Forget shoes. Forget handbags. I always have been and always will be a jewelry girl! I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that in at least half of the pictures from my childhood, I’m traipsing around in my Grandma’s triple strand pearl necklace and sparkly hoop earrings. While you’re free to disagree with me, here’s my theory when it comes to buying jewelry: if you’re going to spend a significant amount of money, spend it on classic, timeless pieces that will never go out of style. A pearl necklace, diamond or pearl stud earrings or a classic gold or silver watch are good choices.

As for trendy jewelry pieces—unless you’re diamond-heiress rich—don’t spend all your money on pieces that may only be in style for a season or two. While the items I’ve selected for in this article aren’t so flagrantly trendy that they’ll only have a one-season shelf life, they also aren’t what I consider timeless styles worthy of  investing in. Without further adieu, here are your  splurge vs. steal options for three different iterations of pendant chain necklaces; an oversized, “blinged-out,” link bracelet; and a rocker-inspired watch with a double strap band and metal stud hardware.

Raise the style bar with a gold bar necklace

Splurge: Jennifer Meyer Diamond and Gold Bar Necklace; $1,050 at Barneys.com
Steal: Forever 21 Dainty Rhinestone Bar Necklace; $4.80 at Forever21.com
Savings: $1,045.20 (99% savings!)

Who’s that girl? Let her know with a personalized initial necklace!

Personalization has been a recurring jewelry trend for some time now. Both my mom, circa 1973, and Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw, circa 2002, wore nameplate necklaces. Similarly, all those preppy fashion bloggers seem to currently don monogram plate necklaces, too. You can wear an initial pendant for your first name or your beloved’s name. If you have kids, it would also be a cute idea to layer necklaces with the initials of each of your kids’ names. You could even get a “K”, “C” and an “L” necklace in support of your favorite website!

Splurge: Jennifer Meyer Yellow Gold and Diamond Initial Necklace (various initials available); $1,225 at Barneys.com
Steal: Nadri Initial Pendant Necklace (various initials available); $38 at Nordstroms.com
Savings: $1,187 (97% savings!)

Hit a style bullseye with an arrow necklace

With Hunger Games mania sweeping the nation and as discussed in this March 2014  New York Times article, girls are going gaga over bows and arrows. If you’re not about archery or hunting your own food in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic society, you could always gift this necklace to someone you love, with the arrow representing a Cupid’s arrow pointing to her heart.  Also, arrow prints are almost becoming the new chevron, popping up on trendy paper goods, screen printed textiles and cell phone cases galore. So my “point” is that arrows are cool this season, but not cool enough to warrant a $155 price tag. Stick to your budget with bullseye precision and choose the cheaper knock-off necklace from Stella & Dot instead.

Splurge: Jennifer Zeuner Gold Vermeil Arrow Necklace; $155 at Shopbop.com
Steal: Stella & Dot Gold Vermeil On the Mark Arrow Necklace; $59 at Stelladot.com (available 4/21/14)
Savings: $96 (a 62% savings!)

Link big with an oversized link bracelet

A popular jewelry trend right now is oversized link bracelets and necklaces. In this exaggerated take on classic link jewelry, these big and bold link pieces can be made out of a variety of materials, everything from wood to Lucite to basic metals with or without sparkly adornments. I like these gold, oversized, link bracelets with pave stones pictured below from J.Crew (splurge) and Target (steal). Whether you work in a formal corporate office, are attending a black-tie affair, or are slumming it on a Sunday in ripped jeans and a white t-shirt, this bracelet will complement your outfit.

Splurge: J.Crew Classic Pavé Link Bracelet, $115 at JCrew.com
Steal: Target Pavé Stone Link Bracelet in Gold; $19.99 at Target.com
Savings: $95.01 (83% savings!)

Flaunt your fashion credibility with a double strand watch

Double strand watches and bracelets—especially those adorned with rivets and other metal hardware—are both rugged and chic. More Katy Perry than Kate Middleton, the watches pictured below ooze rockstar attitude, but have just enough classic watch elements to make them versatile for a wide variety of outfits and occasions. At a mere ninth of the price, the GoJane watch is a great “double” of the pricey Michael Kors version. Watch your budget and purchase the steal version of this cool timepiece.

 

Splurge: Michael Kors Women’s Slim Runway Gold-Tone Stainless Steel and Black Leather Double Wrap Strap 42mm MK2315 Watch; $180 at Macys.com
Steal: GoJane Squarely There Wraparound Watch in Black/Gold: $15.95 at GoJane.com
Savings: $164.05 (91% savings!)