Tagged: statement earrings

work appropriate jewelry

Work Appropriate Jewelry: The New Rules of Power Dressing

 

 

I recently watched Missrepresentation, a documentary about the bias against women in the media.  The underlying message is that the media continuously objectifies women by portraying them as either sex kitten or nagging bitch and this has resulted in American women having warped self-images and grossly underestimating their influence in the world.  The movie also points out the fact that powerful women are constantly judged on their appearance or personal life rather than for their accomplishments–if Hilary Clinton had a bad day, the media calls her old and haggard; if she looks good on another day, there is speculation about whether she’s had work done–this has to change and we, as viewers, can start by refusing to fan the flames of lazy journalism.  There are a few points in the documentary that I don’t necessarily agree with but overall I think the representation of women in the media is a good issue to raise and I support the movement as a whole.  It is important to distinguish between the media’s tendency to undermine a woman’s influence versus the reality of how much power women actually command.

One of the points that I take issue with is the movie’s subtle suggestion that if you care about your looks then you’re perpetuating stereotypes.  I believe that a woman should be entitled to be accomplished, intelligent, independent, and care about her appearance without being judged.  It is no secret that attractive people (men and women) do better in life; its consistently been true since before the existence of media–we are genetically programmed to respond better to attractive people.  That is not bias, it’s science.  That doesn’t mean I believe that a person with homely looks should undergo plastic surgery to drastically alter their appearance to look like a Barbie; however, I do think that one should always present their best self to the world.  That means working out so you’re healthy, eating well, caring for your skin, putting thought into the message you are sending with your outfit and accessory choices, minding your manners, and trying to get the most out of your life.  Anna Wintour is a great example of a woman who is not a natural beauty but puts her best foot forward.  This woman controls millions of dollars worth of advertising dollars and the Guardian has called her the “unofficial mayoress” of New York City.  She is portrayed in movies, cartoons, etc. as a steely bitch because the amount of clout she has is threatening to some.  Given the lame state of the media as it currently stands, if you are powerful enough to threaten plebeians, you’ve made it.  Who cares about the idiots shaking in their boots drawing unflattering cartoons of you?  You could destroy them with one glance.

Work Appropriate Jewelry:  The New Rules of Power Dressing

 

Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of American Vogue.  Photo from here.

I also don’t believe that a woman has to downplay her looks in order to be taken seriously in her profession but we do have to be careful not to be overly sexual in our attire so as not to objectify ourselves.  Think about the impression you put forth.  Women in politics, corporate America and academia tend to gravitate towards the stern, androgynous, buttoned-up look because they believe that is what has to be done to command the respect of their male peers.  I think we have more leeway than that.  We aren’t limited to porn star or puritan, there is ample room in between for us to reflect our own aesthetic in our manner of dress without objectifying ourselves.

Work Appropriate Jewelry:  The New Rules of Power DressingLynn de Rothschild, CEO of E.L. Rothschild

Work Appropriate Jewelry:  The New Rules of Power Dressing

Martine Assouline, co-founder and owner of Assouline publishing house.  Photo from here.

Propriety depends largely on one’s field.  Women in creative industries can get away with a lot more than women in government for example.  The key is knowing where the line is drawn.  Ivanka Trump does this exceedingly well.  She wears many hats: executive, clothing and jewelry designer, and reality TV star; yet, she always looks appropriate for the situation.  In meetings and on The Apprentice, she will wear a demure dress or shift, one that doesn’t show too much cleavage or leg.  For editorials, she dresses according to the demographic of the readership and her message, and for red carpet events the dresses are more risqué and revealing.  Does she play up the sex kitten vibe to court media attention?  Absolutely.  But she decides what her image is to be for any given situation and uses it in her favor.  The power to control the world’s perception of you is a skill that should not be taken lightly.

Work Appropriate Jewelry:  The New Rules of Power DressingIvanka Trump, Executive VP of Development & Acquisitions at The Trump Organization, designer, reality TV star.  Photo from here.

Jewelry happens to be the perfect way to add a personal touch to an otherwise demure work appropriate outfit.  One can wear big jewelry without objectifying oneself and relinquishing respect.  However, when it comes to power dressing in the corporate world, here are some guidelines for jewelry:

1. No huge rhinestones, crystals or diamonds during the day–a pair of diamond studs are fine, enormous blinding statement earrings are best reserved for evening.  Same goes for necklaces, small sparkly accents may be appropriate but high shine is not.

Work Appropriate Jewelry:  The New Rules of Power Dressing

Work appropriate jewelry: wood earrings; available here.

Work Appropriate Jewelry:  The New Rules of Power Dressing

Work appropriate jewelry: Kenneth Jay Lane earrings; available here.Work Appropriate Jewelry:  The New Rules of Power Dressing

Work-appropriate jewelry: Swarovski stud earrings; available here.

Work Appropriate Jewelry:  The New Rules of Power Dressing

Save these for happy hour.  Faux Emerald earrings; available here.

