Jewelry Box Basics: Gifts for Grads

Oh…tis is the season for graduations! 8th grade, high school, college…these gals are ready to take the next step in life! And there’s no better way to mark these amazing milestones than with a piece of jewelry. Trying to find the perfect gift for someone can be a challenge, but I think if you consider their personal style then it might make the decision a bit easier.

During my 6-part series, Jewelry Box Basics, I discussed what jewelry each person should have in their jewelry box, based on their personal style: the lady who lunches, bohemian, rock star, minimalist, romantic, and the trendy gal. Now trust me, these personal styles can develop early, so just use your keen eye to determine where your grad might fall into the spectrum. Once you determine this, then you have a clear direction of where to start shopping. Here are some of my recommendations based on each personal style.

The Lady Who Lunches
You can never go wrong with pearls with this personal style. But given that the graduate is younger in age, you don’t want to select a pearl piece fit for her grandmother. I love these earrings by San Francisco designer, Alana Leigh. The baroque pearls and the unique setting are so versatile — from jeans and a t-shirt to a cocktail dress.

Current and classic!
Current and classic!

The Bohemian
When the bohemian woman is building her jewelry collection, she is undoubtedly going to build up quite the wardrobe of statement rings. Selecting a gorgeous ring with an organic feel would be perfect. Case in point is this druzy ring by Peppina jewelry. It’s simply stunning.

A perfect, daily statement
A perfect, daily statement

The Rock Star
Even if your grad isn’t part of a rock-n-roll band, her style definitely reflects an artistic quality. This doesn’t necessarily mean she’s covered in tattoos or multiple piercings, but she still has that edge. In which case, this amazing bangle by Alexander McQueen would be spot-on for her.

Subtle skulls
Subtle skulls

The Minimalist
Granted, the minimalist won’t necessarily be expecting a piece of jewelry for her graduation. In fact, she might not even know what to do with it at first! So the key here is to give her a piece that incorporates itself so easily into the minimal pieces that she already wears, that it becomes one of her must-wear pieces. Given the popularity of initial jewelry, choosing a simple, clean initial necklace by Jennifer Meyer is the perfect choice. It can easily be layered with other necklaces, or simply be worn on its own.

Simply elegant
Simply elegant

The Romantic
The woman with the romantic personal style typically has quite a sentimental bent. So giving her something with special meaning, like a birthstone piece of jewelry, would definitely warm her heart. I recently discovered the shopNBC.com site. (Who knew!?) and fell in love with this opal ring. (Happy birthday, October!) And a cool side note, this site offers something called “value pay” on certain items, where you can split your payment into monthly installments.

I love the fire in opals
I love the fire in opals

The Trendy Gal
Only the latest and greatest will do for the fashionista grad. Since you of course want to be on time for her appointments, the perfect gift for her will be a brightly colored watch to keep her on track. This stylish aqua watch by Kate Spade fits the bill perfectly.

Colorful, yet classy
Colorful, yet classy

I hope that you all enjoy this graduation season, and I send my very best wishes to all you grads out there!

Scrabble Jewelry

So do you have fond memories of playing Scrabble while growing up? I know I do, as do millions of other people around the world. Well Hasbro Inc., the creators of this uber popular game, has teamed up with World Trade Jewelers to create a whole Scrabble jewelry line! Famous for their Hershey Kiss jewelry, this line will be available to the public sometime this fall. (Jewelry collections for My Little Pony and Candy Land are also in the works.)

Of course, the stars always have first access to the hottest items, and the Scrabble necklaces are being spotted all over Hollywood, from Olivia Munn to Brooke Burke. Initial or monogrammed necklaces are all the rage right now, so it’s no surprise that stylists are swooping them up for their celeb clients. Here’s Carly Rae Jepsen sporting a “C.”

Rockin' it!
Rockin’ it!

The first pieces that will hit the market are the pendants. They come in sterling with white diamonds and 14K yellow gold with black diamonds.

Scrabble_Rapp_Image1BLK

Scrabble_Rapp_Image2BLK

When I spoke with World Trade Jeweler’s CEO, Murray Shabot, last week, he said that this is only the beginning. There will be some pieces made of wood (birchwood and mahogany), cufflinks, and even a bangle where you can add letters to spell out what you want. Cool! The price range will run from $50-$1000, so there’s really something for every budget.

