Jackie O’s Charm Bracelet

Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis is certainly one of America’s classic style icons. From the pill-box hats to the simple sheath dress, she was always impeccably dressed. When I think of her personal style and her jewelry, I definitely come up with words such as classic, clean lines, and I’ll be honest…a bit conservative. Granted, she had to dress that way being the First Lady!

American Style Icon!
American Style Icon!

This is why I was so surprised when I recently came across this photo of one of her charm bracelets.

History on her wrist!
History on her wrist!

I love it! I would have expected her to have more of a classic collection of simple gold or silver charms. This bracelet actually exudes a more exotic, bohemian feel. I can only guess where each of the charms were collected from…perhaps the ivory horn from a trip to Africa? Or the bunch of grapes from a romantic trip to Tuscany? I’ll never know, but it really makes me look at this legend with new eyes. I think there was certainly a lot more to this lady than meets the eye.

Jewelry Box Basics: The Romantic

Spring is here and romance is in the air (at least that’s what I’m hoping for!!)…and this fifth installment of “Jewelry Box Basics” focuses on jewelry for the romantic personal style. Ooh la la! During this six-part series, I’ve covered the lady who lunches, the bohemian, the rock star, the minimalist, and now the romantic. Based on these different personal styles, I’m recommending the type of basics you should have in your jewelry box. While the pieces I select might not be at the price point that you feel comfortable shopping at, please don’t let this dissuade you from following the general theme and finding what makes your heart happy.

So the romantic is a style that is extremely feminine. Often lace, floral prints, family heirlooms, and sheer fabrics can be found in her closet. Just as with the bohemian style, there is a wide range in this genre — from just a few girly touches here and there to someone who channels the look from an era gone by. I’ve spotted some great examples of this while at vintage clothing and jewelry fairs. The underlying theme is delicate and feminine, often with a nod to the past.

I recommend that the romantic select a watch that’s not too over-sized, such as this one by Kate Spade. Instead, think of a refined watch in your most flattering metal or with a slim leather band. Perhaps you even have your mom’s or grandmother’s watch in your jewelry box? This could definitely be a basic for you!

A lovely, sweet watch
A lovely, sweet watch

More than any other personal style, the romantic is the most likely to have, love and wear a charm bracelet every day. Charm bracelets pair beautifully with a watch, and can be stacked with a simple bangle as well.

Perfect whether it's new or an heirloom
Perfect whether it’s new or an heirloom

Floral motifs figure prominently for the romantic, so choosing a ring with some sort of flower is certainly fitting. This delicate creation by Cathy Waterman is a beautiful way to achieve this look without looking “too too.”

Gold, platinum and diamonds
Gold, platinum and diamonds

Vintage or vintage-inspired jewelry is spot-on for the romantic. This necklace by 1928 Jewelry incorporates this look, along with the flower detail we just mentioned.

I like the mixed metals in this design
I like the mixed metals in this design

Lockets and cameos are two other types of necklaces that would be a great basic for this personal style. Many times cameos are made to be worn on a chain or as a brooch, which make them even more versatile.

I have one from my grandmother
I have one from my grandmother

You know my penchant for hoops, yet each personal style will have slightly different versions. For the romantic, I love these hoops by Armenta, with their unique shape and scalloped detail. And really…how can you go wrong with a few diamonds thrown in?!

Romantic hoop design
Romantic hoop design

For a non-hoop option, these drops by Judith Jack are right on the money.

A nice neutral earring
A nice neutral earring

So what do you think? Does your personal style include any of these romantic aspects? Remember, people don’t typically fit into just one style box…

Gift Ideas

Yep…it’s true! You’ve only got a few shopping weeks left until the holidays arrive. Now I know I’ve given you some tips on how to select jewelry as a gift, but I thought I’d make your life even a little bit easier with some specific gift ideas.

