Long Sparkly Earrings for Day – Adopt or Adapt the Look?

Long sparkly earrings are a mainstay of evening wear. This season, they are also having a moment in the sun, as fashion editorials suggest readers “Wear them during the day — they’re not just for evening anymore” (April 2012 O the Oprah Magazine); “Put on a pair and expect major fireworks, as even your standby tank top becomes spectacular” (May 2012 InStyle); and “If you buy just one pair of earrings this spring. . . make them long and sparkly” (April 2012 Glamour).

Illustration: Samples of long sparkly earrings featured in the April 2012 issue of Allure.

If you decide to adopt this style, keep in mind that this style of earrings should be worn with a certain amount of attitude. Harper Bazaar‘s take on this look is spot-on: “Shelve those trusty diamond studs in favor of these impossibly sweet but stylishly off-kilter costume drops.” (March 2012 Harper’s Bazaar).

Whether you adopt this style with earrings incorporating real gemstones or the costume jewelry variety, these earrings worn during the day are all essentially a “stylishly off-kilter” costume look. The style is cheeky, sassy, insouciant. The message of these earrings comes through loud and clear.

It is incumbent upon you to decide whether these adjectives applicable to the style describe the image you wish to convey. In certain situations, when you want to approach fashion in a fun and lighthearted way, you may find that long sparkly earrings add just the right flare to an ensemble.

But keep an eye on this fad, and I do think it is merely that. Wearing long sparkly earrings during the daytime after the fashion influencers have moved on to the next big thing will make you look sadly out of date, and rather like a young girl playing with the sparkly things in her mother’s jewelry box.

If you love this festive style of earrings, take heart. They have a place in your jewelry wardrobe. Happily, long sparkly earrings for evening are always appropriate.

Applied Geometry

Geometric shapes are having a heyday. They appear not only in vibrant print fabrics made into all manner of apparel but also as motifs in bags and shoes and especially in jewelry, which lends itself beautifully to incorporating the lines and angles of geometry.

The February 2012 issue of Real Simple magazine calls “mod geometry” in graphic prints “the most wearable trend right now” and salutes the designs as “fresh and bright as spring itself.”

While bright prints often do have a happy vibe, wearing oversized geometric prints is difficult to carry off. The trick is finding prints that you can wear without them wearing you.

There are two components to choosing vibrant geometric prints.

One component is psychological. Does the thought of wearing a large-scale geometric print make you uncomfortable? Trust your instincts. The vividness of the print is almost certainly bolder than your personality. Move on.

The other component is physical. Does a particular print flatter you in where and how it draws the eye? When you wear the garment, do your features and coloring recede into the background?

If you look at the photo of the model, upper right, you can see that she appears to be a walking print. On first viewing, her own form and features play second fiddle to the vivid color and large-scale motif of what she is wearing. If you look closely, you’ll see that the small-scale print on her collar, the narrow line of a sheer skirt under the dress, and her handbag all serve as buffers between the oversized print on her dress and her features. These details make the oversized print more wearable.

Don’t take the runway image of a model wearing a garment as an example of how a garment should look on you. Remember, models are selected to show off the garments; the garments are not chosen to emphasize the looks of the model. When you are shopping for your wardrobe, you want your choices to make you look good. It’s not about showing the clothes to advantage; it’s about you looking your best.

There is yet another consideration in choosing a bright oversized geometric print: Such prints are extremely memorable. If you wear that yellow print in any setting once, everyone but everyone will remember that you wore it previously the next time you wear it. Not everyone may find the print charming. Quite aside from what others think, consider whether you yourself might tire of a particular print.

There is a time to break the rules. If you absolutely love the print and the garment incorporating the print, enjoy it and wear it with attitude. If you love the print but not the garment, find a way to wear the print on something that is less unflattering. Incorporating the print into an accessory such as a handbag might do the trick — think of this suggestion as “applied geometry.”

Geometric designs in jewelry can be much easier to wear, in part because most jewelry is inherently closer in size to the wearer’s features. For a review of current geometric designs in jewelry, visit my blog post “Advanced Geometry Lessons in Jewelry” in my Jewelry Fashion File blog on www.jckonline.com.

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Jewelry Storage: The Flat Approach & How It Can Fall Flat

‘Tis spring, and that means it’s time for a bit of spring cleaning. Several publications have chosen this time of year to provide tips on jewelry storage. There are a number of appropriate ways in which to store jewelry, of course. These articles literally take a flat approach to jewelry storage.

The March 2012 issue of InStyle  provides this “Genius Tip”: “Use attractive serving trays for necklaces, brooches, and other baubles. Store them on shelves so you can pull them out easily.”

While the gist of the advice is sound, the photo illustrating the tip demonstrates the risk with the flat storage approach: Trays get filled up, and soon pieces are jumbled next to and on top of one another. The less jostling, of course, the less potential for damage, but laying chunky chains on top of delicate stone-studded pieces cannot be good for the latter. The solution: break down those large spaces into smaller spaces sized to accommodate specific items. Use soft cloth or cotton (cotton makeup-remover pads from the drug store work fine) to separate each item from the others that share its storage space. The divide-and-conquer approach is illustrated in two current magazines:

The April 2012 issue of Lucky contains a feature entitled “How To: Organize Your Stuff” that includes several storage suggestions for jewelry. “Display your most-worn pieces (and stash the rest!)” suggests the magazine. The illustration lower left shows a drawer fitted with a cutlery organizer, into which jewelry is distributed. Lucky comments: “Those long compartments are ideal for storing the necklaces and bracelets you only wear occasionally.” The photo depicts a well-organized collection.

For the items on display, Lucky recommends composing “a dreamy, romantic vanity” with a display of necklaces dangling from ornate hooks or clear pushpins. Be selective about jewelry to be hung from hooks or pins:  the lighter the piece, the better. Suspending pearls from a hook can stretch out the silk on which they are strung. So too, materials on which beads are strung can stretch out when hung. One exception: Necklaces built upon metal chain. In this case the supporting chain may not be affected, but be cautious that the clasp, if there is one, can handle the weight of the necklace pulling down from the single pressure point of a hook. For heavy necklaces, the flat approach to storage is ideal.

The March 2012 issue of O, the Oprah Magazine  has the theme “De-Clutter Your Life.” Among the many tips, are this one provided by Adam Glassman to Gayle King for her baubles, bangles and beads: “If, like Gayle, you love to accessorize, your jewelry needs to be kept visible. Expandable plastic makeup holders from the Container Store are an inexpensive solution.”

Although the picture is small and cropped so that it can be difficult to see the recommended configuration, the photo, taken from above, shows a set of three drawers fitted with the makeup holders, each containing jewelry. It appears that this is truly a case of “a place for everything, and everything in its place” – a static, excellent solution for storing jewelry flat.