalism—and our collective infatuation with tiny, delicate, dainty jewelry has absolutely delivered it.
Over Christmas, I bought myself my first-ever pair of delicate earrings—sterling silver studs shaped like a tiny moon and star. And each time I admired my reflection in the mirror, I grew increasingly hooked. “This is my aesthetic!” I shouted aloud to the heavens—or, more realistically, communicated to my friend Jane through a series of high-energy text messages. I’ve since accumulated a handful of other stunningly small, beautifully simple pieces, each of which has further cemented my infatuation with the genre.
By its very essence, dainty jewelry goes with everything, won’t clash with even the most complicated outfits, and never fails to make an impression. What an easy way to make it look like you’re a Jewelry Person, even if you’re decidedly, historically not.
1. Danae Gold Diamond Necklace, $584 at Net-A-Porter
This lil diamond manages to be unassuming while still making an impression.
2. Moon and Star 14-Karat Gold Diamond Necklace, $295 at Net-A-Porter
Getting celestial has never been easier now that the stars come in “ultra-tiny.”
3. Bbuble Beaded Layered Necklace, $198 at Anthropologie
A perfect gift for a special someone—or just a reminder to love yourself.
I defy you to find a look this thin, simple chain and charm can’t complement.
5. Reykjavik Sterling Silver Stacking Band, $24 on Etsy
What better way to garnish your hard-working hands than with a little intricate bling?
6. Stone and Strand Silver Earrings, $70 at Net-A-Porter
Why not practice self-care via turning yourself into a constellation?
7. Pompeii Necklace, $46 at Cristalore
This tiny black piece of obsidian, reminiscent of Mount Vesuvius, is slight but powerful.
8. Crystal Bezel Trio Bracelet, $20 at HoneyCat
If you’ve always felt like more of a gold person, enjoy this tiny treat of a bracelet!
9. Sailors Knot Bangle, $78 at Nordstrom
Celebrate that rose gold’s here to stay with this eye-catching knot.
10. Petite Nude Chain Choker, $395 at Nordstrom
This flattened necklace is all the punk of a choker with all the elegance of precious metal.
11. Star Necklace, $24 on Etsy
These kissing stars are a cute finishing touch fit for any occasion.
12. 14k Gold Layered Diamond Necklace Set, $865 on Etsy
One of the best things about tiny jewelry is that you can combine pieces without overpowering your look.
13. Gold Heart Lariat Necklace, $176 on Etsy
Heart jewelry doesn’t have to look cheesy—and this dangling chain is proof.
14. Heart Ring, $59 at Rellery
Heart jewelry! It’s coming back! I swear!
15. Kitten Mitten 14-Karat Gold Diamond Bracelet, $340 at Net-A-Porter
If you’re looking something unique, this gauntlet makes an impression without skewing Too Much.
16. Hammered Sterling Silver Band, $21 on Etsy
This hand-forged ring has all the best of a handmade look—small, unique, rugged, gorgeous.
16. 14k Joey Anklet, $68 at Free People
When you’re tired of adorning your wrists, why not show your ankles a little love? I, for one, am ecstatic this breezy trend is back.
17. Gold Planet Necklace, $9 on Etsy
Simple doesn’t have to mean boring. I love this off-kilter planet necklace—and the sense of understated individuality it offers.
18. Gold Disc Stacking Ring, $46 on Etsy
Mixing metals, done the dainty way.
19. Radiant Light Mixed Metal Ring Set, $19 at Lulus
Summon some elven vibes with these gorgeous multicolored stacking rings.
20. On The Mark Studs, $39 at Stella & Dot
Whether you’re into archery symbolism or just need to add a little flourish to an outfit, these arrows are perfect.
21. Moon Phase Gold Earrings Set, $29 at Wanderlust + Co
Haven’t you always wanted the chance to literally coordinate your outfit with the moon?
22. Shashi Eye & Eyelash Stud Earrings, $45 at Asos
23. Boat Pendant Necklace, $241 at Farfetch
This pendant is a cute way of saying there’s nothing wrong with a little daydreaming.
24. Be The Light Necklace, $36 at Mae Mae
Summon electric vibes on even the most mundane days.
25. Caleb Chain Necklace, $345 at Martyre
Can you ever, really, go wrong with a simple, delicate chain?
26. Basic Small Halo Earrings, $57 at Astrid & Miyu
Delicate studs that feel anything but basic.
27. Selene’s Love Necklace, $58 at Cristalore
This rounded crescent moon has a glow all its own.
28. Tiny Moon Ring, $12 at HoneyCat
Ending this piece strong with the tiniest piece of tiny jewelry I’ve ever seen. Look how teeny-weeny that moon is!
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