Can the under-30s set pull off pearls?

All ages look great in pearls. Though most ladies would agree that luminous and iridescent pearls are gorgeous, a lot of women are hesitant to wear the classic jewelry item because they’re not sure how to work them into a modern wardrobe.

But if Betty Draper can pull them off, we think that you can too.
The key with pearls is to just loosen up about them! They may bring to mind images of cocktail parties and corsets, but if you pair them with a causal ensemble they will lend an elegant edge to nearly any outfit.

A pair of pearl earrings with a black t-shirt or a long pearl necklace with a casual blouse will add an understated elegance and refinement to the overall look.

Pearl rings are especially versatile. They look great whether you favor a bohemian vibe or a more classically tailored style.

And, though many ladies hesitate to wear valuable items on a daily basis, traditional wisdom says that oils on your skin will actually protect and improve the appearance of pearls.

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.

Revisited deco designs an up-and-coming trend

Colorful takes on old favorites will be popular.Colorful baubles have been popping up everywhere for the past few weeks, and it seems likely that bright gems and sparkly embellishments will continue to be popular over the next few seasons.

One of our favorite ways to wear the cheerful trend is on deco-inspired pieces, like Chanel’s jewel-encrusted enamel bracelets.

The bangle bracelets feature a Maltese cross design based on the one that the Duke of Vendura designed for Coco Chanel in the 1930s.

Though the specific bracelets might be a little busy looking for some, we love the general idea. The solid, architectural look of vintage pieces gives a little weight to what might otherwise be a superfluous look.

Deco is also traditionally pretty sedate when it comes to colors, so a pop of purple or bright yellow offers a twist on graphic patterns and geometric shapes.

Pair an enamel and gemstone accessory with anything from a cocktail dress to a pair of jeans. It will give your outfit a bright pop of color and a little bit of an edge.

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.

Repurpose mismatched earrings

Don't despair if you loose a favorite earring!You know that sinking feeling you get when you realize that you’ve lost one half of a favorite pair of earrings? Staring at its (now pointless) other half can be torturous, but if you really loved a pair of earrings, there are a few things that you can do with the one that you still have.

Many jewelers will be able to convert the earring into a pin. Large, flat gemstone earrings and even smaller posts might look adorable pinned to the collar of your favorite coat or jacket. And this way the investment you made in the original pair of earrings isn’t totally lost. Plus, there’s something really cool and vintage about pins.

If you like to wear hair clips, flat earrings can be easily attached to barrettes and pins. Sparkling hair accessories are perfect for a night out and look great with curly hair.

Of course, you could be extremely bold and adventurous and wear – wait for it – mismatched earrings. It sounds a little kooky, but we promise that it looks cool. Especially if the earrings are different enough to make your style seem deliberate.

Wedding jewelry is just as fun as engagement rings

Wedding jewelry will be immortalized in wedding pictures. Engagement season is upon us, and though we love oohing and aahing over the latest diamond engagement rings, there’s something even more fun around the corner: wedding jewelry.

Because the accessories that you choose to wear on your wedding day will be forever-immortalized in your wedding photos, it might be wise to choose something classic and timeless over a trendy item that’s right-this-minute.

Traditional pearls are always appropriate – and the demure and delicate necklaces can usually serve as your "something old" or "something borrowed." (Unless you just bought yourself a brand new string of pearls, in which case, more power to you.)

If you’re worried about pearls looking staid or boring, opt for a longer strand or layer a few necklaces together. This look is perfect for romantic-style wedding dresses.

Large rock necklaces, which often boast clear gems, are appropriate for more modern gowns. If you’re going strapless, these statement pieces will draw attention to your neck and collar bone. We love pale pink stones and warm yellow gems against bridal whites.

Let us know what your favorite bridal jewelry ideas are!

Three great jewelry trends of 2009

Pearl necklaces were a big trend in 2009. Since the new year is upon us, now is the perfect time to revisit some of the most popular jewelry trends of 2009. Here are three of our favorites that don’t show any signs of stopping. We’re hopeful that they’ll keep on truckin’ right through 2010.

