Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Your Personal "It" Item

Pink trench coat is classic with a twist

What is an “it” item? Usually it’s that something that everyone has, the pink coat, the Celine handbag, think hair scrunchies of the 90s. Everyone has one and everyone is wearing one, you can’t escape. These items are ubiquitous and everywhere. Problem is they usually come in style and then go out, just a blip on our fashion radar and when they go; no one even wants to know they participated. It items have a tendency to become pariah.  


The bright color and the ruffles make it hard for this coat to stand the test of time
What really matters are the personal “it” items that we wear and love for a lifetime. The personal “it” item can be anything luxurious, fun or simply chic. Something that makes you feel good about yourself because it adds something to your wardrobe. There is a good reason that we have personal it items, it’s because keeping up with the latest styles and fashions can be financially taxing. No one wants to spend a fortune on the perfect handbag and then discover you only used it for one season.


Classic tortoise shell cat eye sunglasses
Generally speaking these it items are classic. The navy blazer, the tote bag, the closed toe pump are all items that are a must for a well-armed closet. A personal it item probably has a little more punch. Instead of a navy blazer you might go for a red blazer. It’s any item that has a classic look but is still a little out of the ordinary. Cat eye sunglasses are all the rage but instead of the trendy pink or white frame you might pick black or tortoise shell. Now you’ll wear them forever.


This color makes them a novelty
There is nothing wrong with purchasing classics and if you know yourself well enough you can pick a classic that stands out. I’ve always wanted a pair of red shoes. I’ve purchased red sandals on a couple of occasions but they usually end up languishing in my closet after being worn only once or twice. I bought a pair of red pumps for my daughter’s wedding, I’ve worn them twice already, guess I found my own personal “it” item for the summer.
My new "it" item, the red pump

Monday, May 26, 2014

Prescription for Jewelry

Pharmaceuticals are a way of life for some


I found something interesting the other day in Elle Magazine. It was a little blip about Hoorsenbuh’s Cathedral Collection and its collaboration with artist Damien Hirst. Damien Hirst has created a limited edition collection of fine jewelry which features a ring or necklace supposedly poking fun at pharmaceuticals. The pieces feature 18 karat gold, diamonds and rubies in the shape of pills. Not so sure I find this in good taste.


Damien Hirst's pill pieces
My hubby has been fighting cancer for the past 18 months and I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease about three to four years ago so pharmaceutical is our middle name. We have been very unlucky in drawing the crappy health card and while there are times when we feel okay it is usually thanks to a load of daily pills. My husband at one time took so many pills I had to have a spreadsheet to keep them all straight. For some people pharmaceuticals are the difference between life and death and whether you live life or spend your day in a dialysis or chemo chair.


This pill ring features 18 karat gold, diamonds and rubies
The jewelry in the Cathedral Collection is making fun of the deification of pharmaceuticals. Drugs such as Prozac and Xanax that many take to feel emotionally better are featured in a necklace with a rosary bead styled chain. I get it, too many people worship at the altar of pop a pill and everything is rosy again but I still find it in poor taste. Not only is this “fun poking” being done at the expense of the Catholic religion but at people who may truly need anti-depressants or mood drugs.


Damien Hirst rosary style necklace
The recent tragedy in Santa Barbara highlights the fact that there are people out there who are severely depressed or having feelings that they may harm themselves or others. To make fun of drugs that could potentially help them because so many people in the artist’s social circle take them for self-perceived minor emotional troubles is not very sensitive. It is also not sensitive to believe that people taking multitudes of drugs are doing it for attention or because it’s hip. I’m thankful that this is a limited edition so few will own these overpriced baubles and besides, they probably won’t be in my social circle anyways.
Damien Hirst rosary style necklace

Friday, May 23, 2014

How to Wear a Statement Necklace

Yes, you can wear this during the day

Due to my hubby’s recent cancer treatment we’ve had to swear off large stadium crowds for the next year. Apparently people are germy. So being the social creatures we are, we hit the local pub to watch some sports while dining on chicken wings and beer. This is where I saw the lovely lady dressed in black and dripping in cubic zirconia. I’m assuming it was CZ because otherwise someone would have already knocked her to the ground and stole her jewelry.


