Posts Categorized: jewelry

This Week I Love …

Already Pretty outfit featuring Kokoon burnout top, silk cargo crops, snakeskin pumps, Kali Butterfly necklace

… long pendant necklaces.

It all started with the Kali Butterfly necklace you see above, bought on impulse at her booth at a Chicago craft fair. I’d admired her work for YEARS over on Etsy, but just never ponied up for a piece. I actually bought this one because it was the most affordable option there, wondering if I’d get any use out of it at all. Color me surprised when it quickly became one of my favorite necklaces, and sparked an interest in finding and wearing longer pendants.

I feel like my long pendants are a little funkier and artier than my shorter necklaces. They definitely lend themselves to trendy layering, and they offer a great way to draw the eye up and down your figure.

Here are some long pendants that have caught my eye of late:

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Song Yee Geode Necklace – $41

I have a number of pieces from Song Yee’s shop, and adore them all, including the green/pink version of this little guy. You can customize chain length on nearly all of her necklaces and I opted for 30″ which puts it a bit above navel level for me. This pendant looks great on its own but also layers well with others.

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Baublebar Paleolithic Pendant – $32

This would be so simple for someone with a jewelry-making bent and the appropriate tools to whip up themselves, but since I only have a set of needlenose pliers and some fishing line on hand most days I’m inclined to shell out. This necklace has a 34″ chain, so nice and long, and also comes in white stone.

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Altered Ever After Smashed Cap Assemblage Necklace – $28

The long pendant you see in this outfit post was created at the Altered Ever After booth at a local art fair. I misplaced their business card for ages, but finally found it! At the art fair they had bins of charms and you paid by the piece to create your own. They’re selling a few items thought this Etsy storefront, including individual charms and the ball chains to string them on. But you can also opt for these pre-assembled themed charm collections.

 

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Kendra Scott Rayne Stone Tassel Pendant Necklace – $80

Ya know, I don’t consider my style to be terribly Boho but I am really drawn to long, fringe-y, Boho-influenced necklaces like this one. How fun would this be with a simple black tee, boyfriend jeans, and a great pair of sandals? I love this slate cateye version, but it also comes in gold metal and a variety of colors including pink, turquoise, black, yellow, and purple.

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Foxy Originals Chevron Necklace – $55

Not the best photo for giving you an idea of overall length and scale, but with a 32″ chain and 2.25″ long pendant, this necklace should be wonderfully long and have fabulous movement. Also great for those who love mixed metals with gold, gunmetal, and brass all in one.

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Lively Leaf Designs Recycled Tire Pendant – $28.25

This gorgeous pendant is 4.125″ long and strung on a 30″ chain. And in addition to being eye-catching and unique, it’s made from recycled tires. Yeah. You should totally check out the whole Lively Leaf store. Melissa does amazing things with old bike tires and inner tubes, including a shorter, smaller version of this very necklace.

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Beaded Birdcage Pendant – $12

I know this one is a little on the twee side, but I just cannot resist the “something inside” style of pendant for some reason. I’ve got a teardrop-shaped gunmetal pendant full of sparkly crystals, and I just think it’s so spiffy. (So do that cats. “Something inside” can also translate to “cat toy.” But I digress.) This tiny birdcage hangs on a 34″ chain, so marvelously long.

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Sara Bella Multistrand Disc Pendant Necklace – $48

Such a great option for someone who loves the layered look but doesn’t want to bother with the sometimes-fussy process of getting the layers just right. Still qualifies as a pendant in my book since there are at least four charms in the mix. This black/gold combo is my fave, but also comes in blue, cream, green, and orange variations.

Anyone else loving the look of long pendants? If you have any in your collection, where did you get them? Any other designers or resources to share?

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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This Week I Love …

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… mid-sized studs.

I’ve written before about my love for studs, and how my shift to short hair has put me in the small-earring/big-necklace camp. But I do feel like my tiny studs get lost at times and gravitate towards my mid-sized options. Truly big post-back earrings feel a little 80s to me – at least ON me – but something between an itty-bitty prong-set gem and a silver-dollar-sized half-dome feels just right. Here are a few mid-sized stud earrings that have caught my eye recently:

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Gorjana Fox Studs – $30

Even if the whole fox-print trend is mostly over, I still adore these. Because I adore foxes as animals and love being told that I’m foxy. At 1/2″ long and 3/8″ wide, these are right in that mid-sized window. In fact, they hail from Piperlime, a site that is considerate enough to include mock-up images showing you how large earrings will be when worn. LOVE that.