Chain necklaces. These were incredibly popular this year – and we don’t mean the industrial links that resemble a dog collar. The ones that we favored were delicate and airy, adding a little glamour to every outfit. We like this trend for its versatility. A long chain necklace looks just as appropriate with a t-shirt as it does when you’re dressed for a night on the town. We especially love hammered metals.

Giant baubles. From oversized cocktail rings to gi-normous necklaces, sparkly, flashy pieces were all the rage in 2009. Maybe Americans were indulging their penchant for ostentatious displays of wealth despite (or because of) a shaky economy. Whatever the reason, we’re glad that big jewelry made a comeback. We say, wear your huge pearls and flashy cuff bracelets with pride!

Layered necklaces. We. Love. Layered. Necklaces. Silver or gold, beaded or chained, these necklaces look great on everyone, everywhere all the time.

Think we missed one? Tell us about a jewelry trend that you think should have made our shortlist in the comments below.ADNFCR-2807-ID-19533092-ADNFCR

Turn over a new leaf with simple New Year’s jewelry

Simple pendant necklaces are chic and subtle. New Year’s Eve is the start of the new year, but it also heralds the end of the holiday season. If you have any overly-flashy baubles or sparkling accessories, wear them now or forever hold your piece. (Until next year, at least.)

While you’re reveling in the New Year’s festivities, take a moment to appreciate the holiday that allows you to wear giant cocktail rings, huge glittering earrings and as much silver and gold as your frame can support, without being judged. In fact, an abundance of accessories will probably garner you some compliments on this glorious holiday.

However, after the confetti has been thrown and you’ve had your last sip of champagne, it’s time to tone it down. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, a few subtle accessories are like a breath of fresh air come January 2nd.

In particular, we love a single colored pearl on a slim silver chain, or a very tiny gold locket paired with post earrings. There’s something very sweet and demure about a simple look, and you can’t go wrong with the classics.

Of course, if you were given an amazing diamond ring or a long strand of pearls this Christmas, throw our advice out the window and make your glitzy gift your new signature piece.

Maximize accessories to streamline your wardrobe

Bold bangle bracelets will change the look of your entire ensemble. For many of us, our chock-full closets are packed with clothing items that we seldom wear, but our daily rotation mostly consists of a few tried-and-true favorites.

Because it can be frustrating to cull through drawers of old sweatshirts and racks of jeans that you don’t wear, you might consider cultivating a more stream-lined wardrobe and using accessories like bright necklaces, bold earrings and bangle bracelets to vary your look.

For example, if you own 30 shirts but only really wear 10 of them get rid of the extra clutter and experiment with the tops that you like. Pairing a pearl necklace with a simple black button down creates a completely different look than if the shirt was paired with a colorful beaded necklace.

This approach also leaves you free to invest in accessories that you love, guilt free. A shirt could last a year but a well-made piece of jewelry can last a lifetime.

So what should you do with all of that extra storage space? Use your closet to display purses, necklaces, scarves and bracelets so that you can see all of your options as you get ready in the morning.

Pearls a Great Choice for Wedding Jewelry

Dear Leslie,
I’m getting married in June and need to decide how to accessorize. Should I wear diamonds, gold, pearls? I want something romantic.
Taylor in Savannah

There are many choices today for wedding jewelry today, but pearls still seem to come in at the top. Pearls will always be both classic and classy. Everyone from Jackie Kennedy to Marylin Monroe wore pearls for their wedding. The simple elegance of pearls and their classic associations ensure that they will always be both tasteful, romantic, and stay with you forever.

Whether you decide to pair it with diamonds or a stone that matches the colors of your bridal party, this South Sea Graduated Pearl Necklace, will be the perfect choice for your wedding day.

If you choose your necklace wisely you will be able to wear your pearls not only to your wedding, but also to those of your children and grandchildren!