My Tiara Obsession

I have had a “thing” for tiaras as far back as I can remember. Why did I want to be a princess the Halloween of 1974? To wear a tiara, of course. (And the magic wand didn’t hurt either.) I recall my talented mom making my tiara and wand out of tin foil — she even made my gown out of an old sheet and felt shapes.

I vividly recall the first tiara I made myself in 2nd grade. I carefully cut out the front of it in a thin, flexible cardboard. After I cut it out, I patiently picked out all the silver sequins from my sequin box and glued them to the cardboard in just the right pattern. I then pilfered a piece of elastic from my mom’s sewing room, stapled it to the front, and voila, I was a princess. I wore that thing until it basically crumbled.

Flash foward to 1999, and I met a well known aura reader/psychic. One of the first things she told me was that I was royalty in a past life. Ahhh….this is suddenly making so much sense!

About 4 years ago, I went with my mom, brother, and his two kids to Disneyland. My niece, Estella, around 9 at the time, told me she wanted a tiara, not Mickey ears. I think I may have done a little happy dance. (Gotta love genetics!) “Of course!” I told her, “OK, now listen. We’re not going to get some cruddy little plastic tiara. We’re going to hold out and find the good ones, OK?” She was IN! Damn, I love that girl. Finally, we found it. A Swarovski crystal store, busting with tiaras well into the 1000’s of dollars. We both selected our perfect tiara, and I don’t think we took them off the rest of the trip, aside from when we were in the pool or on a big rollercoaster. And truth be told, we still wear them.

Our tiaras were the perfect dinner accessory.

Tiaras just make the world a better place in my mind. Cleaning my house in one makes the process SO much more enjoyable — even though my boyfriend thought I was a nut when he saw me doing it. You should try it if you haven’t done so before. Even doing accounting in a tiara makes it almost bearable.

Within the past couple months, I’ve added two new tiaras to my collection. The first one came to my attention when my friend Becky, who writes Diamonds in the Library, wrote about it. (btw, you should definitely follow her, if you don’t already.) It’s from Australia, and it’s a collaboration between JY Jewels and Lady of Leisure Millinery. I think it’s such a cool, modern take on a classic. I got mine in the rose gold tone.

When I returned from Europe this month, I was perusing C Magazine, and came across Erica Elizabeth Designs. Her website is chock full of dreamy headpieces, and I had to order this one…the Stargazer. (Remember how I’m completely crazy for all things celestial?!) And I was even able to select the color ribbon it is wrapped in so it would blend in with my hair.

Speaking of Europe, when I was visiting Kensington Palace in July, I was in awe of the tiaras in Queen Victoria’s exhibit. When the jewel room was quiet, the security guard told me about an amazing optical illusion. He pointed out exactly where to stand, and my brother took this shot of me, where it looks like I’m actually wearing the Fife Tiara. This just MAY be my new Facebook profile…perhaps.

So there it is — my confession. I love tiaras. I have always loved wearing them, and I think I always will. I wish I could wear them on a daily basis out and about. Now, I think I’ll decide which one to wear while I go prepare dinner.

Hair Jewelry: Keep it Cool This Summer

When I arrived at a client’s house last week to do some closet work, she greeted me at the door in one of her stylin’ tennis ensembles. As she turned around to head to the closet, I had to smile. She was sporting a ponytail holder that featured a HUGE faux green gem (like an enormous green diamond solitaire), and it spoke volumes — it showed her fun, colorful personality without her having to open her mouth. In addition, it was a creative way to add  “jewelry” in a way that worked on the court.

This really got me thinking about how your hair accessories really are part of your jewelry. If you find a hair accessory that really speaks to you, then it’s worth the investment. (Remember the whole cost-per-wear analysis.)  Though I have a cropped pixie and can’t play with cute ponytail bands or jeweled combs, I know the majority of you reading this likely can. So I took a look around, and found possibilities for every personal style, from sporty to romantic to refined. Let me know what you think.

Mrs. President & Co. Instant Cool Ponytail Holder (It also comes in a silver tone.)

mrs. president & co. instant cool ponytail holder
L.Erikson Volume Enamel Rectangle Barrette (comes in 19 colors!)

l.erickson volume enamel rectangle barrette
France Luxe Crystal Cordial Side Comb (comes in two colors)

france luxe crystal cordial side comb
Dauphines of New York New Romance Barrette

dauphines of new york new romance barrette
L.Erickson Stari Barrette (So Art Deco!)

l.erickson stari barrette
France Luxe Bellflower Ponytail Holder (comes in three colors)

france luxe bellflower ponytail holder
L.Erickson Swarovski Crystal Barrette (comes in five colors)

l. erickson swarovski crystal barrette
Pluie Feather Barrette

pluie feather barrette
House of Harlow 1960 Migration Comb

house of harlow 1960 migration comb
Colette Malouf Mesh Botanical Swarovski Crystal-Embellished Barrette

colette malouf mesh botanical swaravski crystal embellished barrette
During my research, I couldn’t believe how many beautiful headbands there are out there as well! But that’s going to have to be a whole separate post. I bet I can even make a headband work with my hair style.

