Just like every woman’s wardrobe needs a little black dress, a great pair of jeans, and a comfy cashmere sweater, every woman’s jewelry box needs some staples too. A piece or two (or ten) of costume jewelry is a great way to show off your personal sense of style and to make a statement with an outfit. There is definitely a time and place for all of those crazy/ fun pieces that you’ve accumulated over the years.
While costume pieces can liven up your wardrobe, your standard jewelry staples are also an important investment. Trends come and go, but classics – whether hanging in your closet or tucked away in your jewelry box – are forever. Take stock of your neck, wrist, ears, and fingers and see how many of these basic essentials you can check off your list!
Around your neck: The number one all time classic accessory to rock around your neck is, of course, the pearl necklace. It’s the biggie that every girl strives for from the moment she can swipe them from her mother’s jewelry box (blame it on Jackie O). A strand of pearls around the neck is the most classic look in jewelry that is perfect for pretty much any occasion that calls for a bit of class. I love them with even just a white T and jeans.
Around your wrists: Pearls can come into play around the wrist as well, but a quality bangle bracelet (we’re not talking 10 for $5 here) is a simple and sexy alternative that’s worth the investment. Collect a few thin ones in silver or gold or just wear one thick bangle as a statement piece. For a more personal, playful approach to your wrist - a charm bracelet can do the trick. And, of course, don’t forget a pretty, classic watch!
In your ears: Hoop earrings, diamond studs, pearls (again). Your hoops can be gold or silver or even diamond. Hoops are 100% my go-to earring – particularly in the summer – they always feel playful. Diamond studs are a girls’ best friend, but pearls can be just as great depending on the “sweetness” of your outfit.
On your fingers: Pearls again! Just kidding – the stones have it when it comes to talking with your hands. A simple cocktail ring can say more about you than any other piece of your jewelry. This is the place to bring your own style into the picture and let personality shine. I have an amazing cocktail ring that was my grandmother’s – it has a vintage look and feel – and always catches the eye.
The Twilight Saga comes to a close today with the release of the fifth and final installment of the series: Breaking Dawn, Part 2. If you’ve read the books or seen any of the movies, you’ll know that Bella (played by Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) got engaged in part 3 (Eclipse) and married in part 4 (Breaking Dawn, Part 1), and that they are now the proud parents of Renesmee, a human-vampire hybrid. Breaking Dawn, Part 2 is already breaking records for being the most popular (or at least the biggest pre-seller of tickets) of the series, and critics are saying that it is the most adventurous and exciting.
Let us stop for a moment, though, and discuss Bella’s engagement ring. This is really a “love it or hate it” moment for Twilight fans, and there has been much discussion about this ring. In the series, the ring is described this way:
“The face was a long oval, set with slanting rows of glittering round stones. The band was gold – delicate and narrow. The gold made a fragile web around the diamonds.”
This is the film interpretation:
Personally, I find this ring to be a little too large and a little too….flat. I’m talking literally flat and oval. It seems too large for a regular person’s finger, and it doesn’t seem like it would naturally go with a wedding band (which you can actually see in Breaking Dawn, Part 1, when Bella is wearing this ring on her right hand during and after the wedding).
Also, this ring seems like it would be in dire need of a BlingWrap, because it is so big, it would automatically fall to the side. I’m sure everyone will be watching to see how newly-minted vampire Bella will handle her new life (which includes much more action and crime-fighting than her human life) and how this ring holds up to all that action. Will she have to push it to the side when she is killing mountain lions? Will it get in the way when she does hand to hand combat with the Volturri? Am I the only one wondering how a fictional character will handle their jewelry in a movie adaptation? The answer is….probably.
Personally, I would have like to have seen the designers take a more traditional interpretation of the engagement ring that is supposed to symbolize the greatest human-vampire love of all eternity. What’s your opinion? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Do you think it’s going to hamper her when she’s fighting?
Princess Catherine's sapphire ring is truly a reflection of the latest trend in engagement rings – Princess Diana was way ahead of the curve. For years the diamond solitaire has been THE symbol that says engagement because of an amazing marketing campaign from the diamond industry. It has not only become a tradition – but almost an obligation (and a beautiful one!). The good news for those who like to buck tradition – times are definitely changing. I personally love the originality that comes with a colored center stone. Maybe because my wonderful husband gave me a beautiful ring with a yellow diamond in the center – or maybe because I have always been the girl who liked the traditional with a twist.
Princess Diana's beautiful sapphire and diamond ring, on her and on Princess Catherine.
In addition to Princess Catherine and me – there is a trend with celebrities deviating from tradition. When Ben Affleck proposed to Jennifer Lopez, he did it with a huge pink diamond that soon after became all the rage. Then of course there’s the canary diamond (like mine), which popular country star Carrie Underwood accepted for her engagement. When Carmen Electra got engaged to Rob Patterson, a guitarist for Korn, her new diamond was…wait for it….BLACK.
I know! She looks happy! Black may be an engagement ring color I wouldn’t embrace – but I do respect the uniqueness of the choice.
Like Princess Catherine, celebrities have also started to go outside even the colored diamond box. Halle Berry has an emerald from hottie Olivier Martinez and Jessica Simpson’s engagement ring with Eric Johnson is a ruby offset by diamonds.
It is a refreshing break to see people putting a little more thought and originality into these engagement rings. In addition to adding color to their main stones, many brides-to-be (or the grooms-to-be that are doing the ring shopping) are also playing with an assortment of settings and arrangements – quite the change from the clear solitaire that was so popular just a few years ago.
As a real bonus to those on a budget, most non-diamond stones can run you a lot less than the “girl’s best friend” diamond solitaire and still look fabulous. Maybe sapphires and emeralds are a savvy girl’s choice. So what do you think? If a colored gem offers you a unique look, more money in your pocket for a bigger celebration, and still the same symbol of love, would you say yes?
In tenth grade, I had a big perm. Big! I also had too much makeup, Madonna bracelets, and ripped jeans. I did theater, dated musicians and artists whenever possible, and generally considered myself to be a bohemian. This “boho” style even included an ear piercing waaaaayy up on my right ear.
In contrast, there was a girl who sat next to me in Chemistry class (we’ll just call her Michelle). Michelle always looked perfectly put together. She moved to my town from the South with a charming accent, perfectly matched head-to-toe outfits and not a hair out of place. She was also on time, always did her homework, and was always polite to teachers. She was....my high school Kryptonite.
I have to admit that Michelle’s “perfectness” made me feel in high school that I was a little bit of a mess – which was totally not the case. I was actually the better student and had an amazing group of friends that I still have today.
If I could go back in time and give myself advice now, I definitely would tell both myself and Michelle to be who we wanted to be and just not worry about anyone else! We had years to go and a lot of experimenting before we found our true styles.
I am happy to report that Michelle (still not her real name) and I are now Facebook friends and both look completely different from high school – but our styles have met somewhere in the middle.
What about you—did your style evolve over time, or are you exactly the same now as you were back in high school?