A while back, one of my wonderful readers gave me this topic idea (Thanks, Rose!), and it has really opened my eyes to the challenges of making a fitness tracker look fashionable. While I know many of my friends use the Fitbit One that clips onto their bra or waistband, many others have opted to use the type worn as a bracelet. I have had my eyes wide open looking for fashionable wrist stacks, and I’ve seen a whopping TWO when out and about the past couple months.
First is my friend Laura, who wears a Misfit Shine in a cool shade of rose gold with a black band. She pairs this with her daily bracelet stack, which consists of bracelets by Hortense, Rebecca Overmann and Melissa Joy Manning. I think it’s a great look, don’t you? Very delicate and harmonious. She really is a mix master in all areas of jewlery.
While we were having lunch downtown today, I snapped another photo to show you how they all blend together effortlessly.
My other example of how to do this with a chic factor is seen on my image consulting colleague, Brenda Kinsel. She wears a black Fitbit with a hematite cuff she purchased at Oska and a cool fringy one by Goti. The result is a bold, edgy look.
Recently, Fitbit has come out with a more streamlined model called the Fitbit Alta . Its slim body can be mixed with a variety of bands, from leather to metal. I would think it’s possible to mix this with your watch and bracelets.
One last item I encountered was in InStyle Magazine — the Chronos, which is a disc you can attach to the back of your own watch to track your steps. You can even set it to alert you to messages, calls, etc. I find this idea a bit intriguing, as it wouldn’t affect my current look at all. I could just pop it on the back of whatever watch I’m wearing that day. (I do wonder how much bulk or weight it would add to my watch.)
Though I haven’t seen one of these in person (it’s currently available for pre-order), I explored the website a bit and found this 38 second video interesting. What do you think of this technology?
Personally, I love tracking my steps and stairs. I currently do this with my iPhone, but I don’t always have my phone with me, so I know my “count” isn’t accurate. (Frustrating for the type A personality…) I have been toying with the idea of getting a tracker, and perhaps the time is now. What about you? Do you wear one? I’d love to hear from you on this topic.
I know that much of the country is being slammed with snow and ice as of late, and it got me thinking about rock crystal (also known as quartz crystal), as it resembles ice. In fact, its name comes from the Greek word for ice, according to The Book of Stones by Robert Simmons & Naisha Ahsian (A great reference book!). I’ve always been drawn to the stone, from my fascination with crystal balls as a child, to the crystal pendants I wore around my neck throughout college. Even today, I have quite a few rock crystal items I adore. This stone is said to heighten spiritual awareness, generate prosperity, and alleviate stress, among other things. Here’s some of my favorite rock crystal pieces I have collected over the years.
One of the things I love about rock crystal is that the price point isn’t necessarily super high. You can find lovely items for not a lot of money, and continue on up to very expensive ones. In addition, there’s designs for all different personal styles, from organic bohemian to refined up-town lady, and the the fact that it’s colorless makes it very easy to work into your wardrobe. I took a virtual shopping tour, and I found some gorgeous pieces I think you may enjoy (in no particular order).
So what about you? Do you own any rock crystal pieces? Is this something that you’re attracted to? I’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you’re one of the people buried in snow, please stay warm and safe!
One thing I truly love to do is explore new shops and neighborhoods. I’m always amazed how many great places there are, practically in my own back yard. My friend Laura (you may remember her from my great piercing escapade), is like a walking tour book of amazing stores. It’s not just because she loves shopping as much as I do (and she does!), but she is a rep for many home, jewelry, and gift/accessory lines with Aesthetic Movement, so it’s her duty to know all the happening places.
We set our itinerary for various places in Berkeley, Piedmont, and Oakland. I picked her up in SF and headed over the Bay Bridge. First up was Zaver & Mor in Berkeley. I’d met the lovely owner, Rada Sahney, at a couple Women’s Jewelry Association events, so I was very eager to check out her establishment, and it definitely did not disappoint.