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Vince Camuto Silver-Tone Pyramid Studs – $20

I have a pair that’s almost identical to these, purchased from Urban Outfitters about five years ago, and they are among my most-worn earrings. They add just the right amount of subtle toughness to my outfits. This pair is 3/4″ in diameter and also comes in gold-tone, and here’s a similar pair in rose gold. (Also love this triangular variation.)

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Ombre Triplet Studs – $26

At 1/4″ diameter, these are the smallest of the night, but still a bit chunkier than your typical single-stone, prong-set gem stud. I often find multicolored earrings a bit tricky to style, but the two tones of teal are gorgeous together and the gray is neutral, so I think these would be quite versatile. They’re also available in a pale pink/clear/gunmetal mix. Baublebar also includes images showing how large earrings will be on an actual ear.

kendra scott dira earrings

Kendra Scott Dira Studs – $50

I’m lusting after these, friends. With that lovely openwork design, these studs strike a perfect balance between chunky and delicate. They’re spendy, but could be worn with everything from jeans and a tee to a sparkly cocktail dress. And they come in silver, too! Click through to see them on a model. SO pretty.

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Crystal Varnish Studs – $24

My pave studs are also worn quite frequently, as I find them to be a little more modern and edgy than straight-up CZ studs but also incredibly versatile. This pair is 1/2″ in diameter, so pretty chunky but not gigantic. And they’re also available in gold-tone. (If the plain pyramids bore you, check out these pave pyramid studs!)

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Marc by Marc Jacobs Embellished Studs – $29.99

Although these aren’t mixed metal exactly, the cool tones of the silver and the warm tones of the gems give them a mixed feel. The organic, subtly sparkly design makes them eye-catching, but a perfectly mid-sized 3/8″ diameter means they’re not too over-the-top.

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Bonnie Jonas Nail Head Stud – $16

Minimalists, this one’s for you. I think these pared-down studs with their simple slash are totally gorgeous, and at 3/8″ wide they’re chunky enough to be noticeable. Can’t beat that price, too. They’d be perfect with a funky weekend outfit or sleek workweek ensemble. Also available in goldtone.

Anyone else out there prefer a non-tiny, non-gigantic, mid-sized stud? Got any sources to share? I’d be willing to bet some of you make your own. What are your favorite design tips and preferred materials?

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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Stealth Personality

By Cassie, Already Pretty Contributor

Wearing an outfit that I think expresses something about who I am and what I like can make an enormous difference to my mood and self esteem. But on weekdays, I’ve long been confined to an office environment, and offices equal my least favourite dress code of all time – the dreaded “smart casual.”

Maybe “smart casual” works for you, but I’m not a “smart casual” kind of person. I’m a little bit weird, and I like geeky things, and I’m a relatively unfashionable shape – to quote Tori Amos, I’m anchovies and “smart casual” is tuna. Unfortunately, looking like tuna when you’re really anchovies is one of the things you get paid for in an office job.

Apart from the limitations my employer’s expectations put on my wardrobe, I’ve also long had a little problem with money – as in, not nearly enough of it. A bright skirt or bold patterned dress are an awesome way to spruce up your office wardrobe, but the thing about attention-grabbing pieces is that people notice if you wear them all the time. My budget for clothes often doesn’t extend beyond a couple of skirts and an assortment of shirts, so I tend to pick things I can wear over and over without it being completely obvious. Which is to say my work wardrobe has ended up very functional, but ultimately very, very dull.  I’m sure I’m not the only one to end up backed into this bland little corner of affordable plain skirts and interchangeable tops; not only is it boring, it’s actually kind of depressing after a while.

Lucky for you guys, I’ve decided to share my two favourite ways to inject some personality into my workday wardrobe easily and economically.

Indie Eye Shadow

I’m sure you’ve seen a million other places that a pop of colour in your eye shadow is a great way to lift an outfit, and I entirely agree. However, it took me a long time to figure out how to incorporate a pop of colour without making it look like I’d been popped in the eye. I’m currently nursing a deep obsession with indie loose eye shadows, a formerly tiny market that has really exploded over the last couple of years. The colours available are just incredible, and there is almost endless variety on the market. These are a very small sample of my exponentially expanding collection.

