Statement Hoops: Jewelry Judge

So the “statement necklace” has been a big trend (no pun intended) for quite some time. But as I was paying for a garment at Bloomingdale’s at Stanford this week, I was struck by the earrings the darling gal ringing me up was wearing. Now mind you, it’s the “uniform” at Bloomies that they have to wear black, and so many of the employees lack a personal touch with their outfits. I love how this woman made a major fashion statement with some very large scale hoops.

hoop earrings 1

hoop earrings 2

Now you have to know, that this is a very petite gal, and the inherent scale of earrings for her would normally be much smaller. (Read about choosing the scale of your jewelry here.) But by choosing these large hoops, she was deliberately making a dramatic fashion choice. I also think her big smile really helped balance them out. In addition, her slightly upturned eyes gives her an exotic look, which is complemented by the bold earrings. It’s not necessarily the earrings I would have first though to pick out for her, but as Tim Gunn would say, she made it work!

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.

Watch
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

Bracelets
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

Rings
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

Necklaces
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

Earrings
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…

Jewelry Box Basics: The Lady Who Lunches

This is the first article in a 6-part series about what basics you should have in your jewelry box, based on your personal style. In my many years as an image consultant, I’ve spent countless hours working with clients and their jewelry, helping them to carefully select the pieces that really enhance their outfits and express who they are. I’ve come up with six different personal styles: the lady who lunches, bohemian, rock star, minimalist, trendy and romantic. For those of you who are wondering where the creative style is, don’t think that I’m neglecting you. Instead, I’ve learned that there really aren’t any “basics” for the creative type! This personal style likes each piece to be a work of art.

Granted, no one fits exactly into one “box,” but hopefully these articles will at least give you a framework of where to start in building your jewelry wardrobe. Personally, though my own style definitely veers towards the bohemian esthetic, there are elements from each style that I love (and have in my jewelry box!). In each article, I’ll be showing an example of each item, but don’t let the price point bother you, whether you think it’s too high or too low. Just use the example as the general “look” and then shop at the price point that you feel comfortable with.

Ok, so here goes…”the lady who lunches” is very prevalent here in the Bay Area. Active with their children’s schools, always involved in various charities, and with a booked social calendar, this woman needs jewelry that will take her everywhere.

Watch
I recommend a high quality watch in the metal that looks best on you. You may even decide on one embellished with diamonds, if your style and budget support that. I think this one by Philip Stein is very versatile, and I love the unique shape of the face.

Just the right amount of bling
Just the right amount of bling

Bracelets
Three to five bracelets in the same metal color as your watch are perfect for stacking. They can be worn on the same wrist as your watch or on the other arm. Personally, I’m a big fan of Ippolita. Her bangles come in just metal, or embellished with diamonds and semi-precious stones. The bangles don’t need to all be by the same designer, either. Just look for harmonious design elements in your grouping.

I like using bangles in odd numbers
I like using bangles in odd numbers

Rings
A colored stone, worn in the largest scale that you’re comfortable with, really goes a long way. It’s appropriate during the day, and can also add a lot to a cocktail outfit. This blush colored sapphire ring by Jill Alberts is lovely.

Subtle, yet still a statement
Subtle, yet still a statement

Earrings
If you’ve been following my blog, then you know that I think hoops are about the most versatile earring on the planet. I’ve yet to find a person, no matter what their personal style is, that doesn’t resonate with the perfect pair of hoops. For the lady who lunches, I really think she needs at least two pair — one, in her metal of choice, and then another with diamonds. (Can you tell that this is a pricey personal style to have?!) Of course, this look can easily be achieved with cubic zirconia as well. This pair by Roberto Coin is just lovely.

I have a cz version of these
I have a cz version of these

Necklaces
I find that various strands of pearls in different lengths, colors, and textures, are definitely a basic for the lady who lunches. Now these are NOT your stuffy, old-lady pearls we’re talking about. Instead, imagine multiple layers, various scales, and even interspersed with metal chains. No need for real pearls, either. There are plenty of man-made pearls at various price points. Here’s a very cool take on a multi-strand necklace by Alexis Bittar.

I love the metal & sparkle details
I love the metal & sparkle details

With these five elements in your jewelry box, you’ve got a good base on which to build. A jewelry collection takes time and money to create, so just enjoy the process. Invest in pieces that you LOVE and that really appeal to your personal style, and you can’t go wrong.

Accessories for Canning Tomatoes?!

When Jeff casually asked what I was up to today, I mentioned that I’d be helping my mom can 100 pounds of stewed tomatoes. (Gotta love having a mom who’s 100% Italian!) Of course his response was, “Is there specific jewelry for that?” I had to laugh…but really, when am I EVER without jewelry?! I had to forgo a watch, bracelets or a ring, but I definitely managed to wear a big pair of hoop earrings. I told you hoops could really take you anywhere. ūüôā

canning tomatoes
Accessorized even when canning

Hoop Earrings: Hoop it up!

As I was choosing what earrings to wear the other morning, my boyfriend happened to peek over my shoulder into my jewelry box. Granted, he’s about the most un-materialistic person I’ve ever met, but his expression totally cracked me up as his eyes opened verrry wide. ¬†“Why do you have so many hoop earrings? ¬†Aren’t they all the same?!”

Clearly, not all hoops are created equal, and in my mind, they are the LBD of a jewelry wardrobe. ¬†(LBD=little black dress) ¬†Hoops in their various sizes and metals are one of the most useful items you can have. ¬†In fact, when I finally got my ears pierced in college (it was torture waiting that long!!), I promised my parents that all I really needed were hoops, as you could wear them anywhere. ¬†(That lasted for about two weeks, when I just had to branch out, of course!) ūüôā ¬†But truly, hoops can work from the boardroom to the ballroom.

So what type of hoops should you have in your collection? ¬†First, consider what metal you wear. If your skin and hair are in the cooler tones then silver or platinum are most flattering, and warmer skin tones look fabulous in gold. ¬†Rose gold, which is currently very popular, looks good on many skin tones, so be sure to try it out in the stores. (If it works for you, buy it while it’s in fashion, as it will one day disappear again.)

Small hoops (up to about .75″ in diameter) are best for more conservative environments, and medium (.75″-1.5″ diameter) to large hoops (over 1.5″ diameter) range from casual to dressy. ¬†In each of these categories, you also have to consider the thickness of the hoops themselves. ¬†Thin hoops are more basic (but certainly not boring) and wider hoops make a bolder statement. ¬†When considering what size and width to buy, be sure to consider your own proportions. ¬†Teeny, tiny hoops on a 5’11” voluptuous gal just won’t do the trick.

Hoops go beyond basic when you get into diamond or beaded varieties. And I just love the sparkle of diamonds! ¬†Once you’ve got your basic metals down, then save up for some diamond hoops, be it jeweled all around, or just with one or two diamonds as accents. ¬†And yes, you can wear them during the day!