She carries some of my favorite lines, such as Tura Sugden, Julez Bryant, and Elyria Jewels. But there were also some lines that I was seeing for the first time. One of my favorite pieces I saw the whole day is this gold and diamond bracelet by Mia Chicco. (One more item for my jewelry lust list!)
I was also excited to see a display of Sharon Zimmerman’s work, who is a local jeweler from San Francisco.
By the time we had (just about) tried on everything we wanted to, it was time to grab a bite for lunch. Since our second stop was going to be Red Bird, right by the Claremont in Berkeley, we popped into Rick & Ann’s for a really tasty meal at their community table.
Sufficiently refueled, we went to Red Bird and began perusing all the lovely clothing and jewelry. This, in fact, is a place where I have purchased many of my favorite items over the years.
I couldn’t resist trying on this unique pearl necklace by Melissa Joy Manning I spotted in the sale case. The organic shapes of the pearls are captivating.
I thought it looked pretty cool layered with the two necklaces I was wearing. And who am I to turn down 60% off?!
Ok…time to hit the road again, and next up was Atomic Garden in Oakland. (Next time I want to explore this area more, as there seemed to be many cute shops on College Avenue!)
I was definitely psyched to visit Esqueleto, which is a jewel box of a store in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland, curated by jeweler Lauren Wolf. Not only does the store carry her line (the two rings I have on in the photo below), but they have selections from many designers, including a beautiful vintage selection.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Mania Mania is branching into the fine jewlery business, and I love this ring by them!
The natural beauty of these pieces by Lou Zeldis also caught my eye.
As fate would have it, jeweler Marisa Haskell, whose line is now named Marisa Mason, was in the shop, so we had to end our field trip by running around the corner in to her boutique as well.
She has a workshop right in the store, and her jewelry is artfully displayed on the walls, making it very easy to try things on.
By this time, the rain was starting to come down hard, and it was time to head back across the Bay Bridge to San Francisco. Our itinerary was clearly ambitious, as we still have many stores left on our list. Hence…part 2, (hopefully) coming in January. If you have any recommendations for additions to our list, please let me know in the comment section below!
So how is your holiday shopping going? If you’re like most Americans (myself included), there are definitely some more gifts to buy — perhaps for others or even for yourself! (I’m still working on my boyfriend gift this year.) With that in mind and only 9 more shopping days, I’ve been scouring all the latest and greatest items in the world of jewelry. With so many stunning choices, which way to turn? Well, whomever the gift is for, don’t forget to take the recipient’s personal style into consideration.
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. Of course, practically no one fits into one tidy box, but this still provides a framework with which to hit the jewelry store or your favorite online site. Here are some suggestions for Santa on what you might put under the Christmas tree.
The Lady Who Lunches
Pearls and studs are a mainstay for this personal style. Once you’ve got the basics covered, it’s time to branch out. Alexis Bittar is a great fit for this lady, and he recently came out with an oo-la-la fine jewelry line. I think this multi-strand pearl necklace is so unique!
Look at the detail of aquamarines, green amethysts and gold on the multiple layers of grey pearls.
If a new pair of studs is in order this year, then I think these grey diamond slice lovelies by Sethi Couture would certainly do the trick!
True, I have a strong Bohemian influence in my own personal style, so I know that adding a statement ring to the jewelry box is always a good idea. Here are a couple that have really caught my eye. First is a unique horizontal design by Jemma Wynne. I had the opportunity to try it on last week, and it looked spectacular — plus it was so comfortable to wear!
For an even bolder statement, I turn to one of my all-time favorite designers, Rona Pfeiffer. Take a look at this major ring!
The Rock Star
Do you have a rock star on your list? I’m sure that her jewelry box is in need of refreshing as well. And what better way to do that, than by one of the edgy ear cuffs that are hitting the market? If this is a more refined rocker, then I think this ear cuff by Repossi would be perfect.
And if she’s into something a little more “raw,” then I recommend this one by Mania Mania.
Here’s how it looks on the ear.