Bold necklaces look cute with t-shirts
While I thought this lady looked absolutely elegant, it was too much for a sports bar. She had on a simple black dress with peep toed pumps and a beautiful Chanel styled handbag. What was a little over the top was the bib necklace, chandelier earrings, three inch studded cuffs on both wrists and a two huge cocktail rings. It all matched and looked super glitzy and sparkled whenever she moved. Like I said, absolutely elegant but it made me realize that this isn’t a look that can be worn anywhere, or can it?


Tone it down with denim
Large statement jewelry or pieces that are super sparkly and eye-catching can be worn every day; you just have to be careful what you wear it with, no little black dress unless you’re attending a cocktail party. A large statement necklace can work when worn with a pair of jeans and a leather Moto jacket. Just make sure you keep the other pieces small. No chandelier earrings or large cuffs. Big sparkly pieces can look cool when worn with t-shirts and jeans and you won’t look over the top.


Celebrities love the look
If you want to wear chandelier earrings or sparkly cuffs think feminine dresses. Something in a floral print, light and airy topped with a rough jeans jacket. You want to juxtaposition the super elegant against something rugged. When your entire outfit looks like you’re getting ready to meet the Queen you don’t wear it while the suns still up. Mix thing up using eclectic pieces that look a little tough against those dazzling sparklers so you won’t look out of place the next time you go out for beer and burgers.
Go "Biker Chick" with leather

Thursday, May 22, 2014

JCK Las Vegas

Only one week away
All photos courtesy of JCK, visit their Facebook page

JCK Las Vegas is officially one week away. For those who have early invitations or are actually going to attend those early invites it starts on May 27th. Due to my limited time I won’t be attending until the 29th of May. If you don’t know what JCK Las Vegas is, I will have to say that it is jewelry nirvana. This is the place where every jewelry wholesaler, gadget seller, estate jewelry people and designer goes to sell their wares. It’s totally awesome!


While it is totally awesome and super easy to get caught up in every sparkly that catches your eye, you do need to make a plan. It is being held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center and it covers three floors. There are many exhibitors and if you’re not careful you will spend a great deal of time wandering around and not getting much accomplished.


My tip consist of tackling things a floor at a time and a section at a time. I refuse to go from one vendor to another on different floors so one floor per day. This also helps to keep track of the ground I’ve covered. I have older vendors I wish to visit and I’m planning on hopefully meeting some new ones. This year it’s going to be watches and potentially a new engraving machine if I’m not too overwhelmed with the technology. Most machines are automated so engraving is no longer an art but a science.


Totally wearable
I of course want to find some people who have just the right amount of unique design talent but it’s really hard since just about everyone selling has talent. This is the hardest part of the show, so many beautiful pieces of jewelry. I plan on taking pictures and posting my blog during the time I spend at JCK this year. I’m hoping that I don’t get overwhelmed or too tired; it is a long trek after all. Wish me luck and begin counting down.
Zeghani by Simon

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How to Wear Metallic

Technically all jewelry is metallic, Silver Filigree Cuff

Metallic accessories and clothing can be tricky. You don’t want to look dated or maybe like a reject from a 1950s science fiction movie. So the first rule of thumb when wearing metallic, don’t do it from head to toe. Stick with pieces such as jewelry, evening bags or shoes to add a little dash to an outfit. Metallic can be an affordable way to add drama and elegance to any outfit just follow a few simple rules.


Add some sparkle, silver metallic evening bag
When you want to keep an earthy style, think understated. Go for something with a matte or textured finish. You should look for something with a soft finish, stay away from high gloss or highly finished accessories. A necklace or bracelet that has been oxidized or made to look antiqued gives a soft look. Another great aspect of matte finished, you can combine burnished copper and bronze finished items equally well because there are no shiny finishes competing with each other.


If you’re going for glamorous style think shine. High gloss finishes are perfect for a night out or anytime you’re looking to grab some attention. Go for matching polished bangles on your wrist to set off that little black dress. Anything that is high gloss will draw the eye and bounce light around. Keep the lines of your pieces sleek to show off that finish. Smooth highly polished evening bag look awesome.


