When an economic downturn drastically affects how consumers spend their money note the language fashion magazines begin to bandy about. Words like “classic” and “essential” are tossed around like confetti. Sprinkle a little here…and there…and suddenly everything is something you will use forever, dahhhling. The most interesting idea to rise to the surface is that jewelry is now the new black and a better “investment” than say, a handbag. Well…hellooo!!
As for “investment” jewelry, I’m sorry to say that despite all the editorial pronouncements, there really is no such thing. The best, most lasting ornaments are those you will wear because you love them, they suit you and you know will wear them forever, dahhhling. Personally, I find a bracelet eternally appealing, and I get to admire it all day long (unlike a necklace or a pair of earrings which you see only twice: when you put them on and take them off). It could be a hefty bangle or a yummy chain link –something that I can wear with practically anything, for any time of day.
The two vintage bracelets above are not only beautiful but they are also timeless in their refinement.
This contemporary bracelet from Carla Amorim has a similar focus in terms of texture but this one possesses a charm-like feel.
So what are other smart choices you can make? Ones that will not only hold up to the future but also permit you to look back and say, “I spent a lot on that, and it was worth it.”
Traditional items like pearls, diamond studs, and bangle bracelets are all good. Look for the best quality you can afford and if they incorporate a contemporary slant, all the better. Diamond studs are usually brilliant-cut stones. Try a different shape, perhaps an oval– or emerald-cut. It’s difficult to make a strand of pearls look like something other than what it is, unless you are Justin Giunta of Subversive who has recast them as sculpture. When it comes to pearls, adding more elements to your personal landscape changes the vista, so feel free to throw on two longer gold or silver chains and a great pair of close-fitting earrings. Playing with proportion and color reinvents even the most “classic” of looks and gives the eye something new to see.
Fashion’s newfound appreciation for color gives us more options for spending wisely. It’s not just about diamonds anymore. Earrings can be bold and bright, like this citrine and lapis pair from Elizabeth Showers. While the pendant style of these earrings isn’t unfamiliar, the color combination is painterly (reminding me a Van Gogh floral landscape) and has fresh feel.
This necklace from Betteridge Jewelers is regal but infinitely wearable, a concept that is always factored into the purchase equation. While “expansive” and “sculptural” may be the bejeweled catch-phrases in style right now, there is always a place for necklaces that have a quieter but no less important presence. An antique or estate piece of high-quality and amazing condition is often an excellent acquisition in the long term.
***Please note: After Labor Day I will be posting twice a week, and be sure to check back during Fashion Week when I will be reviewing jewelry trends on the runway. Enjoy the long weekend everyone!