I have moved my website and blog to:
Please visit that site to get all my cool jewelry organizing, styling, and curating tips, tricks and ideas!
I have moved my website and blog to:
Please visit that site to get all my cool jewelry organizing, styling, and curating tips, tricks and ideas!
Sometimes when we get so close to something we forget how others see things. This brings me to the topic of what I call ‘Myths About Vintage Jewelry”. So, today I thought I would address some of the questions I get from people regarding vintage jewelry condition and how to wear it.
Here’s my list of the top myths regarding vintage jewelry:
1. Vintage jewelry is dirty. Okay, it can be dirty. And sticky and well, icky. But, you can easily clean vintage costume jewelry. The best way to clean it is in an Ultra Sonic cleaner. A good, small one runs about $60. Check out some ultra sonic cleaners over on JewelrySupply here. You can also use warm water and mild soap and an old toothbrush. Rinse thoroughly, dry it off as best you can and then set it on a terry cloth towel for a few hours or over night so it can dry completely. Like any second hand or found object sometimes things need a little love and attention. I also want to share that I clean ALL the jewelry I sell to make sure that it is clean, shiny, sparkly and feels nice to the hand. So, that way when you buy it, it’s clean and ready to wear.2. Vintage jewelry is broken. Yes, this is another one that can be true. However, most of the jewelry I find is in perfectly good working order. Often times women discard jewelry because their taste has changed or its out of style. I like to come in and rescue the well made pieces that are timeless or iconic of a particular era or decade. I take great joy in assessing a piece of jewelry and saying “Oh that’s so 70s and Studio 54!”, or “Doesn’t this look just like something the Betty Draper character of MadMen would have worn in the early episodes?” Occasionally I find a piece that needs a repair, but I love to fix things and make them wearable again. It seems so senseless to discard something because it needs a clasp or a couple of rhinestones.And the other thing to consider, when you buy vintage jewelry you’re being green and keeping things in use and out of land fills.3. Vintage Jewelry is old. Old is good in my book. That saying, “they just don’t make them like they used to” applies here. Vintage costume jewelry was well made. Did you know the most of the US costume jewelry manufacturers were based in Providence Rhode Island? They employed skill artisans and designers and looked to fine jewelry and couture fashion trends for inspiration. Many of these pieces were triple plated and that’s why they hold up so well. And let me ask you this: Do you have antique or vintage home furnishings or decorative accessories in your home? If you do, than think about how including a few vintage jewelry pieces in your wardrobe in the same way that your add antiques and vintage when you decorate your home. Mixing old and new in home furnishings is considered a very good way to decorate and allows your to truly put your personal stamp on your home and reflect your taste and style. The same strategy applies to including vintage jewelry in your wardrobe. A few well selected pieces will compliment both your costume and/or fine jewelry. When your friends and family visit your home I bet they gravitate more to your antique and vintage furniture and home decorative accessories than they do to say, your IKEA furniture. Questions like, “Hey this bar cart is really cool, where did you find that?” or “I love this mid mod mirror, where did you get it?”. It’s the same with vintage jewelry. People will ask similar questions. And you will get compliments regarding how you put together your wardrobe and how you have such great style. It’s because you have a nice outfit that is complimented with interesting and complimentary jewelry that reflects your style and makes you feel good. I read and interview with Burberry designer, Christopher Bailey,a few years ago and in it he talked about how he likes to design pieces for the collection that give the feeling of being previously owned. He likes that things look like they have a little bit of history whether it be a scarf or a leather jacket. I agree with Christopher! For example, the juxtaposition of a piece of vintage jewelry with a bit of patina against a silk satin jewel tone blouse or dress is really great.
4. Vintage Jewelry is outdated and out of style. Good style is always IN style. Good stuff goes with good stuff. Fashion is cyclical and trends come and go. Almost everything comes back in style at some point. Fashion typically runs in a 20ish year cycle. So, the next hot collectible is the late 1980s and early 90s jewelry. In fact I just did a blog post on why costume jewelry of this era is back, check it out here. There are certain pieces of jewelry that are timeless. For example a gold chain necklace, hoop earrings, simple bangles. Depending on your style, you should have some pieces of jewelry you love, that make you feel good and happy when your wear them. As your taste evolves or changes you can store pieces that you love, or donate those that no longer feel excited about. The great thing about vintage jewelry is that it can enhance your existing jewelry and help create the effect, vibe or feeling you want to achieve for a particular outfit. Or maybe you just saw a period movie, say the Great Gatsby and you want to bring a little touch of Art Deco into your wardrobe for the holidays. Vintage is a great way to go because you can get authentic piece, that is well made and most likely a better value than anything brand new.