High gloss stainless steel is modern, B. Tiff Tension Mount Ring
For those who feel a little bit rebellious or simply have a more eclectic style think about blending matte and shine together. You want light and airy pieces that add matte and shine together in just the right amounts. Think a pendant with a matte bronze chain and shiny silver tags, or go for a menswear style watch with a combination brushed and polished finished band, very modern. Metallic accessories and jewelry are a golden opportunity to be brilliant.
Go for a gunmetal watch

Monday, May 19, 2014

Why Wear Jewelry? Cause it Makes Us Feel Good!

Too pricey? Perhaps you wish to see something in macaroni and spray paint?

JCK in Las Vegas is coming up and I’m being inundated with emails from vendors asking me to visit their booths. First off, there is no way I can visit everyone, there are far too many vendors. What have intrigued me are the vendors who have creative ads or lovely pictures. This shows me that they actually thought about getting my attention.


The ad that caught my attention this morning or more correctly, make me laugh was from Simplex Diam Inc. They had a very cute cartoon of a man shopping for jewelry. The caption states “Too pricey? Perhaps you wish to see something in macaroni and spray paint?” While not all jewelry is so expensive you have to take out a home equity loan, I think they were making the point that some jewelry is really so reasonably priced the next step down is a dozy.


Silver mantra bracelet is pretty and spiritual, wish I could find this guy again
When purchasing jewelry to adorn ourselves we usually pick items that not only please us they usually fit within our budget. When shopping for a gift for another it can get tricky. Buying jewelry to meet someone’s expectations as well as their personal taste can be one of the hardest things you’ll do in a relationship. I’ve never felt that it is wrong to take along the person you’re gifting when making a large purchase. Remember this all you engagement ring buyers. When spending a lot of money you want to make them happy and what better way than to bring them along.


Le Vian is always at JCK Las Vegas, so pretty
If on the other hand if you’re trying to go for a surprise, make sure that you can return the item for a full refund or maybe an exchange. Jewelry is meant to be personal, something that we wear to enhance our outfits, make us feel happy and maybe add a little confidence. Jewelry can invoke a memory when we wear something special or a family heirloom. So why wear jewelry, because it makes us feel great, confident, pretty and basically wonderful, so why not.
There will also be plenty of vendors selling loose stones, I'm in heaven!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

How to Wear All One Color

Wearing all white is super chic, just add neutral accessories

Wearing an outfit that is made up of all of the same color can look very chic and be very slimming. How many times have you seen a woman wearing head to toe black and think she looks fabulous and slim? Now while you’ve seen women look great in this assemble, it can be tricky. You don’t want to end up looking like someone’s Grandma or a Goth chick. Wearing all one color takes some finesse.


Keep everything black or navy, just add a white blouse for contrast
First, pick a neutral color. While some people can pull of wearing a tomato red suit or bright yellow and maybe even Kelly green, many of us mere mortals look a little silly. Stick with beige, grey, black, navy or even white. You can add a pop of color with an accessory such as a graphic handbag or bright pumps. Also keep everything conservative. Now is not the time to pick asymmetrical lines, cropped sleeves or weird necklines, keep it simple.


Keep everything the same color then add some animal themed jewelry
If you like the idea of all one color but are fearful of making that kind of commitment, try wearing the pants or a skirt with a blouse that is the same color. Add a jacket in a contrasting color and you get a similar look. Add accessories in the same color as the pants and blouse. Think black everything with beige, cobalt blue or even a red jacket for a high impact look.


A Swiss dot blouse adds texture
Another great idea for that all over color look is add in some texture. A nubby tweed skirt with a silk blouse and a fuzzy sweater all in the same hue works great. You can also add patterns that are subtle. A white eyelet skirt with a white silk blouse with Swiss dots adds understated variations while maintaining the overall whiteness of your look. Wearing all one color can work, just be careful of the hues and tones and everything will come out awesome.
Wear the Swiss dot blouse with an eyelet skirt for subtle contrast

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Quality Jewelry


I purchase a lot of jewelry and “knock on wood” I’ve had few problems with construction. I’ve heard horror stories so I know that I am lucky. The worst stories that I’ve heard involve losing a diamond from the setting. This is a problem that can break a woman’s heart. Usually the diamond is from a wedding or engagement ring and to lose it is not only expensive but depressing. Who wants to lose part of a symbol of your love?