Work Appropriate Jewelry:  The New Rules of Power Dressing

Work appropriate jewelry: pearl statement necklace; available here.

2. Your jewelry should be seen, not heard–your bangles should not announce your arrival in a board room.  I don’t want to hear clanking of any kind, especially not against the desk as you type.  People will not take you seriously as a professional. Reserve stacking bangles for your personal life.  Cuffs are fine as long as they don’t make noise.

Work Appropriate Jewelry:  The New Rules of Power DressingWork appropriate jewelry: Gold hinge cuff; available here.

3.  Save the skulls and spikes for when you’re off the clock–unless you’re in a creative industry, skulls and spikes won’t go over well in the office.

Work Appropriate Jewelry:  The New Rules of Power Dressing

Not work appropriate, save it for cocktail hour; available here.

4.  If you don’t know whether your office setting is conducive to any of the above, ask yourself, “Are jeans allowed in the workplace?”  If jeans are allowed, then you’re fine and you can take more risks in your jewelry.  If jeans are not allowed in your office, then make smart choices about jewelry.

To support the Missrepresentation movement, click here.

Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,

JZP

 

Christina Hendricks

Do Curvy Women do Big Jewelry Better?

 

I was remarking to myself the other day that I don’t know why more women don’t wear big jewelry.  I don’t mean big jewelry in the gaudy sense; rather, in the super glam, possibly a little eccentric, but always tasteful sense.  Then it occurred to me–perhaps not all women can get away with big jewels.  So I started poking around for celebrity examples and to my surprise, I started seeing patterns.  Curvaceous women and tall Amazonian types, tend to push the boundaries more than petite women.  Why is that?

The reason I suspect, is once again proportions.  On the runway, anything goes; but in real life, we strive not to look crazy (this is something I struggle with on a daily basis).  Curvy women and tall women have the canvas space to support big statement jewelry whereas some larger pieces would swallow a little girl whole.  Furthermore, a little goes a long way on smaller girls–something that wouldn’t even get a second glance on Christina Hendricks looks absolutely massive on Kate Moss.

Do Curvy Women do Big Jewelry Better?

 

Christina Hendricks in a single pair of earrings looking somehow incomplete.Do Curvy Women do Big Jewelry Better?

Christina Hendricks with statement earrings, necklace and ring–this just looks right.  Philip Treacy hat, Harry Winston turquoise and diamond chandelier earrings, David Mandel for House of Lavande necklace, House of Lavande 1940s marcasite and purple stone ring.

Do Curvy Women do Big Jewelry Better?

Kat Dennings, another curvy girl who stands up well to big jewelry.

Do Curvy Women do Big Jewelry Better?

Kat Dennings wearing (left to right) Gucci lemon quartz and amethyst rings with white gold and diamonds (available here), Cartier white gold and diamond ring, and David Yurman ring (available here).

Do Curvy Women do Big Jewelry Better?

Liz Taylor was short in stature but quite curvy.  Ms. Taylor is wearing her own jewelry in this photo.

Do Curvy Women do Big Jewelry Better?

Jerry Hall is so statuesque she makes her jewelry look almost minimalist.  Well, for the 80′s anyway.Do Curvy Women do Big Jewelry Better?

 

Kate Moss is rarely seen wearing much jewelry.

Do Curvy Women do Big Jewelry Better?

Kate Moss in looking decadent in David Yurman ring and earrings.  Similar earrings here and ring here.

Do Curvy Women do Big Jewelry Better?Sienna Miller makes three measly little bracelets look edgy.

Curvy women or tall women look like they are only half-dressed without statement jewelry; whereas petite girls look absolutely stunning practically naked and under embellished–everything looks so wispy and dainty.  Maybe this is only apparent to me because I have always believed that big jewelry is the perfect camouflage.  I use statement jewelry to balance out my proportions every day–it’s a way of controlling what people pay attention to and highlighting one’s assets.  Do I feel bad for Kate Moss and Sienna Miller because they don’t have the need to wear as much jewelry?  I don’t know, do they feel bad for me that I can’t wear a white t-shirt and jeans and look like a seductive boho vixen?  Didn’t think so.

Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,

JZP

Winners of the CrowdJewel Jewelry Design Contest: Decadent Darlings

 

A few weeks ago, as part of look #8, I sponsored a jewelry contest with CrowdJewel, a fab online retailer that helps up-and-coming jewelry designers manufacture and take their designs to market.  The designers’ mission was to design a piece of jewelry to go with this particular look:

Winners of the CrowdJewel Jewelry Design Contest: Decadent Darlings

I couldn’t be more delighted with the outcome.  We were SO in SWOON with the pieces that we couldn’t decide on just one winner–so we bent the rules a bit and chose two:

Winners of the CrowdJewel Jewelry Design Contest: Decadent Darlings

Coral Tassel Earrings by Yeliz

Winners of the CrowdJewel Jewelry Design Contest: Decadent Darlings

Emerald Jhumki Earrings by Pearl City Jewels

Both pieces are currently in production and will be available for sale on CrowdJewel soon.  Do you have designs that you would like to see produced and sold?  Drop me a little note and I will put you in touch with CrowdJewel, or submit your designs to CrowdJewel directly here.

Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,

JZP

Erickson Beamon BaubleBar

 

A very daring DMD darling asked me, “If you had to choose one type of jewelry, what would you limit yourself to?”  Of course there is no world in which I would ever limit myself my love BUT if in an alternate galaxy far far away I was held at missile-point by a very evil villain alien, I would probably choose. . .earrings.

Why?  Because they are the closest to your face and they work wonders for a girl’s complexion obviously!  If you missed my post about the ability of earrings to airbrush your face, here it is again.

In the meantime, I just received this totally SWOON-worthy Erickson Beamon piece from BaubleBar and cannot wait to rock them tonight with my Valentino Rockstud clutch!

Erickson Beamon BaubleBar
Erickson Beamon for BaubleBar earrings and Valentino Rockstud clutch.

Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,

JZP

Travel: What Jewelry to Bring to an Urban Jungle

 

I’m leaving for Shanghai tomorrow and no, of course I haven’t started packing yet!  I usually start planning for any trip by making lists of things I want to bring and then waking up at the crack of dawn to place everything in a suitcase.  In light of my insane travel schedule, I thought it would be fun to pen a travel section.  In upcoming posts I’m going to cover what to bring to which destinations, how to pack the jewelry so it doesn’t get lost/stolen/broken, and what jewelry to buy while abroad!  GASP!  So fun!

Let us start today then shall we, with packing for an urban jungle. . .Shanghai.  Shanghai, for those of you who have never been is just like NYC except more colorful, more densely packed with people AND with better Chinese food!  When I’m in Shanghai my day ranges from meetings with clients (we don’t actually produce in China, all our jewelry is designed and made in NYC so my meetings in Asia are generally client development), marketing firms, yoga with my dear friend “Tang Tai Tai” (Jewish UES New Yorker who graduated Spence, had a career in law and is now a yoga teacher–go figure), drinks dinner drinks dinner dancing with my “Eddie” (best friend, if you follow AbFab, I’m Pats, she’s Eddie, you get the picture) and somewhere in there I inevitably find myself dressed to the nines, dangling off the back of a gypsy peasant motorcycle decked in diamonds and trying to keep my stilettos from getting caught in the wheels (I sit side-saddle as ANY lady would).  I will try to get a pic of that one.  So, there is a whole slew of situations for which I have to accessorize.  Lets begin with the necessary evils:

1) Diamond Stud earrings: These are my every day earrings, they are conservative and truly go with everything.  Heaven forbid I should leave the house without earrings!  These are for business meetings with service providers, marketing, branding, etc. etc. where I don’t want to be too flashy–people tend to overcharge you when you’re too flashy and we can’t have that!  These are on my ears, so not in the photo.

2) Pink Diamond Earring Jackets: to give the studs a little more oomph! in case I’m meeting with a client.  Never outshine a client but we are taste-makers and trend-setters so we must dress the part.

3) Pair of diamond statement earrings: elegant, slightly decadent for “work dinners” but not enough to get me mugged or kidnapped by the gypsy motorcycle driver.

4) Pair of Statement Designer Costume Earrings: Here the motto is GO BIG OR GO HOME!  For nights out with the girls, parties, dancing so you can have a proper rager without worrying about losing bajillion dollar earrings.  Slap these on and have at it!  The ones shown here with multicolored rhinestones and pearls are vintage Hobé.

5) I don’t tend to pack rings when I travel because rings are very particular to an outfit.  I just stick to my wedding band and my three J&A bubble rings in white, yellow and pink diamonds/gold which I stack if I want to be conservative or wear as knuckle dusters for a little more emphasis.  I would suggest, bring the rings you wear every day and stick to that.  Rings are also notoriously easy to lose on hotel room side tables if you’re not weary so save yourself the fuss.

6) Necklace: I go for two statement necklaces one gold and one silver the two shown here are both from J.Crew.  This will generally cover me for most situations and give any outfit that little extra.  I used to pack my Sent Murano glass necklaces but I decided it’s not worth risking breakage since mine is the old version with GIANT size glass bubbles which has been discontinued and the one sold now has significantly smaller bubbles.

7) Bracelets: I don’t think I can live without bracelets.  In my arsenal I always have by J&A Star bangles (19 of them), some sort of Hermes leather bracelet, I’ve been wearing my J&A 20k gold elephant charm necklace as a bracelet these days (his name is Moe my lucky elephant) so that’s on there, a white vintage Monet enamel bracelet and a new Murano glass bracelet from the Sent sisters.

Travel: What Jewelry to Bring to an Urban Jungle
My Shanghai Travel Arsenal. There's Moe, my elephant in the top left corner. He has diamond eyes.

Alright my DMD darlings.  I will be posting on the road with loads of pics from the Hai so until the next one. . .

Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,

JZP