6 essential accessories to complete your outfit

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Hand holding necklace by jewelry box

Every woman knows there are some basics that have to be in her closet: a little black dress, a pencil skirt, a great pair of jeans and a classic purse. With the right building blocks, you can put together an outfit that's stylish, feminine and timeless, without a lot of fuss.

The same idea should apply to your jewelry collection. When you have the essential pieces, you'll be prepared for any occasion, whether you need to be subtle or want to turn some heads. Cristina Ehrlich, celebrity stylist and Pandora Jewelry ambassador, outlines six can't-live-without-them pieces that you should have on hand.

1. A statement ring

One jewelry trend that has lasted throughout many seasons is a cocktail ring that makes a statement. "Floral motifs and precious gemstones set in gold or sterling silver are classic choices," Ehrlich says. She also points out that you can experiment with different kinds of stones, such bright orange carnelian or freshwater pearls, which are available in every color from creamy white to champagne or peacock blue. For a classic look stick to black onyx or spinel, which go with everything.

2. Earrings of various lengths

This is a three-in-one essential: You should have studs, dangling earrings and hoops. "Studs are flattering on everyone," Ehrlich says. "They brighten the face and can easily be worn from day to night." Although stud earrings can be worn each day, every woman needs something dangly and eye-catching for a night out or to dress up an everyday outfit. Choose a color that complements most of your existing wardrobe so you can wear them often, such as black onyx with diamond accents. And every woman should own a pair of hoop earrings in either sterling silver or 14-karat gold. "For a twist on classic hoops, choose interchangeable earrings that can be customized with long dangles or short drop pendants to create a different look for every day of the week," Ehrlich adds.

3. Bangles

Having a fun set of bangles is the key to dressing up any outfit for an evening. Ehrlich advises choosing a simple style in sterling silver for a polished look, or bangles with colorful accents for a bit more playfulness. Layer your bangles with other bracelets to create the look you want. "I love to layer silver bangles with black leather bracelets," suggests Ehrlich.

4. Chain necklaces

"A simple chain in sterling silver, oxidized silver or 14-karat gold is a classic piece that you will be able to reinvent again and again," Ehrlich says. Choose a long and a short chain to give you more options. Layer them together for a modern look, or choose to wear one with a beautiful pendant, clip or charm.

5. A watch

A great watch has been a jewelry staple for some time, but with prominence of cell phones, many women have mistakenly tucked their watches away in the jewelry box. Opt for a more delicate piece that looks like a bracelet, or if it suits your style, go for a bigger, menswear-inspired watch. Ehrlich points out that some watch designers allow the wearer to switch out watch faces, bezels and bands to create a completely customizable look. No matter which you prefer, choose a classic style that can be worn with any outfit.

6. A bracelet you love

Building on an old tradition, contemporary charm bracelets allow the wearer to create a personalized and unique piece of jewelry, tailored to their own preferences and taste. The Pandora collection includes classic charm bracelets in sterling silver, 14-karat gold or two-tone, as well as more modern options such as the double-braided leather bracelet, all of which can be customized with a selection of hundreds of charms and clips. "You can change the charms on your bracelet to suit your mood or the occasion," Ehrlich points out. "Any event or milestone in your life can be the occasion for adding a charm to your collection."

When it comes to buying your essential jewelry pieces, look for those made from genuine, quality materials such as sterling silver, 14-karat gold, precious and semi-precious stones, which will retain their value and beauty for years. The key to choosing each piece in your collection is to keep in mind your wardrobe and favorite colors so that you will have a variety of accessories to wear for any occasion and any outfit. And of course, always choose something that celebrates your individual style.

Courtesy of ARA content