Fashion Advice From: A New Mom

New Mom and BabyI recently met up with Karen, 31, and her newborn, Alexander, to talk about how fashion changes once you have a baby.

What are your fashion inspirations?
I tend to go for softer colors, and kinda girly-things. If I had to credit an inspiration, I’d say my big sis.

What trends are you loving right now?
(laughs) I haven’t really been able to keep up, to tell you the truth. I hear prints are going to be big, so that’s fun. Really though? I’m just looking forward to fitting into my skinny jeans again…Hopefully.

What changes with regard to fashion when you have a baby?
Wow. Everything? For myself, I think much more practically. In anticipation of spit-up, I know always carry a cardigan to cover up with when I’m out. I think your fashion sense gets noticeably dumbed down and simplified – out of necessity.

What about jewelry? What changes there?
Well, since my clothes have gotten a little more dull, I’m now more conscious of trying to add in a nice piece of jewelry to add a little more personality to an outfit. But no more dangle earrings, let me tell you. That’s a prime baby-pulling hazard.

What’s your best fashion advice for other new moms out there?
Don’t sweat it. Be comfortable. This stage will pass.

So if you could get any piece of jewelry for mothers day, what would it be?
Diamond earrings. Studs. For sure, a beautiful pair of diamond studs. I think I’ve earned em.

Fashion Advice From: Nurses

Safety and style are what nurses look for in jewelry
Safety and style are what nurses look for in jewelry
Nurses are an integral part of the health care system. They really keep it humming. My aunt Camille has been a nurse her whole career and now supervises teams of nurses. I recently asked her about what she and her co-workers wear for jewelry on the front lines of health care.

So, I bet that wearing scrubs all the time gets boring. How do nurses add sparkle to their work wear?
Well, not all nurses work on the floor or directly with patients. There are some nurses who don’t wear scrubs but the ones that do have a hard time adding a personal touch. Wearing protective gloves means that you really can’t wear big rings. Depending on the protocol at the workplace they might even require that nurses not wear rings at all. Our main goal is health and safety for everyone we care for – even ourselves! I think that earrings are probably the best way to add a unique touch.

When I started working in nursing almost 40 years ago we had to wear all white – you know the traditional nurses uniform. These days there are all kinds of patterns in scrubs and professional team wear that keep things from being too boring. I was recently in a pediatrician’s office and all the nurses there had on scrubs that the kids there loved.

Are there any trends in earrings that you’ve noticed on the nurses you work with?
Diamond stud earrings have always been popular. I think that anything small and conservative is a good bet. Dangle or long tear drop earrings aren’t safe or suitable for the professional setting. You want to have earrings that are easy to keep clean.

What about down time? What about Friday night?!
Ha! Are you kidding?! Lot of nurses work 12 hour shifts and they’re pooped when the work is done. Just like lots of other women, they work hard for their families when they get home. On special occasions though, when they can have a night out, the nurses I work with love to be pampered. Something special like bold gem earrings – or a long necklace is a lot of fun. They want to wear something that is normally off limits at work.

Fashion Advice From: Teachers

Teachers don't have look like schoolmarms!
Teachers don't have look like schoolmarms!

Next to parents, teachers may very well be the most important people in our kid’s lives. They care for them five days a week for almost 10 months out of the year. Teachers can teach us a thing or two about a professional yet easy care style.

I recently sat down with my teacher friend Robin (she’s 37) and asked her about her casual chic style. Here’s what she shared with me:

What’s one piece of jewelry that you think is a “must have”?
Other than my wedding rings, it has to be earrings. I think it’s good to keep earrings classic and simple. I generally stick with smaller diamond or pearl earrings – nothing too dangly or flashy. I want to be taken seriously by parents and co-workers. More conservative jewelry helps me do that. I have a pair of sapphire earrings my husband gave me for my birthday one year that I wear all the time!

Do you ever feel that you slip into the “schoolmarm” look?
Ha! Teaching is fast paced and you have to be ready for anything. So expensive and fancy clothes will just get ruined. No high heels here! I think that be taking fresh fabrics and a more sporty approach keeps me from looking like a fuddy-duddy.

What about necklaces?
Well, long necklaces are problematic. If you lean over students to check their work, you can hit them in the head with a long necklace! I wear a diamond solitaire pendant a lot. It has a shorter chain that keeps it out of the way. I also wear a shorter pearl necklace a lot too.