5. Vintage Jewelry is cheaply or poorly made. A lot of vintage costume jewelry was well made. In fact today’s costume jewelry designers, for example Stella & Dot, actively search flea markets for vintage pieces because they were well made. Exceptional clasps, settings, color combinations. prong set rhinestones. linking structures, triple plating and quality of stones are all details that make a good piece of jewelry. There are some brands that are nicer than others, but you can learn to look for key details that I mentioned above. Just make sure that when you are considering buying a a piece that you love it, and you will wear it (at least occasionally!) and that you are paying a fair price for it. Almost always a vintage piece of costume jewelry will be better made and better priced than a brand new piece of costume jewelry. Even high end costume jewelry from collectible brands such as Chanel will almost always be less expensive than a brand new piece.
6. If I wear vintage jewelry I have to dress head to toe in vintage clothing from that time period. Um, no. And please, never take this approach to getting dressed unless it’s Halloween or you are an actor in a movie.
The most modern and contemporary way to wear vintage jewelry is to mix it. This means mixing high/low or fine/costume. I need to reference the home decor example from earlier. Collect and buy jewelry with the same approach that you would take is decorating your living room. Mixing in a few vintage or antique pieces will elevate the whole look or in the case of clothing, your entire outfit. In order to create and enhance your own style you will most likely want to select items and pieces that you love, that compliment and flatter you and your clothing. It’s great to have a good variety of pieces that work well on their own or mixed in a suite. For example 2 or 3 necklaces that work well together or on their own. Again with vintage you will have lots of great choices at a good price to help you really assemble and curate a terrific jewelry wardrobe that makes you feel and look great.
Did I debunk any myths regarding vintage jewelry that have ever crossed your mind? If so, I would love to hear them. Or did I miss a concern that you have about vintage jewelry? Email me here.
I am so proud to share the fact that Susan Jane is marking 10 years in business! It has been a great ride and so much fun to help women all over the world find just the right piece of jewelry! When I started Susan Jane in late 2004, my big client was kate spade! I was beyond thrilled to sell my one of a kind, charm bracelets in their USA and Japan stores. I was their number 1 jewelry vendor for 2 years! Next I started my own on line store and quickly realized that women not only wanted one of kind, reconstructed vintage jewelry charm bracelets, they also wanted cool, vintage jewelry from the 1940s to the early 1990s. So, I started showing those pieces as well. It sure is fun to find gorgeous vintage jewelry and most rewarding to help women accessorize and personalize their wardrobes with jewelry! A big thank you to all of my customers for your support and interest these past 10 years!! Here’s a quick look back at some of my best press!
San Francisco Chronicle Fall Fashion Magazine 2004. Vintage jewelry charm bracelet (shown here as a necklace) adorns the model on the cover.
Vintage jewelry charm bracelet makes the kate spade Holiday mailer, back cover, 2006!
A few examples of the charm bracelets I designed for kate spade. You can shop similar bracelets here.
WWD Accessories July 2007. One my very first velvet covered cuff bracelets is shown in this editorial
InStyle Weddings Winter 2007. Editorial regarding “Vintage Chic”, features a vintage jewelry, embellished cuff bracelet. Check out the latest wedding cuffs here
Gold fever anyone? Just a few of the fabulous jewels I found recently!! You can shop some of these in the on line store here.
What topics, jewelry dilemmas, or questions do you have? What would you like to learn more about regarding jewelry and accessories? I would love to hear your suggestions and ideas! Leave a comment below, or email me at:
Get ready for the Holiday Party Season! Look your best and be party ready and party pretty with this easy holiday party wardrobe guide!
It’s the holiday party season! The most magical time of the year! The time to connect with friends, family, co-workers and clients to celebrate good tidings, holidays and the New Year. Now that you have your invitations that typically include:
• cocktail parties
• dinner parties
• office party
• team dinner
• New Years Eve party
• Christmas Eve gathering
• Christmas Day gathering
• drinks out with girlfriends
• client party
Your next question is: what are you going wear? Does deciding what to wear to your holiday parties sound anything like these 3 scenarios?
1. Scrambling at the last minute to find one or all of the following:
• Where’s my black velvet clutch?
• I was sure had the perfect shoes for this outfit, where are they?
• Didn’t I buy an amazing slinky halter top on sale last Dec.?
• I keep all my black pants together, where are my black, velvet cigarette pants?
• What coat am I going to wear? My sporty down jacket doesn’t compliment my dress! Ugh!
2. You located all the items you want to wear only discover that one or more of the items has an issue:
• Black patent heels need new heel tips!
• Holiday blouse is soiled and needs to be dry cleaned!
