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…

Emily Armenta: Designer

As a long-time fan (and collector) of the Armenta line, I was just thrilled to spend some time with Emily at the Couture show. She was everything I thought she’d be and more! With her long, dark hair and fair complexion, she was just what I’d envisioned as the creator of such beauty. Both her and her line have an almost other-worldly quality to them, with nods to earlier times in history.

Emily Armenta and Amy Roseveare
Emily is truly a visionary in jewelry!

Born into an extremely artistic family (mom paints and sculpts, dad is a writer and sister is a poet!), Emily told me she began to sketch jewelry as soon as she could hold a pencil. Though she did go the route of working as a trader for Morgan Stanley, she knew it just wasn’t the right fit for her. While in business school she created the plan for her jewelry business, and she launched in 2002. From the sounds of it, she did everything in her power to make it work! One of her money-making ventures was buying cars at auctions and then re-selling them. She dumped every cent of profit into building her business, and I’m so glad she did! Not only that, but her whole line is hand-crafted right here in the USA. Brava!

Inspired by the Spanish poet Fedrico Garcia Lorca, Emily learned of duende, which is “…a spirit of unpredictable passions that surges within us, and how it manifests itself as a creative force.” Black and gold are a big part of her signature, and here’s a perfect example of how she expresses herself in large, statement rings.

armenta rings
Quintessential Armenta rings

Personally, I also just adore her bangles. I long to have a collection of them, stacking them with other bracelets I already own. The creative combinations would be endless with each bangle added to the group.

armenta bangles
Opal bangles — delicious!

Working with 18K yellow and rose gold, oxidized silver, and incredible stones, she also launched a “New World” collection in 2011. This group is made of sterling silver with a platinum wash. I asked her about how she finds stones with such amazing colorations. Turns out that she often fuses two stones together, which are called doublets. For example, she’ll fuse boulder opal to sandstone. Not only does this create fascinating hues, yet it also creates a stronger stone. Who knew?! Here are some rings from her New World collection.

armenta new world collection
Just lovely!

If you read fashion magazines, you may well recognize this following photo from her current ad campaign. In addition to her jewelry, she also has started a handbag line! Made of exotic materials such as crocodile and python, many of the evening bags have removable straps. Her wrap leather cuffs actually clip on to the evening bags for an ultra-chic wristlet look. How creative!

emily armenta jewelry
A modern take on historical themes

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and you are intrigued by this line, then it’s your lucky day! This Saturday, September 8th, Emily will be making a personal appearance at her trunk show at Neiman Marcus in Union Square from 10-5. This is a rare opportunity to meet her in person, so don’t miss out!

Stacking Rings

I’ve written about layering necklaces and bracelets, but I’ve yet to talk about stacking rings. I think this goes beyond being a trend — it’s more of a personal style. Mixing metals, styles and scale, one can really let your personality shine through with this technique. And the bonus is that there are no set rules…you just need to experiment until you get the vibe you’re going for.

On a recent shopping trip with a client, she was excited to show me her new (beautiful) David Yurman ring which she had purchased on a girl’s weekend in Las Vegas. She and her long-time friend bought matching rings to commemorate the trip. She smartly paired this with a diamond band she already owned. On our shopping expedition, she found the perfect thin black diamond eternity band at Gallery of Jewels to complete the trifecta. Loving it!

diamond and black diamond stacking rings
Great combination!

Here’s another stack that was created over a few years’ time. The bottom ring is by Armenta, the middle ring was purchased at an estate sale, and the top ring is a beauty by Nina Bashrova from Manika Jewelry. Though they are all different, they still appeal to the same sensibility with the delicate gold/diamond story. In addition, the scale of each ring works harmoniously together.

diamond stacking rings
A coherent gold & diamond stack

Let your creativity run wild when experimenting with combinations. This group by Sylva & Cie rocks!

Sylva & Cie rings
Creative combination!

I’d love to see what stacks you come up with. Feel free to send me photos!