Jewelry Box Basics: Gifts for Grads

Oh…tis is the season for graduations! 8th grade, high school, college…these gals are ready to take the next step in life! And there’s no better way to mark these amazing milestones than with a piece of jewelry. Trying to find the perfect gift for someone can be a challenge, but I think if you consider their personal style then it might make the decision a bit easier.

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. Now trust me, these personal styles can develop early, so just use your keen eye to determine where your grad might fall into the spectrum. Once you determine this, then you have a clear direction of where to start shopping. Here are some of my recommendations based on each personal style.

The Lady Who Lunches
You can never go wrong with pearls with this personal style. But given that the graduate is younger in age, you don’t want to select a pearl piece fit for her grandmother. I love these earrings by San Francisco designer, Alana Leigh. The baroque pearls and the unique setting are so versatile — from jeans and a t-shirt to a cocktail dress.

Current and classic!
Current and classic!

The Bohemian
When the bohemian woman is building her jewelry collection, she is undoubtedly going to build up quite the wardrobe of statement rings. Selecting a gorgeous ring with an organic feel would be perfect. Case in point is this druzy ring by Peppina jewelry. It’s simply stunning.

A perfect, daily statement
A perfect, daily statement

The Rock Star
Even if your grad isn’t part of a rock-n-roll band, her style definitely reflects an artistic quality. This doesn’t necessarily mean she’s covered in tattoos or multiple piercings, but she still has that edge. In which case, this amazing bangle by Alexander McQueen would be spot-on for her.

Subtle skulls
Subtle skulls

The Minimalist
Granted, the minimalist won’t necessarily be expecting a piece of jewelry for her graduation. In fact, she might not even know what to do with it at first! So the key here is to give her a piece that incorporates itself so easily into the minimal pieces that she already wears, that it becomes one of her must-wear pieces. Given the popularity of initial jewelry, choosing a simple, clean initial necklace by Jennifer Meyer is the perfect choice. It can easily be layered with other necklaces, or simply be worn on its own.

Simply elegant
Simply elegant

The Romantic
The woman with the romantic personal style typically has quite a sentimental bent. So giving her something with special meaning, like a birthstone piece of jewelry, would definitely warm her heart. I recently discovered the shopNBC.com site. (Who knew!?) and fell in love with this opal ring. (Happy birthday, October!) And a cool side note, this site offers something called “value pay” on certain items, where you can split your payment into monthly installments.

I love the fire in opals
I love the fire in opals

The Trendy Gal
Only the latest and greatest will do for the fashionista grad. Since you of course want to be on time for her appointments, the perfect gift for her will be a brightly colored watch to keep her on track. This stylish aqua watch by Kate Spade fits the bill perfectly.

Colorful, yet classy
Colorful, yet classy

I hope that you all enjoy this graduation season, and I send my very best wishes to all you grads out there!

Jewelry Box Basics: The Trendy Gal

I cannot believe this is already the final article in my six-part series “Jewelry Box Basics.” Talking about what jewelry you should have in your jewelry box based on your personal style, I’ve covered the lady who lunches, the bohemian, the rock star, the minimalist and the romantic. Now, it’s time for the woman who’s all about the latest trends. You may notice that some of the pieces I feature in this article could easily fit into one of the other categories. This makes perfect sense, as each season there will be jewelry trends that appeal to different personal styles. For instance, when I wrote the article about this spring’s big spike trend, you just know that the rock star is all over that one! Please remember that no one fits into just one box. We are each unique, and it’s wonderful to explore the different facets of our own style, from clothing to jewelry. Don’t worry about the price tag on the pieces — just use the item as a springboard for your own interpretation at the price point that’s comfortable for you.

I’m writing this particular post from a personal perspective. Since there are SO many jewelry trends out there, I decided to chose things in each category that are on my own wish list — things that I would actually love to wear. Some items have a bohemian edge, others a little rock star…enjoy.

Watch
There’s nothing truly “basic” in a trendy fashionista’s jewelry box, right down to her watch. The past couple years we’ve seen white ceramic watches become increasingly popular. I like Michele’s interpretation, which of course is bedazzled with some diamonds.

Chic and on trend!
Chic and on trend!

But seeing that color, especially in the neon range, is hot-hot-hot, I’d also have to add this day-glo watch by Marc Jacobs. What a great pop of color with a neutral outfit!