One thing I love about this whole concept is that it really appeals to both kids and adults — it’s nostalgic and current at the same time. I also think it will be a great necklace for layering. Here’s Amanda Crew wearing an “A” with a simple tank.

Amanda Crew

I would style it layered with a couple longer necklaces to create a fun look. I will get to see this line in person this week, as it debuts at the JCK jewelry show in Las Vegas. Can’t wait!

(Photo credits for Carly and Amanda: Look Los Angeles PR. Photo credits for pendants: Lazar Advertising)

Substantial Layers: Jewelry Judge

I was wandering around the Los Altos Rotary Art fair on Sunday with my mom. We always enjoy this fair, and I think I like the people watching just as much as the art on display. Well this woman had it going on! She is another example of how age doesn’t have anything to do with style.

heavy layers

Her simple, black outfit was the perfect backdrop for her somewhat weighty, yet harmonious layers. She didn’t even have to utter a word, and I already felt like I knew so much about her. I imagine that she would have traveled the world, I’m sure she’s a good story-teller, and I have a strong suspicion that she has an optimistic outlook on life. I could, of course, be wrong, but this is really an example of how your personal image talks without you opening your mouth.

I urge you to really think about your personal style and what your outfit and accessories are saying about you. You never know when I might snap a photo of you!!

Storage: The Luxe Life!

I’ve written a couple posts about jewelry storage the past couple years, but lately I’ve come across a few amazing closets while browsing around on Pinterest. I would love to see these spaces in person!

First up is from the closet of Mary Alice Stephenson, a stylist and TV host.

The whole island is for jewelry!
The whole island is for jewelry!

Take a closer look at the pull-out drawer/trays. It’s simply jewelry heaven!

Extremely well-organized
Extremely well-organized

Next is a very cool idea. Eva Jeanbart-Lorenzotti, the founder of the uber-cool site Vivre, has transformed a luxurious bureau into a huge jewelry box!

Luscious color
Luscious color

This last luxe example is more of a mystery. I don’t know who’s closet it’s in, but I wish it were in mine!

The top display case is to-die-for!
The top display case is to-die-for!

While I know that these storage systems are a bit beyond reach…a girl can dream, can’t she?! šŸ˜‰

Swedish Bracelet in the Mix!

So earlier this month, I wrote an article about Swedish Sami bracelets. Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks these are the coolest, as I’ve gotten lots of comments and e-mails about them. (Thanks for that — I love hearing from my readers!)

Well one reader even went a step further. She realized that her darling fiancee, Russ, wore one of these every day!

Masculine mix!
Masculine mix!

He purchased his at the Hostfest Scandinavian Festival in Minot, North Dakota. (looks like a pretty, darn fun festival!) He combined them with two Mexican silver bracelets, for an uber-cool look. He wears them daily, and I’m sure it adds a lot to his outfits — really expressing his personality via the accessories.

Love it!
This really shows his personal style

Thanks for sending in the photos and demonstrating how these bracelets rock for both women and men!

Cuff Me!

No, I’m not making reference to Christian Grey, but rather to one of my latest obsessions — the cuff bracelet. I have written about beautiful cuffs by many designers the past couple years, but for some reason my interest in this particular style has really been piqued lately. I almost feel stronger in some way when I wear one. Perhaps I’m channeling my own inner Wonder Woman?!

She rocked one on each wrist!
She rocked one on each wrist!

Well wearing a cuff on each wrist is becoming more and more popular, and it really can be a chic look. I’m gravitating towards the sleek, modern look of these.

Cuffs by Celine
Cuffs by Celine

While shopping with a client in San Francisco last week, I discovered that Reed Krakoff, whom I normally associate with gorgeous handbags, also has some amazing pieces of jewelry! My client and I both fell love with this gunmetal t bar oval cuff. It sits very comfortably on the wrist, has an easy-to-use and secure closure, and just screams style!

My client modeling her new purchase
My client modeling her new purchase

Upon looking through Reed Krakoff’s website, I’m also totally taken by this one, which is a combination of metal and resin.

Transformer Cuff
Transformer Cuff

Elsa Peretti, who designs for Tiffany and Co. has created an amazing “bone” cuff. The design is different for each wrist, so that it molds naturally to the shape of your wrist. I’m SO going to try these on next time I’m at the store!

Sculptural perfection
Sculptural perfection

Lanvin has a very geometric version of the cuff. The design is slightly reminiscent of 60’s architecture to me. Do you see it too?