• You’ve gained or lost weight and your dress doesn’t fit!
• Your jewelry is dated and doesn’t work with your outfit!
3. Because you got unexpectedly side tracked due to the fact that you could not find an item that is key to your outfit, you had to substitute with something else. Now you’re stressed because you’re late and don’t feel that good about your outfit.
With this simple “holiday party look or outfit” guide you can avoid:
• Stressing about putting together a last minute outfit
• Not being punctual to the party
• Being frazzled upon arrival to your event
• Not feeling comfortable or good about your outfit
• Rushing out at the last minute to buy a “party” piece of clothing or accessory, only to discover later, that you already own a similar item, or that it really wasn’t the best choice
The bottom line is: Every woman, no matter her age wants to look nice, and have an outfit that is appropriate, flattering , comfortable, well assembled and put together. Here is my guide to help you feel well dressed and looking your best during the busy holiday party season! Be party ready and party pretty with these easy steps!
2. Schedule an hour or 2 at least 1 week in advance of your first party, depending on how extensive your party schedule is and go to your closet and plan out each outfit for each party, head to toe, including handbag, undergarments, and coat or wrap. You must try everything on to make sure the fit and look will work. This exercise will benefit you because:
* You will have time to locate, change up, repair or buy any items needed to complete your outfit.
* Reveal if something has an issue such as:
• Shoes: need polishing or repair
• Blouse or dress: needs cleaning, repair or a button is missing
* Identify if an article of clothing or accessory is ill fitting or worn out and needs to be replaced or substituted. Examples include:
• Blouse, pants, skirt or dress doesn’t fit or is worn out
• Handbag, shoes or jewelry is broken or not worth repairing
• This will give you time to access if you can substitute with another item you already own or if you need to shop for a new one.
• If you need to buy an item, make a list of exactly what you need. This way you can shop on line, at the mall or drop by your local boutiques to find just the right pieces in your budget. Again this will save your time and money and prevent a desperate, last minute purchase on something that you don’t really love, need or is way over your budget.
• If you need to have something cleaned or repaired, put those items in a shopping bag and drop them off at the tailor, dry cleaners, shoe repair or jeweler. Even if things won’t be ready for your party you can still get them remedied for events down the road.
3. As you confirm each outfit for each event, make a list of ALL the items for that “look”. Ask a friend or family member to take a photo of you, on your cell phone, in the outfit or lay the items out on your bed, and photograph it that way. So, this is kind like organizing “looks” for a fashion show. And aren’t you worth a little planning and prepping a la Dolce & Gabbana? My favorite episode of Sex and the City is the one with the fashion show, called “The Real Me”! In it, Carrie is modeling clothing for Dolce & Gabbana in a big fashion show and at the last minute they change her outfit to skimpy, jeweled panties and bra top with a cut away coat! If you have not seen it you can buy it here or find it on YouTube!
4. Make a simple hang tag or take a piece of paper and cut a hole in a corner and label that main article of clothing (dress, or blouse and pants) with the date and name of the party, each article of clothing /accessories for that party and slide the hole over the hook of the hanger so the look is labeled or tagged. For example:
5. Clear a section in your closet that is your “party place”. Hang and organize the “looks” by date, left to right, or choose an order or system that makes sense for you. Line up the shoes and accessories on a nearby shelf, or in a bin on the floor below the “looks”. You can put jewelry and clutches in a zip lock bag and shoes in a plastic bag if you are pinched for space to help protect everything.
6. It may be that you will use one item for multiple parties. If this is the case you can start with that item tagged with your first look and then just move it to the next party look where you plan to wear it again.
7. Pro Tip: When in doubt about what to wear, ALWAYS overdress!
8. The main point here, is PLAN AHEAD and organize your wardrobe so that you can easily get dressed and feel great about your outfit!
9. If you need a little help with jewelry or accessories, email me! I am always happy to help you look your best! Or check out my on line store as I have lots of party worthy, splashy jewels available! Click here to shop the Susan Jane collection!
So, there you go! One of the keys to having a fun holiday party season is doing a little planning advance to make getting dressed easy and stress free! Cheers!
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One of the most popular colors on the Fall 2014 runway was shades of emerald green. I love green tones and this seasons emerald hues are rich, deep, sophisticated and very wearable for women of every age. And, just like in nature, green looks good with everything! One way to embrace the trend is to bring in some emerald hued jewelry. I’ve culled together a few photos from the fall runway shows along with a some jewelry ideas as a little inspiration for you.
Just found a fabulous new blog and jewelry designer, The Glamourai! I love her work and she is such a great model for her jewelry and how she puts a whole outfit together. Great inspiration for all!