Photo: Photo by Jim DeYonker
Bolder is better in fall 2011, as jewelry trends stay on the daring and dramatic path. With inspirations ranging from oversize feather earrings and giant gem cocktail rings to antique floral pendants and sleek architectural cuffs, these fearless accessories can make any winter wardrobe mean business.
But pretty pieces can cost a pretty penny. If you can't dish out dollars for designer brands and are looking to hit the trends on a dime, don't fret: There's plenty of bling to be had for a few bucks.
Invest in what you love and try fast fashion for what you're not sure about.
- Niki Blasina, blogger for A Haute Mess and MTV Canada’s FORA fashion and beauty blog
Make a Statement
Niki Blasina, the blogger behind A Haute Mess and a monthly columnist for MTV Canada's FORA fashion and beauty blog, says some of her favorite fall 2011 jewelry trends include mammoth jewels, chunky filigree, shoulder-dusting earrings and intricate bronze floral patterns.
"Statement jewelry has been on trend for the past few seasons, but this fall we're going to see different versions of it," she said, noting how the "statement" trend is being seen in earrings as well as necklaces. "I love the statement chokers seen at Michael Kors -- wide metal, close-fitting neck pieces. I also really like the modern filigree as seen at Proenza Schouler. It's a very modern take on what you would expect when you think of antique or cameo jewelry. Classic statement necklaces with oversize jewels are definitely back on trend this season, but with more color. Earrings that are on trend also make a statement. Think long, shoulder-grazing styles. There's also the bronze floral trend -- think anything from your garden like flowers, branches and leaves -- in big shapes and bronze metal.
"I think this season's trends are just an evolution from the last," Blasina continued. She said she thinks that because hemlines on skirts and dresses are lower, longer earrings are complementing the longer styles. "Last fall's jewelry trends were also really focused on big, bold statement jewelry -- whether it's a chunky cuff, an oversize cocktail ring or the statement necklace," she said. "A focus on size and costume jewelry was really on trend, and this season, it's kind of the same thing, but just an evolved version of it. Things are a little bigger or a bit more colorful, or the motifs are a bit different."
Anya Georgijevic, fashion writer for Vitamin Daily and "The Block" magazine and blogger at I'mTheItGirl.com, nominated as one of "Elle Canada's" Top Fashion Blogs of 2010, adds that chunky filigree done in acrylics and plastics, as well as architectural metal chokers or cuffs, is also hot this fall. "They're bold, but definitely on the feminine side, rather than punk rock studs, chains and spikes," she said.
While all of these trendy treasures can be found at upscale stores, Georgijevic points out that retailers like H&M, Urban Outfitters and Forever 21 (among dozens of others) are gold mines of beautiful, style-savvy accessories that can keep you from killing your credit card. Vintage shops, Etsy and eBay auctions also are great for deals on unique and antique-looking pieces. Other budget-friendly jewelry hot spots include the Kenneth Jay Lane line on shopbop.com, ASOS and Topshop, Blasina said.
“When I shop for jewelry, I tend to do it in more boutique-y stores,” said Allison Smith, designer and owner of the fashion line Allison Wonderland. “I know I can’t afford the super expensive stuff, and I don’t like to get the super cheap stuff either, so I like to go somewhere in the middle with smaller, artisan-type jewelry. I really think going to your local boutique is a great way of getting a good price point while supporting smaller jewelry designers.”
Finding jewelry that is both beautiful and economical can make even composed fashionistas jump for joy. Your immediate impulse may be to buy everything in sight, but before cramming your shopping basket with earrings in every shape and size, Smith suggests taking a moment to consider the colors you wear or want to focus on and use that as your base.
“I wouldn't buy a ton of jewelry on a dime because it adds up, and you'll end up spending a chunk of money on low-quality items,” Blasina advised. “I would say to try a few things. Invest in what you love and try fast fashion for what you're not sure about.”
Georgijevic agrees: “Buy what you love and imagine wearing few seasons from now.”
One Piece to Rule Them All
When it comes to coordinating your fabulous finds with the current fall clothing trends, Blasina says to concentrate on one trend piece at a time. Play around with different combinations. If you’re wearing a chunky gold bib necklace and you feel like it’s too much, don’t wear earrings or opt for simple studs.
“Stick to one bold piece at a time,” Blasina advised. “Don't wear a big necklace with shoulder-grazing earrings. That's why it's called 'statement jewelry' -- the one piece is all you need to make a statement.”
And if you’re torn between silvers, golds and bronzes, Blasina says metals don’t need to match. Small and simple silver hoop earrings may look just fine with a long, vintage bronze locket necklace, but again, it’s all about toying with the combinations without looking weighed down or kitschy.
“Sometimes you can only know if you see it,” Smith said. “For me personally, I do try to keep it simple. Jewelry is just something you should have fun with and play with and experiment. There are so many cheaper jewelry stores out there, so you can do that.”