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.

Fashion Advice From: Baristas

Yes, even coffee has style
Yes, even coffee has style
Baristas. They see us bleary eyed in the morning, or bleary eyed staring into our identical macbooks all afternoon. But rest assured, they see much more than that.

I recently had a chat about fashion with Sal, 31, Barista at Jumpin Java cafe in San Francisco.

Here’s what he had to say:

You see a lot of people come through here, what styles are you loving right now?
Truthfully, style is all in the attitude. I can see two people come in wearing essentially the same things, but one person just owns it. That’s the secret, you just gotta own it. Other than that, bright colors are popping back out as we get closer to spring, and I love that.

Do you get to show off your own style at work, and what would you call it?
I call it the IceBreaker. I tend to refashion a lot of clothes I find in my own way, and that can be a great conversation starter, even early in the morning, before people have had their coffee.

Who have been your fashion Inspirations?
Mostly? Vivanne Westwood and Alexander McQueen. Vivianne saw that great punk-rock aesthetic of the 1970’s and took it to the mainstream in a way that was fun and irreverent, but still demanded to be taken seriously. And McQueen was just so inventive. He’d take these traditional patterns and just blow them out and animate them in a way that was so freeing. I’ve learned a lot of the two of them.

What do you think is the best way to incorporate a great piece of jewelry into a fabulous outfit?
Oh honey, when you have a great piece of jewelry, you build your outfit around THAT, not the other way around. Seriously, in my world, jewelry always comes first.

Ok, what kinds of jewelry do you see that are really hot right now?
In a word? Pearls. When I was growing up, pearls were for nice girls and grandmothers, but I’ve really seem them get a total makeover the past while. Particularly colored pearls. These gorgeous young women are coming in with green pearls, pink pearls, purple pearls and totally turning heads. All of a sudden pearls are fun and fresh and funky like they never were before. Who knew?

On the Street: Classy Multiple Strand Pearl Necklace

Classy Multiple Strand Pearl Necklace
Classy Multiple Strand Pearl Necklace
I was recently out and about at a charity art auction and spotted the women pictured here and her great outfit. I spoke to her and she said that she bought her dress at a local thrift shop! Can you imagine? That dress was such a find! Even though she’s already super skinny, the dress fits her well because the waistline rests right at her thinnest area. The way the dress gathers at the waist poofs out the dress a bit and hides any hippy imperfections she might have. The clingly black top is also very slimming. The hemline accentuates her long legs. It’s a great look!

She pairs this classy look with a multiple stand pearl necklace with a dramatically large clasp. It’s a great way to add presence to a relatively simple ensemble. A pearl ring is a great way to complete the look. While pearls are relatively delicate gems and needs special care, they make for really unique rings.

Of course, you don’t have to stick to a traditional white pearl necklace. Dusky and dramatic, black pearls are the perfect look for someone who craves opulence and intrigue. Black pearl jewelry is a great addition to you jewelry collection. It’s perfect for an evening out!

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.

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.

Sex and the City 2 boasts some serious bling

What does your jewelry say about your personality?When it comes to fashion, the ladies of Sex and the City haven’t disappointed us yet. And from the trailers circulating online, it looks like our favorite foursome will return to the big screen looking better than ever.

We love how the franchise has consistently used jewelry to express the characters’ personalities. Bear with us here: Prim and proper Charlotte is almost never without her pearls. Miranda, a successful attorney, is always sporting edgy earrings with her power suits. Carrie, whose search for self (and a significant other) is central to the show, usually wears her gold "Carrie" necklace, and Samantha, who perhaps of all the ladies most perfectly embodies the city, is usually parading around in architectural accessories like swanky deco bracelets and sculptural cuffs.

In the latest film, the girls look the same as always – only better. The sequel takes Carrie and company to Morocco for a lavish vacation), which of course gives them an excuse to pull out all of the fashion-stops. From turbans to chunky necklaces, Carrie just won’t quit.

Fans of the series can take inspiration from the characters and seek out signature pieces that fit with who their personality, which may garner some to say "That’s such a Samantha thing to wear."ADNFCR-2807-ID-19529440-ADNFCR

Layered necklaces are the perfect last minute Christmas gift

Layered necklaces are the perfect Christmas gift. If you still haven’t started Christmas shopping, now is probably a good time to panic. Anyone who has put the inevitable, stress-fueled spending spree off until now is either an adrenaline junkie or a masochist.

But, before you spend the evening frantically shopping, we have a recommendation for the ladies on your list: layered necklaces.

These trendy and elegant necklaces are extremely popular right now, but they have been around for a while, which means that they won’t be outdated faster than you can wrap them. And though they might be a last-minute gift, they don’t have that I-didn’t-know-what-to-get-you-so-here’s-a-lime-green-scarf vibe.

For young and hip girls, opt for a long, chunky layered necklace. Look for one in a unique or funky material, like rose-plated gold, bronze or copper, or search for a piece that combines silver and gold – not only do they look great, but they’ll match the rest of the recipient’s jewelry, too.

Women with conservative tastes might prefer a more subtle layered necklace. A few strands of silver or gold will be the perfect way to update their wardrobe. And a delicate accessory that dresses up a look is always appreciated.