What about the kids? Do you see any fashion trends popping up in what the kids wear to school?
Well, I am constantly surprised at what parents let their kids wear to school! Seriously, they must be really busy in the morning or have given up the fight. A lot of kids are wearing bright colors and lots of stripes – both are not good for me! Of course girls still love flashy costume jewelry and I have to ask them to put it back in their book bags all the time. I think what I like best about working with young people is their fresh attitude. They mix things up and see the world with optimistic eyes. It’s really the best part of my job – the kids.

Classic Hollywood Glamour

Helen Mirren embodies classic Hollywood glamour
Helen Mirren embodies classic Hollywood glamour
This year at the Oscars, there were loads of interesting looks. The Academy Awards are always a star-studded affair and many celebrities are drenched in borrowed gems for the occasion. You can get a run down of all the best of Oscar night jewelry fashions at Sparkle Like the Stars.

Alas, this year’s event reaffirms that old Hollywood is gone. The days of the likes of Elizabeth Taylor wearing her own jewelry to an event seem to be long gone.

What hasn’t faded is classic and classy glamour! Helen Mirren is class incarnate. When it comes to the Oscars, she can always be counted on to show up in something subtly fabulous and totally age appropriate. Her lavender gown with the gauzy overlay and sleeves take this dress a notch above average strapless. I absolutely covet that necklace!

Helen’s look is refined and restrained but definitely not boring. You can get a similar look by pouring on the diamonds with a bold and beautiful diamond necklace. If you choose a design that has some larger spacing between the stones you’ll get the effect of a more dramatic piece of jewelry without such a dramatic price tag.

As for earrings, you can’t go wrong with a pair of elegant diamond earrings. Don’t overdo it though with dramatic tear drop or chandelier earrings. Those are great for other occasions but if you want a classic look like Helen’s, you have to keep it simple.

For her ensemble, Helen forgoes a right hand diamond ring and just wears her diamond wedding bands. This is in keeping with the “less is more” refinement of her overall look. Just because it’s a fancy formal occasion, doesn’t mean you have to wear every ring you own. Take a few cues from Helen and you’ll get a sophisticated look all for you own.

Earrings and cocktail rings make Glamour’s top 10 list

Large earrings are pitch-perfect this season. Glamour magazine recently released a list offering their take on the “10 Most Glam Wardrobe Items. Ever.” Though we think that every girl has her own top- 10 must haves (which is what makes style so fun and interesting), we were curious to see what the veritable fashion source listed among their favorites.

So, you might ask, which jewelry items made the list? Dangly earrings and cocktail rings were the sparkling accessories that Glamour saw fit to highlight, and we kind of agree.

Chandelier earrings are the fastest way to take any outfit from blah to bam in no time flat. Whether you like to wear your hair up, down, straight or curly, a hint of flash or color will draw attention to your face and neck, and make you look like a fashion plate even on days when you had to dash out of the house.

As for cocktail rings, where do we begin?

From emerald sparklers to pearl or diamond-encrusted rings, no fancy outfit is complete without a pretty cocktail ring twinkling and shimmering on your finger.

What do you guys think? Let us know which jewelry pieces you couldn’t dream of living without!

Big, fun diamond earrings a popular trend among celebs

Jennifer Lopez has gotten in on the large diamond earring trend. Big, sparkling post earrings are one of the next big jewelry trends, and plenty of stars are already on board with the craze.

Jennifer Lopez wore glittering, star-shaped baubles when she performed in Italy over the weekend, actress Elizabeth Banks donned big, elaborate diamond earrings to a recent event at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and fashion plate Ashley Olsen wore a similar pair to the Tommy Hilfiger Fall Fashion Show in New York City.

So how can you pull this look off for the office or a big night out? First, select the right diamond earrings. This trend is about fun and modern shapes, and for full impact they should be no smaller than the size of a quarter. (Crystal earrings will work for this style, too.)

If you plan to wear this look to the office, sweep your hair back into a loose bun and wear nude lipstick. If you’re heading out to paint the town red, go all out with bright lips and loose tresses.

What’s better than a blanket with sleeves?