In stark contrast to the Rock Star, this personal style thrives on clean lines, and fewer choices in the jewelry box. But don’t let this scare you off — you can still find the perfect addition to make her smile. Likely, she has a pair of simple studs in her collection, so how about you give her a pair with just a small twist? This small cluster design by Jacquie Aiche is perfection.
A slim, low-profile ring would also be a solid (yet sparkling) choice. This band by Melissa Joy Manning is simple beauty, in white gold with black diamonds. It’s easily captivating on its own or stacked.
This time of year doubtless stirs up feelings of nostalgia and sweet smiles for this personal style. Since many of the pieces in her jewelry box are most certainly family heirlooms, selecting a gift with a nod to the past is wonderful. I came across this unique necklace by Ginger Peachy, made from a vintage pin centered on a rose gold chain. Love it!
Or how about this delicate boulder opal ring by Armenta, which is sure to become a favorite!
The Trendy Gal
There are so many jewelry trends going on right now, that this is one of the easiest personal styles to shop for. Definitely a trend on the rise, the hand chain (otherwise known as a slave bracelet) is popping up from coast to coast. Here is a clean design by Blee Inara that might delight her.
Here’s how it looks when worn.
Chains are appearing everywhere, and here’s a very on-trend ring by Djula that proves it.
If “brand names” are something that she’s into, then you can’t go wrong with a bracelet by Vita Fede. There are SO many different metal colors and styles, that it’ll be tough to make a choice.
I’ve seen endless permutations of stacks that incorporate them.
Now I know that many of the pieces in this article may not be in your shopping budget. (They certainly aren’t all in mine!) But don’t let that discourage you. It’s possible to find the “look” at a variety of price points. Just use this as a jumping-off point to find the perfect gift. I’d love to know what you find!!
If you appreciate organic beauty, and value sustainable, socially-responsible jewelry, then Melissa Joy Manning is your gal! When I first entered her boutique in Berkeley back in 2011, I was struck by how this line really was unique. Inspired by nature, the jewelry cases were accented by fossils, vintage taxidermy and insect specimens. It was like being in a little museum of curiosities, where you could actually buy what was behind the glass. (jewelry, that is…)
It wasn’t until I was at the Couture show that I actually got to meet Melissa in person. Though she claims that she is deceptively shy out of “work”, I find that hard to believe. I thought she was just charming!
During our chat, I certainly could understand her life-long love of jewelry. (definitely something we have in common, aside from both being Bay Area natives) From the time she was a child, making jewelry at her Montessori grade school, she was hooked. At age 20, she went to Mexico to learn silver smithing, and finally made the leap into full-time designing over 15 years ago.
This dramatic pair of chandelier earrings is made from dumorierite, petrified wood, and pyritized ammonite. Have you ever seen anything like them?
She travels to gain inspiration for her designs, and nature is especially important to her. As she says, “I like to challenge the ideals of traditional jewelry by blending conventional materials to create neoteric pieces.” She only uses 100% recycled silver and gold. The majority of her stones are sourced here in the USA, and all her materials are from reputable suppliers who also are share her vision of sustainability.
This geode cuff is quite fantastic. And you’ll notice her prong settings are different that most you see. This is one way I’m able to identify her pieces when I come across them.
Melissa also designs many simpler pieces, that can be worn in a variety of ways. For example, take a look at this freeform chain bracelet. With its mixed metals and different scale chains, it’s perfect on its own or in a stack with other bracelets.
She has a very interesting collection of non-traditional bridal jewelry as well. If you’re in the market, you might like a ring like this one.
Just this past Sunday, I stopped by Red Bird, one of my absolute favorite boutiques. A tall jewelry case just beckoned to me, and I was blown away by these earrings, by none other than Melissa. I tried them on, and they were just perfect with my coloring and personal style (and not too heavy for my ear lobes). Alas, they were not in the budget at this time, but I won’t soon forget them!
All these beauties are hand-made right in her Berkeley studio — no outsourcing, no casting — just pure, old-fashioned metal smithing. It’s a real gift when people can make a fair living doing what they love. Hands-down, I’m an all-around fan of Melissa Joy Manning!