While a delicate chain can be attractive, how strong are the attachments?
Buying quality jewelry can alleviate some of the problem but not always. Damage can occur at any time regardless of the money spent. What you want to do is know the signs of quality. While I dislike too many prongs on a ring they do make sense. Prongs are what hold the stone in place. These prongs can take a lot of abuse so it’s wise to get them checked regularly to make sure they’re still holding. Softer metals such as gold can wear quicker than silver or platinum so a mounting made entirely of 18kt gold can create its own problems.


Inspect the links and check for gaps
Expensive metals and diamonds do not necessarily make for quality jewelry. I’ve seen wonderful craftsmanship using stainless steel and cubic zirconia. I’ve also seen rings made of gold that were so thin their ability to hold anything, including their shape was called into question. Delicate jewelry is fine but you have to ask the question of whether or not it will hold together.  While you should always buy jewelry you love, wider, solidly built jewelry does have durability on its side.


Beautiful workmanship, Gabrielle Bruni Blue Topaz Bracelet
I’ve found over the years that good craftsmanship trumps precious metals and stones. Look at the finish, is it smooth? Do the pieces fit together without gaps, do decorative features line up? Are the stones centered, is the piece evenly weighted? Generally a close inspection can and will reveal flaws in construction. If a piece feels flimsy it probably is and won’t meet your expectations. You don’t need to be an expert to determine if a piece of jewelry will stand the test of time. Careful inspection and common sense can weed out poor manufacturing and shoddy workmanship every time. Just take your time and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Pretty Pretty Jewelry


There is so much jewelry out there to choose from that it can make one’s head spin. Depending on my mood I might be interested in something modern, something more conservative or maybe something playful. Different jewelry conveys different moods. The only problem I see with wanting to match my jewelry to my moods and an outfit is the cost. Quality jewelry can be expensive.


Now when I say quality jewelry I’m not talking about super expensive designer brands. Those items are probably not possible on my budget. I’m talking about jewelry that is solidly made. Quality sterling silver with gemstones or alternative metals and material that is handcrafted and carefully finished. Believe it or not there are many options available on the market for quality jewelry at fair prices.


I will admit that I’m a little bit pickier when it comes to pricing since I’m a business. I know how much jewelry cost. I won’t be divulging any secrets here but there is reasonably priced jewelry on the market and not so reasonably priced item. There are stores that want you to believe that they are selling at a fabulous price but in reality they have marked the jewelry up tremendously and then simply put it on sale. They still make a large profit. Oops, a dirty little secret.


To me jewelry is important. I like to have different things to wear and since I’m on a budget these pieces must be versatile and reasonably priced. I also want quality. Nothing makes me madder than pieces that come apart or tarnish immediately. I’ve had few of these problems since I examine carefully each purchase. After a while you learn the sign of quality made jewelry. Today is the day I post pretty pictures, tomorrow, more about quality.
Okay it's not jewelry but I love this coiled snake evening bag

Monday, May 12, 2014

Summer Clothing Quandary

My favorite summer staple, the sheath dress

During the summer as weather heats up I always run into problems with what to wear. If you are trying to look semi-professional you want to stay away from anything that might make people think you’re heading to the beach. This is slightly difficult because there is a very fine line between clothes that keep you cool and also look beach or afternoon in the park ready.


Top it with a linen blazer with rolled up sleeves
Summer or warm weather clothing is tricky. You need to stay covered to look professional and also protect yourself against artic air conditioning, but you don’t want to swelter. Blazers can make you break out in a sweat when you’re commuting or running errands. You can always take off the jacket while you’re running around outside and put it back on once you come back to the office so a sleeveless shift or top works well.


Add some amber earrings
Accessorizing is also tricky because my typical scarf picks can make me over heat and necklaces and bracelets can end up sticking. There is nothing that makes you instantly uncomfortable as a watch or bracelet sticking to your wrist. To get around these problems think dangle earrings. You can put your hair up in a ponytail and wear some awesome earrings that add some sparkle and shine. You’ll feel cool and look fabulous.


A necklace under your collar adds interest
Finally, if you really like necklaces a super cute look is a collared shirt with a necklace under the collar. You want a pendant style or a necklace that has some pizazz right in the middle. You need to have the chain lie flat under the collar with the pendant or interest showing right between the collar points. A sleeveless silk blouse works great and you can put that blazer back on while you’re in the office. So you can accessorize, look professional and keep your cool all summer long.
A silk blouse keeps you cool just add some awesome earrings