As a fashion columnist, style blogger and jewelry buyer, its my job to know whats hot each season, and whats destined for storage (or Goodwill). The fall 2007 season is no exception, and it promises to be an exciting one fashion-wise. Ive talked with accessories editors, walked endlessly around wholesale jewelry shows in New York, scoured falls top fashion magazines, and read dozens of influential fashion blogs. The result? A wealth of information that Ive distilled down to five must-have jewelry looks for fall. Some trends, like pearls, are carryovers from other seasons that are still going strong. If you dont already own pearl jewelry, invest in some decent pieces; when it comes to the classics, you cant go wrong buying quality jewelry. Others trends are new, which means you can have fun shopping for and experimenting with different stylesbut dont spend a fortune unless the trend has major staying power or you absolutely love it.
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Chunky, bold pieces: Big hardware and bold finishings are all the rage for jewelry this fall. Statement-making pieces, such as oversize cocktail rings, cuffs with metallic details, chunky Lucite bracelets, necklaces with feathers, enamel brooches and gobstopper-size mother-of-pearl necklaces, all complement key fall 2007 looks, including menswear-inspired fashions, bold, geometric prints and patent leather. A word of caution: Splurge here only when the piece in question is jewelry you cant live without. Pieces with big personalities arent always in style, and the feather look certainly wont have major staying power. Keep in mind that for every designer jewelry style with a Rodeo Drive price tag, there are plenty of high-quality affordable pieces that are just as pretty.
Jeweled watches: A watch with ultra-feminine details, like diamonds or pearls on the face or a delicate wristband, is a terrific contrast to the seasons tailored menswear look. The juxtaposition of the masculine with the femininea slim watch with a mans tuxedo jacket, say, is very sexy. But avoid pairing a menswear-inspired look with a mans watch. Too much of a good thing is overkill. And spend wisely here: There are many excellent watches that will set you back thousandsfine if you can afford the investmentbut you can also get a durable pearl watch or CZ-encrusted watch for under $100.
Long chain and pearl necklaces: One style that hasnt lost its appeal due to its unerring ability to ratchet any outfit up a notch is the layered necklace trend. All over the runways and fashion magazines, long chains with gemstones or pearls, when paired with shorter pendants or pearl strands, draw the eye up and down the outfit and really pull a look together. Experiment with different lengths, depending on your stature and your outfits details; multiple length chains go especially well with falls paper bag waists and drop waists but not so great with fussy necklines (some of this seasons styles sport big, floppy bows at the neck). Consider adding at least one chain with pearls or a strand of pearls. This fall, the pulled together, ladylike look is back with a vengeance. Think gloves, hats and tailored silhouettesall pearl-friendly styles.
Stackable bangles: Wide or thin, silver or gold, the more bangles you can stack on your arms, the better. For interest, pair different sizes and different metals or materials (Lucite and wood cuffs are hot), with contrasting shapes and styles, like thin silver or gold. If you cant get away with wearing stackable bangles, (the jangles get on your co-workers nerves, for example) a single bold cuff is a sexy alternative. Patent leather and gemstone styles are popular right now. You can spend a lot or a little here: Cuffs and bangles go in and out of style, but have enough staying power to warrant collecting them for future trends.
Big hoop earrings: Chances are, you already have a pair of oversize hoop earrings in your jewelry box. If so, its time to break them out. Big hoop earrings are great with falls geometric patterns; theyre about the only jewelry you can wear that wont compete or overpower some of todays bold styles. If youre going to rock out with the seasons little black leather jacket or patent leather look, plain silver or gold hoop earrings keep the look simple. Simple hoops are also great when the rest of your outfit sports this seasons feather, fringe or fur detailing. If youre going a little more subtle in your outfit, hoops with gemstones look sweet and add interest. Carnelian hoops, aventurine hoops and pearl hoops are feminine and fun. The skys the limit here; you can get hoops for as little as a few bucks, or you can spend thousands. Just make sure theyre not too heavy or your piercings will get irreparably stretched out. Ouch!
Now that you know what look is hot this fall, go forth and shop! But keep in mind that some styles have gone the way of 80s legwarmers. These looks are over. Give them away or store them in the event of a future comeback:
Pendants with the wearers initials
Oversize chain jewelry with designer logos (aka bling)
Stackable rubber bangles