The Bachelor 2014: Jewelry Dish

I know I wasn’t the only one tuned in to The Bachelor during its season premiere on Monday. While this certainly isn’t a brain-enriching show, I consider it “mind candy” after a long day. Plus, I’m pretty content just watching Juan Pablo for the two hours!

juan pablo the bachelor

This season the lucky bachelor has 27 single hotties to choose from!

juan pablo and the girls

As each woman steps from the limo, you know that you just can’t help giving her the once-over, from her head to her toes. They say it only takes 7 seconds to make a first impression, so clearly they all were trying their hardest to make the best impression possible. Unfortunately, although they are all just gorgeous in their own way, I felt some of the lovely ladies missed the mark with their accessory choices.

First, take a look at Christy. Wearing a floor-length white halter gown, a beaded headband and extra-sparkly long earrings, I couldn’t decide if she knew she wasn’t a bride, at least at this point in the game. Not such a subtle statement, if you ask me!

Christy from the Bachelor

Then there’s Lucy, the free spirit from Santa Barbara. While I understand her love of hippie chic, I really don’t think the flower-child hairpiece and the lack of shoes (seriously!!) and make-up did her any favors, especially on TV.

Lucy from the Bachelor

At the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got Elise, who apparently thought she was competing in a beauty pageant. The floor-length jewel encrusted gown (which must have weighed a ton!!) was one thing, but then when she added the oversized, cheap-looking earrings and the big hair, it was just all wrong. (but great for Miss America!)

Elise from The Bachelor

Of course, there’s always got to be someone who turns on the waterworks during each episode, and this week is was Lauren H. While she’s just a darling girl, I think it would have been better if she skipped the necklace (and the tears) with her asymmetrical one-shouldered gown. The chandelier earrings would have been plenty, and the “matchy matchy” set is a bit dated.

Lauren H on the Bachelor

I will say that Sharleen, the opera singer from Canada by way of Germany, did stand out from the crowd with her ensemble. While most of the women really went all-out glitz, Sharleen opted for a simple, yet sophisticated unembellished gown with statement earrings. (I think they may be by Alexis Bittar, but don’t quote me on that.) I don’t think it was necessarily her best color, but it still made for a great impression. So much so, that Juan Pablo gave her the first impression rose!

(photo courtesy of
(photo courtesy of

I’m sure next week the girls will spend half of the episode in bikinis or some other skimpy outfit (after all, this is the Bachelor), and I’ll be curious to see how the girls bejewel themselves for that. Are you watching the show? Would love to hear your opinions!

Downton Abbey Jewelry: Jewelry Judge

I, like many of you reading this post, am a HUGE fan of the British series, Downton Abbey. In fact, I’ve got Jan 5, 2014 on my calendar for the premiere of season 4 here in the States! The series starts towards the end of Edwardian England in 1912, and the third season ended around 1920. Aside from the perfectly cast actors and the compelling story lines, I eagerly await each episode to see what the characters are wearing. (Kudos to the costume designer!)

The period costumes are truly beautiful!
The period costumes are truly beautiful!

Imagine my surprise when I spotted this display while shopping in Macy’s over the weekend.

downton abbey jewelry at Macy's

I took a closer look at many of the pieces.

downton abbey jewelry

downton abbey earrings

downtown abbey hair pins

While the line definitely evokes the feel of the era, I really don’t see how this collection is going to take off. Granted, if you were dressing as one of the characters for Halloween, then this is ideal. But are people really going to go for it in real life? I’m dubious. Perhaps someone with a romantic personal style may opt for a piece here and there, but I don’t see myself or most people I know running out to Macy’s to purchase. What’s your opinion? Would love to hear from you!

Druzy Headband: Jewelry Judge

While out to dinner one evening at Chuck’s in Ko Olina last week (such a luxury to eat al fresco in January!!), I came across a lovely sixteen year-old, who had a very cool outfit on — fitted dark-wash skinny jeans, a peach silk blouse with black detail, and grey suede wedges. I would describe her look as polished, a little preppy, yet with a nod to vintage. Her ensemble was topped off by a charming pixie haircut and a fabulous druzy headband. (gotta love bling for the hair!)

I love the subtle sparkle!
I love the subtle sparkle!

In chatting with her, I learned that she owns about 15 different headbands, and wears one just about every day. While the pixie and the headband are definitely on-trend, she really makes it her own with her wardrobe choices. The complete effect is someone with a strong sense of personal style at a young age. Awesome!

Bejeweled Bun: Jewelry Judge

While on the escalator at Westfield Mall in San Francisco yesterday, I couldn’t take my eyes of the gal in front of me. I love how her casual bun was adorned with a couple jeweled hair pins. She looked as cute coming as she did going. Just that little pop of sparkle really added a lot to her whole look.

Love the sparkly detail!
Love the sparkly detail!

I’m going to have to give some more thought to hair jewelry!