1. Personalized mom or grandmother jewelry is a very thoughtful gift, and there is a wide array of choices out there! Initials, birthstones, names, you can find it! One site I discovered that has a very nice selection at reasonable price points is Hearts on Your Wrist. Don’t let the name fool you, as it’s much more than just bracelets! I thought these pendants were especially versatile, as they’re not “too too” and can be layered with other necklaces.

Darling pendants from Hearts on Your Wrist

2. If you’ve got children, grandchildren, a niece or any little one in your life who loves jewelry, then a children’s jewelry making kit would be an ideal gift! I vividly remember the shoebox full of beads I had as a little girl, and the hours I spent creating the most exquisite (in my mind!) pieces! Crayola’s Model Magic Jewelry Studio is double the fun, because you actually get to design and make your own beads!

Crayola Model Magic Jewelry Studio

I also think the Bead Bazzar Sofista Bead Kits are very chic, from the packaging to the contents. They come in beautifully coordinated collections, so your creations are bound to be stunning.

Chic bead set by Bead Bazzar

3. Long ago I wrote about charm bracelets, and I still think they’re one of the best gifts around. They’re appropriate for any age, and once you start one for someone, you have a built-in gift to give them each year. Suppose that this year your gift recipient went to Paris? Or just decorated her place in a French style? Then perhaps a charm of the Eiffel Tower might be just the ticket for her! I have ordered from Precious Accents many times, and I feel it’s one of the most comprehensive sites out there.

Eiffel Tower charm by Precious Accents

4. Family heirloom jewelry is an amazing gift you may not have thought about. Usually gifted after your love one passes away, consider how wonderful it might be to give one of your treasured pieces to someone while you’re still here to see them enjoy it. I have been the lucky recipient of such amazing treasures on more than one occasion. My Aunt Jean has given me quite a few things that belonged to my grandmother, and I just adore them! In fact, just this past week I wore her big opal ring, which I can clearly picture my grandma wearing with her floor-length lavender crystal-pleated, polyester dress back in the 1970’s. To make it even more special, my aunt also gave me matching opal earrings which she herself purchased on a trip to Australia. Sooooo special!

My grandma's opal ring with my Aunt Jean's earrings

5. Cubic zirconia studs are a basic to almost any jewelry wardrobe no matter what your personal style may be, yet I’m surprised how many people don’t have them! Now of course diamond studs are fan-tabulous, but personally I love my cz’s, because I can get the carat weight I want (I think 3-4 tcw is best) without the hefty price tag. And do you think anyone can tell that they’re faux? Certainly not! I learned the hard way not to get them set in sterling, as they quickly tarnish and there goes the whole “lookin’ real” thing! Instead, I think cz set in real white or yellow gold is best. Gold, platinum or rhodium-plated sterling are also good bets. Nordstrom has many cz options, so it’s a good place to check out.

CZ studs rock!

I hope you find these suggestions helpful, and if you come up with some gift ideas you love, please share!!

Bracelets: Charmed, I’m sure…

About 10 years ago, my mom made the comment to me that all the rich girls she knew growing up had charm bracelets. She, on the other hand, was the daughter of two loving, but poor Italian immigrants. Of course, I decided then and there that my mom had to have one too. Heck, waiting 60 years was long enough, right?!

The more I thought about it, the more I realized what a special thing charm bracelets are–they literally are a history of your interests, your family, and your life. They speak volumes about you, yet in such a subtle way. She just had to have little birthstone booties to represent each of her grandchildren, a starfish to remember our annual trips to the beach, and a cruise ship to commemorate our first voyage last summer. Each holiday, she can count on one more memory to add to her bracelet. It’s almost like scrapbook for your wrist.

mom's charm bracelet

I do like charm bracelets better than those charm-keeper necklaces that were popular back in the 1980’s. With those, the charms were always so squished together that you couldn’t see each one. With charm bracelets, they are nicely spaced out so you can appreciate each one. And just the subtle jingle of the charms make you smile.

If you’ve got your own, or one passed down to you from a family member, take a close look at it. If jewelry could only talk…