7 Chic Picks Under $40 + 1 Splurge You Could Get Free • Budget Fashionista


Now’s about the time we could all use some self-care, right? Your style of self-care might be a bubble bath infused with essential oils, or a glass of Cabernet on the patio. But my go-to is a new piece of jewelry. And jewelry, like clothes, shoes, and makeup, redefines itself every season — which means fashion ladies like us can always have a shiny new bauble to show off.

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Summer jewelry has a big job, too. It makes a statement, of course, but it also must be dainty enough that it won’t feel like too much work to wear in the summer heat. We can rely on runway trends for the statement-making, but the fashion gods sometimes fall short on more practical matters.

This season is no exception. High-end designers will have you wearing thick, intricate chokers, oversized chains, and raw stones with jagged edges. You know, just the stuff you’d pair with a tank when it’s 95 degrees outside *eye roll*.

Close-up of woman wearing trendy summer jewelry -- long yellow earrings.

If you’d rather take a more moderate approach to summer jewelry trends, then you’re in the right place. Here are eight summer jewelry trends — plus my warm-weather jewelry picks that nod to the trends without sacrificing wearability. Seven of these pieces are priced at $40 or less.

Summer jewelry giveaway

And one more BIG piece of news…I’ve partnered with jewelry brand Jana Reinhardt to give away a top-selling, the Hummingbird necklace. That’s the one pick on my list here that has a higher price tag at $122 — but someone will get it for free. Enter that giveaway here.

1. Silver

Have we turned the page on rose gold? I don’t think so. Gold and its many variations have earned classic status at this point — but this season, silver is taking center stage. Get those sterling pieces out and polished, because now’s the time to wear them.

Hummingbird pendant necklace by Jana Reinhardt.

The Hummingbird pendant, Jana Reinhardt’s best-selling piece of all time, is a gorgeous way to wear the silver trend. The necklace is delicate and feminine, but also eye-catching. This is not a piece that will go out of style, even after silver fades from the front lines — although you alternatively could buy the necklace in platinum or three shades of gold.

There are also two chain lengths available, 16 to 18 inches or 20 to 22 inches. I like the shorter option, which you could wear elegantly with various necklines.

The pendant in silver with the shorter chain retails for $122, but you can enter my giveaway for a chance to win one, free.

2. Colored glass

Bold, colorful jewelry has been a lingering favorite on the runways for the past few years, and colored glass is particularly popular this season. That’s great news for budget fashionistas, because you can get that look without spending a fortune.

Bracelet with colorful glass stones by BaubleBar.

BaubleBar, the authority on fun-loving, colorful jewelry, steps right into the colored glass trend with its Flora Pisa bracelet ($32). The bracelet combines lustrous, gold-plated beads with bright beads inspired by Venetian glass. All in, the piece is shiny and bold. It’ll deliver a pretty color pop, especially if you surround it with more muted tones.

3. Cuffs

If you followed runway styles exclusively, you might find yourself wearing warrior-princess cuff bracelets. Those styles can easily jump the shark from chic to costumey though. A more wearable alternative is a cuff with curves and delicate lines, in lieu harsh angles and thick geometric shapes.

Vintage silver filigree bracelet with colored stone.

The pretty filigree cuff bracelet shown above is from Jill Turrentine design on Etsy. While this piece falls into the cuff bracelet trend, it also has a vintage vibe thanks to the antique silver construction and filigree detail. Wear it now as a nod to what’s hot for summer jewelry. And wear it later because it’s classically beautiful. The price is right, too, at $34.

4. Chains

Thick chains are also trending, but you don’t have to go full biker.

Chain link earrings from Loft.

LOFT’s chain earring set is a nice use of a chunky chain link. It’s shiny and weighty, but also flat like a squished penny. That flat design feels more elegant (and decidedly less punk rock) than a traditional chain link.

Act fast to get this set. It’s on clearance for $25.

5. Fringe

Fringe has made its way into jewelry in the form of long, dangling chains, beads, and feathers.

Orange beaded tassel earrings.

These beaded tassel earrings by Aceeel ($13) could be a fun and cheap addition to your summer wardrobe. They’re 5 inches long, so they’ll make a statement on your casual days (and probably touch your shoulders, too). Wear them with your hair up when you’re feeling bold.

If you prefer a dressier style, look for silver chandelier earrings — these also deliver that dangling fringe look.

6. Raw stones

You can put away the polished, symmetrical stones in favor of raw, earthy crystals this season.

Close-up image of a raw stone necklace.

Pictured above is a raw amethyst bar necklace available on Amazon for $40. I love the color and textures of this piece — but you could also wear raw aquamarines, emeralds, rubies, tanzanite, quartz, etc. You might start by shopping stones of your favorite color. That way, you’ll enjoy wearing your raw stone piece long after the raw trend has tapered off.

7. Charms

Charms aren’t just for grandma anymore. Thankfully, the trending version of charms is far more elegant than kitschy.

Product shot of Alex and Ani charm bracelet.

Subtle and simple, the Alex and Ani Heart in Heart charm bangle ($39) wears well for any occasion. The piece is designed to be a gift — the two hearts symbolizing a unique bond between, say, mother and daughter. But why not gift yourself and wear it as a reminder of self-love?

8. Chokers

Ah, the choker. The emblem of the edgy teenage girl. Admittedly, the choker isn’t an easy wear for anyone over the age of 17. But if there’s ever a time to experiment with the short necklace style, it’s now.

Close-up of choker necklace with stone beads.

To step into the choker trend stylishly, avoid black plastic, rope, and layered chain chokers. These styles are played out. Try something colorful and interesting like the Bohemian-style piece shown above from Cape Diablo ($39). You won’t wear this handmade piece to a cocktail party, but it will look fabulous and a touch exotic with a t-shirt and jeans.


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