Fabulous!
Fabulous!

Bracelets
I have to say that I’m getting a little obsessed with bold cuffs. I actually think this trend will easily transition into fall, so picking up a nice one might be a good investment. When I was at Barney’s the other day, I tried on this stunner by Celine. The mixed metals, the rounded studs, and the weight of it were just divine. No, I didn’t get it, but it’s currently #1 on my jewelry lust list!!

Yes, I'm coveting this!
Yes, I’m coveting this!

I’m also loving this metal and horn creation by Maiyet. I can easily envision one on each wrist with an all-white outfit.

Strong design!
Strong design!

Rings
There is definitely a growing trend in multiple-finger rings. The key to this trend is not to just grab any old rings out of your jewelry box and pile them on, but rather curate a handful that has a similar theme. Many designers are now selling a set of 5 rings, one for each finger! Balenciaga is one such line that has a stunning group. I’ve yet to see them in person, but they’re everywhere in the media! I wish I knew where to check them out — not even their website offers them….they are elusive…

Uber-cool
Uber-cool

Earrings
A couple trends are beckoning to me this season. The first is all about color. Colored and painted crystals are showing up everywhere from H&M to Neiman Marcus. This pair by Dannijo is cited as their “mohawk moment” — love that!

Punk meets vintage
Punk meets vintage

I’m also really enjoying the “new” shape of chandelier earrings. They have a long, thin silhouette, as opposed to the wider designs of a few years ago. This diamond and chain pair by The Woods is a perfect example of this. It can be easily worn with jeans or a cocktail dress. Boy would they look great in my jewelry box! šŸ˜‰

SO versatile!
SO versatile!

Necklaces
I’ve got to come back to the colored crystal trend for the necklace choice as well. The Courtney Lee Collection has designed some trendy, yet very wearable pieces this season. Take this necklace, for instance. Style it with a denim shirt and white jeans, and suddenly you look completely put together. Just one key piece of jewelry can really make an outfit.

The crystal/chain combo is genius
The crystal/chain combo is genius

J.Crew always has a great selection of on-trend jewelry as well. Here’s one of their necklaces with a similar feel.

Great color combination
Great color combination

Here’s what you have to be really careful about when you are a trendsetter. You need to strategically think about the cost-per-wear of each piece before you buy it. Some trends will be just a flash in the pan. If you spend tons of money on something like that, then it may not be a wise investment. But if it’s something that truly makes your heart sing, works with the majority of your wardrobe, and you can see it lasting or being mixed with other pieces in the future, then it may be a wiser expenditure. These sorts of pieces really can end up being your jewelry signature, so it’s worth it. Do you think you’ll be investing in any trendy jewelry this season? Do tell! Inquiring minds want to know…

Ear Cuffs: Growing Jewelry Trend!

I first started seeing ear cuffs on the runway, from Dries Van Noten to Katie Gallagher.

Bedazzled Ear at Dries
Bedazzled Ear at Dries

Nimue Ear Cuff
Nimue Ear Cuff

And then I started seeing celebrities, such as Alicia Keys wearing them as well! I believe that Alicia is wearing a diamond embellished one by Repossi.

Alicia Keys looking glamorous
Alicia Keys looking glamorous

Upon further research, I’ve learned that there are ear cuffs and ear wraps, and many use the terms interchangeably. Some don’t require you to have any piercings at all, such as this one by Pamela Love. (In this photo the ear cuff is worn in combination with a stud earring.)

Maia Vine Ear Cuff
Maia Vine Ear Cuff

D’Alatrou makes a variety of ear cuffs and wraps. This one is quite lovely, and again, it doesn’t require any piercings.

Creative, for sure!
Creative, for sure!

Ryan Storer has a very embellished version — check it out!

Edgy!
Edgy!

Other varieties of ear cuffs do require that you have some piercings. For example, this Hello Kitty piece has a chain that connects your basic ear piercing to a cartilage piercing further up your ear. Not quite my cup of tea, but I know there are zillions of Hello Kitty lovers out there!

This one requires two piercings
This one requires two piercings

While I’m not sold on this whole trend, I can certainly appreciate the creativity of others. And if I were to try it out, I’d probably go for something uber-simple, like this woman did.

Minimalist version
Minimalist version

So what about you? Is this a jewelry trend that you’re going to embrace? I’d love to hear your opinions!