A few weeks ago, when I was with a friend whose daughter was starting kindergarten, I was reminded that I’ve always loved “back to school shopping.” While we were checking off her list — friendship bracelets, pink tops, a Hello Kitty lunch box and colorful composition books–it evoked the smell of freshly sharpened pencils, the newness of the change of seasons, and that, during this time of year, I still search out the perfect pieces of jewelry, sweaters, handbags and even notebooks. For as long as I can remember, I’ve anticipated the first nip in the fall air so I can wear my brand new clothes and accessories.
My niece, who just started high school called before Labor Day and excitedly described her shopping spree– jeggings, skinny cargo pants and ultra long cardigans and her wood bead and charm bracelets that “go all the way up her arm” Her enthusiasm had me waxing nostalgic for my own youth: the dual function of Angora sweaters: super soft and pretty in pale colors (minus the little fluff balls that would fly around and tickle my nose), they also always made my breasts look way larger and proved to be a real boy magnet in junior high.
While I’ve switched from Angora to cashmere which reveals my true B cup, many of the trends I owned back then return a big way this season, like the revival of clogs, which I had in every color. My jewelry styles of choice were large stone rings (moonstone– a favorite), long magnifying glass pendants and ethnic cuff bracelets. Similar pieces have become the popular looks to work with the more covered up styles of fall/winter 2010 fashion. Happily this gives jewelry lovers like me more options than usual to wear with long sleeves, higher necks and sweaters.
-Pendants on ultra long chains can be draped over a belted cashmere tunic or on a lighter weight turtleneck layered under a chunkier long cardigan or three-quarter length sweater coat worn open. Some great finds in this look– Moritz Glik’s sapphire crystal with blackened silver overlay and diamonds, Dawes Design’s rock crystal pendants that have the look of a magnifying glass, Melissa Joy Manning’s amulet style drops in every gem you can think of, Leslie Greene’s irregular cuts stones in rutilated quartz, Megan Thorne’s cabochons with delicate swirls of fabric like trim and Laurie Kaiser’s drusy pieces sprouting with floral blooms. All of these longer pendants work to add femininity or personalize this season’s menswear looks as well.
-Wide bracelets in every material imaginable also work with fall fashion: wrap a leather style over the wrist of any long sleeve, especially those that have a hint of sparkle such as Mizuki’s black leather and black diamond wrapped leather cuffs or Emily Armenta’s brown leather with gemstones and diamond motifs. There is also a return of bakelite and some of the best of these looks come from Mark Davis when accented by insets of round gold bezels with tiny colored faceted stones. Bochic also does a great job with Bakelite with blackened silver and diamonds and Monique Pean’s buffalo horn provides another alternative to the more precious materials usually associated with fine jewelry.
-This is also the year to pull out those hand me down Brooches that have been sitting in your jewelry box. Or go for an antique look: Bernard Nacht & Company has some beautiful pieces from Victorian through Art Nouveau and Art Deco to attach to a wide ribbon and wear tied around your wrist to create your own wrap around bracelet style or try the same brooch on a long piece of suede to create a one of a kind belt. You can also fasten the larger styles to a cashmere shawl or scatter a mix smaller versions on the top left or right hand side of a cardigan or simple dress or on the pocket of a suit jacket. Anywhere but the expected lapel.
-Statement rings can definitely be worn year round and in fall, its a perfect time to go with rough or refined stones. Moonstone in blue or rainbow cabochons look great in simple and more detailed styling such as Pippa Small’s hand cut versions or Temple St. Clair’s bold yet elegant looks. Suzanne Kalan’s confetti of stones is also a great style when searching for a larger stand out ring and Cathy Waterman’s gemstone styles are natural beauties in refined settings but hold their own when worn with many of this fall’s fashions.
So as you feel the first crisp breeze of fall brush your bare skin, throw on a sweater and head to your favorite jewelry store to invest in some old school turned new school designs.