What Are Smart, Chic Choices In Jewelry Now?

August 27th, 2008

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.

A fabulous collection of Retro Jewelry from Camilla Dietz Bergeron Ltd.

A fab­u­lous col­lec­tion of Retro from Camilla Dietz Berg­eron Ltd.

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.

Febril Bracelet by Carla Amorim

Febril Bracelet by Carla Amorim

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.

Citrine and lapis earrings by Elizabeth Showers

Cit­rine and lapis ear­rings by Eliz­a­beth Showers

Antique amethyst riviere from Betteridge Jewelers

Antique amethyst riv­iere from Bet­teridge Jewelers

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!

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