Cute Red Enamel Heart Pendant
Cute Red Enamel Heart Pendant
Goodness! This February sure has been a rough weather month for many parts of the country. You may very well be reading this today from the comfort of you home and enjoying a “snow day” from work. Considering all this cold weather, this Valentine’s Day you may be tempted to give one of those “blankets with sleeves” that strangely have sold like hotcakes this year. Well, save your money! Nothing warms the heart and soul like a thoughtful gift of jewelry for Valentine’s Day.

So, instead of frumpy lounge wear, get your sweetheart a gift from the heart. A red enamel heart pendant is just the thing. At just $50, it won’t break the bank either. The round cut diamond on this heart pendant add a special sparkle to any outfit.

The one thing Jewelry and the you-know-what have in common is that they’ll always be the right size (although it is possible that your lady may think the gemstones and diamonds should be bigger!) Do yourself a favor and cross the “will it fit” worries off your list. If your sweetheart has a more sophisticated style, take a look at this freshwater cultured pearl and carnelian bracelet. This chunky bracelet is perfect for daytime wear but will add a touch of sexy red to an evening ensemble too. Can we say “Date Night”?

For the ultimate red jewelry for Valentine’s Day, you have to go for rubies. Get in good with a gift of this ruby sterling silver heart pendant. With 20 bright red rubies, this pendant shows up a dozen red roses any day.

On the Street: Black and White

Black and White is a classic combination
Black and White is a classic combination
This week in our effort to bring you jewelry styles and trends we’ve spotted On the Street, we caught a few young ladies who were enjoying a night out on the town in style. The friend in the middle stepped out wearing the classic combination of black and white. This sophisticated combo is great for a formal event but can also be a good choice for trendy settings.

A great pairing for a black and white ensemble is a pearl necklace. Pearls make your outfit look more formal and are a great choice for the workplace. To mix it up a bit you can select a necklace with both black and white pearls like the lady pictured here. This is a great “going out” look and looks great with your little black dress. A third option is black and white diamonds. Those sparklers would really get you some attention!

No matter what jewelry you choose, the black and white combination is a classic that you’ll be able to wear year after year. The versatility of black and white jewelry make it a “must have” for any jewelry collection.

Ring in the New Year with stylish jewelry

A floral diamond ring is perfect for New Years Eve. Remember everything we said about not “adorning yourself like a Christmas tree” at Christmas parties? Well forget all of that when it comes to outfitting yourself for a New Year’s Eve fete.

Because we Americans tend to ring in the New Year with plenty of excess, allow that idea to carry over into your jewelry for any parties that you might be attending.

If you feel like making yourself sparklier than the ball in Times Square, that’s your prerogative on this special night. (Just don’t let it become a habit in the New Year!)

Plus, planning a glitzy outfit allows you to pile on all of the bangle bracelets, pendant necklaces and diamond earrings that you’ll (cross your fingers) receive on Christmas morning.

If you’re heading to a truly black-tie gala, now is the time to pull out any heirloom emeralds or sapphire necklaces that usually feel too showy for daily wear.

Opt for flashy pieces in silver or platinum for extra shimmer, and of
course include diamonds whenever possible. If you have some especially loud and fabulous jewelry, stick with a basic black dress and black heels which will allow your accessories to stand out.

Chandelier Earrings

Dear Leslie,
I have been noticing chandelier earrings on a lot of Hollywood starlets lately. I am quite enamored of the style and would like to know where I can find a pair and if there are any rules for wearing them?
Deborah in Madison

Chandelier earrings can indeed be seen swaying from the ears of celebrities ranging from Jennifer Lopez to Nicole Kidman to Natalie Portman. These earrings are at once elegant and sexy and can add a touch of glamour to even the most mundane of outfits.

Chandelier Earrings
Best worn with up-swept hair and a low neckline, chandelier earring emphasize the wearer’s neck and shoulders. You can choose from the classic, such as a pearl and diamond pair, to the bohemian, including this enticing pair, in which the luster of the gold is enhanced by the blue topaz beads.

If you are looking for a pair to wear to dressy occasions, I would suggest a pair in yellow gold and diamonds, as they are sure to enliven your outfit and add a sparkle to your face.

For more casual occasions, I would suggest a more colorful combination, such as this ruby and sapphire combo.

Whatever you choose, you are sure to shine.