Indie Swatches

Indies in Pots

Clockwise from top right, these are Shiro Cosmetics in Nic Cage Raking Leaves on a Brisk October Afternoon; Femme Fatale Cosmetics in Wavemender; Femme Fatale Cosmetics in Dreamstate and Shiro Cosmetics in Lingered in Twilight

I’ve also found indie eye shadows to be much more pigmented than your average mainstream offerings. There are similar products available from companies like MAC, but I just don’t have the budget to throw down for a full tub of an eye shadow I might not even like in the end. Almost all the indie eye shadow makers I’ve come across offer sample sizes (Spectrum Cosmetics, Shiro Cosmetics and Femme Fatale Cosmetics all offer three different sizes), so you can try them out before you commit to a full size container. Heck, you might not ever even NEED a full size container, considering how far these products go. Because they’re so pigmented, they’re not only quite economical but also really versatile. You can use a heavy hand and create a really attention getting look, or just the merest whisper and it will still make your eyes sparkle. If you mix them with foiling medium, you can also use them as liquid eyeliner.

Blue Eye

Brown Eye

But the colours are only part of why I’m so obsessed with indie eye shadows at the moment. Companies like Geek Chic Cosmetics and Shiro Cosmetics have discovered an even more direct route to my wallet; by making beautiful products that are also inspired by some of my favourite books, TV shows, and movies. Maybe I’m a sucker, but if you make a series of eyeshadows inspired by The Neverending Story, or The Hobbit, or the infamous Windows error BSOD I AM going to buy them. I get such an illicit, childish thrill out of wearing Gollum green eyeshadow to work, where I’m supposed to be professional and bland and boring.

Handmade jewelry

If you’ve spent any time at all on Etsy, you’ll already know handmade jewellery can be a real crapshoot. For every stunning piece, there is something that looks like my cat coughed it up being sold for a ludicrous amount of money. But if you can find the good stuff, it’s so very VERY good. You would be surprised at how unusual a necklace you can get away with in the average office – people will notice that you’re wearing jewellery, but not necessarily that, for example, your pretty silver locket actually has an anatomical model of a heart on it. I get the same illicit thrill out of “getting away” with pieces like this at work as I do with fandom-inspired eye shadow. It feels like I’m sneaking a little bit of me into an environment where I’m supposed to be totally interchangeable, and that feels fantastic.

If you’re as amused by anatomical illustrations as I am, The Spangled Maker might be just your style. Their work is very heavily influenced by Victorian illustrations and surrealism, and while some of the larger pieces would probably be pushing it, I think you could get away with the brain cuff links just about anywhere.

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There is also an Australian artist who trades under the name Jubly-Umph, who does some incredible rockabilly, tattoo inspired jewellery. They’re all resin on stainless steel, so while they look fragile they’re actually very durable and totally waterproof.

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The thing I really love about Jubly-Umph’s pieces is that they’re all created from her own original drawings. She sells prints of these drawings, as well as cardigan clips, handbags, and earrings all based on her artworks. I have the anatomical heart and the Dia Dos Muertos fox head pendant, and I get compliments every single time I wear them.

If your taste runs a little more conservative, there is another Australian creator I like a lot who sells from a shop called Planet Pickle. They do hand-crafted sterling silver and gold jewellery, and their designs are small and simple enough to pass unnoticed most of the time. While less bold than some of the larger pieces from The Spangled Maker or Jubly-Umph,  they are definitely unique and have a lot of personality. There are also pieces available in silver plated versions, for those of us not on a sterling silver budget.

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 What’s your favourite way of sneaking a little personality into your work wardrobe? Are you a scarf person, or the one with the cool hair clips? Are you allowed to wear whatever you want? Are you entirely confined within a strict uniform? I’d love to hear how you express yourselves in the workplace.

Image credits: Author’s own photos of Femme Fatale Cosmetics and Shiro Cosmetics loose eyeshadows, promotional product images courtesy of The Spangled Maker Etsy Store, promotional product images sourced from the Jubly-Umph website, promotional product images sourced from the Planet Pickle Etsy store

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The author of Reluctant Femme, Cassie is a queer thirty something Australian who thinks too much, reads too much, talks too much, and has way too many pretty things. Her writing revolves around an exploration of femme concepts, beauty products, feminism, and how they intersect with being a queer, poly, cisgender woman with fantastic nails. You can catch up with her in shorter bursts on Twitter as @anwyn, and see endless pictures of her nails on Instagram as @anwynincognito. She lives for comments, so if you’re reading by all means speak up! Even if you think she’s full of crap, she always likes to hear feedback.

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