Oracle Cuff
Oracle Cuff

There are many options out there in rose gold as well. Personally, this layered-look cuff by Alexis Bittar just makes me smile.

Stunning
Stunning

Speaking of the layered look, I also like the idea of layering a bold, wide cuff with a narrower one. I bet this smaller one by Saint Laurent would work for that.

saint laurent morphing cuff

One really important thing I’ve learned about cuffs is that you HAVE to try them on. Some feel way too heavy. Some are soooo tiny that I can’t even get my wrist into it! And yet others are too big, and they fall down too far, making it difficult to bend your wrist. I mean heck, I’m willing to suffer a little for fashion, but not that much! So just like Goldilocks, you’ve got to test them out until you find one that’s just right for you!

Spectacular Stack: Jewelry Judge

I always love to see what eclectic mixes people can come up with in their bracelet stacks. This gal did not disappoint, and I think we spent at least 10 minutes talking about where all her various bracelets came from.

What a combo!
What a combo!

From the pearls by Erica Molinari, to the large bracelet by Diane Cotton, it was a cool mix. The antler cuff is from Grange Hall in Texas — apparently a store that I must add to my “must see” list!

This inspires me. Tomorrow I will be heading to my jewelry box and creating a brand new stack for the day!!

Jewelry Boxes for Mom!

With Mother’s Day approaching, I know many of you out there are on the quest for the ideal piece of jewelry for your mom. Well what about upgrading her jewelry box instead? I’m sure that she’s due for an upgrade, don’t you? I like the clean lines of the Andover jewelry box by Pottery Barn. I love the glass on top, so you can really see your most-used pieces.

You can get it monogrammed too!
You can get it monogrammed too!

I also just adore these two boxes, also by Pottery Barn. I happen to own the smaller one, and it’s where I store my watches and daily rings/bracelets. A friend of mine owns the larger one, and she likes how it showcases her favorite pieces — really making her jewelry part of her boudoir decor.

Lovely and functional
Lovely and functional

Now if your mom has a bangle collection that keeps on growing, then she might just need this acrylic stand from the Container Store. They make one for necklaces as well.

Very modern!
Very modern!

Here’s a very sweet cloche from Anthropologie. I can see it used anywhere from the bathroom counter to a bedside table.

Darling!
Darling!

Now if you really want to go all-out, and your mom has a vast collection, then this would be the epitome of a jewelry armoire!

l-o-v-e!
l-o-v-e!

Of course, you can always give your mom a jewelry box with a new piece of jewelry in it as well…just a thought. Enjoy!

(P.S. My Jewelry Fashion Tips Facebook page will keep you in the know for lots of Mother’s Day trunk shows that are happening!)

Swedish Sami Bracelets

A few years ago, as I was preparing for a cruise on the Baltic Sea, I was thrilled to find out that we would be starting the journey in Stockholm, Sweden. Why, you ask? I’m sure the answer won’t surprise you, because it involves jewelry. For years, I had been seeing these amazing leather bracelets with woven silver on them, and I finally found out that they are made in Sweden! (Surely the prices of these treasures would be lower there, right?!)

My cousin wearing a Sami bracelet, paired with a sea glass bracelet
My cousin wearing a Sami bracelet, paired with a sea glass bracelet.

With a little research, I learned that these bracelets were originally made by the Sami people, who are an aboriginal people from northern Sweden. Dated as far back as the 16th century, they braid pewter, mixed with about 4% silver, into intricate braids and mount them on bracelets of reindeer leather. The button closure is traditionally made of shed antlers. Many designers now also incorporate copper and silk in their woven designs, taking them to a whole new level.

You can find them in all colors and widths. Eva, a jewelry designer in Sweden, has a great website showcasing the range that Sami bracelets come in.

Love the colors!
Love the colors!

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ve also discovered a talented designer, Erika Honig. She is based in Mill Valley and you can find her lovely bracelets at Gallery of Jewels.

Bracelet by Erika Honig
Bracelet by Erika Honig

Oh, and you might be wondering how my shopping quest went when I was in Stockholm…fabulous, of course! I was a woman on a mission, and I managed to track down quite a few bracelets that I brought home with me. One of the reasons I love them is that they stack so easily with other bangles. Here’s a little stack with two of my Swedish purchases.

My stack
My stack

My only regret is that I didn’t buy more of them. Why didn’t I get a couple really wide ones? And why did I shy away from color and just go for the neutrals? Well, I guess I have another shopping mission next time I find myself in Stockholm!