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Haute Stuff: Jewelry for a minimalist

Our aversion to bling doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate the occasional touch of something shiny, we just don’t like the idea of wearing our weight in gold and silver. How can we still have fun with it then?

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By Amy Van Veen (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: May 22, 2013

Some people have a lot of fun with jewelry – layering necklaces, wearing rings on every other finger and bangling up. But for others, the idea of wearing that much stuff makes us feel more like a Christmas tree, dressed to the nines and feeling ridiculous.

Our aversion to bling doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate the occasional touch of something shiny, we just don’t like the idea of wearing our weight in gold and silver.

How can we still have fun with it then? How can we dress up without feeling like we’re “dressing up?” There are a few ways to have fun with jewelry without feeling like Mrs. Potato Head.

First, the pendant. The wonderfully simple and still overly fun necklace with a simple chain and a single pendant piece is the perfect chance to add something special to your outfit. Don’t be discouraged by the likes of your mother’s favourite shopping channel pendant necklaces. You don’t have to be constrained to your birth stone – especially not when there are so many adorable items out there to hang from necklaces. Like a little teapot or a small birdcage. One perusal through the jewelry section of ModCloth.com and you’ll be adding things to your checkout at an alarming rate.

Second, a single ring. There are a lot of rings that catch our eyes as we absentmindedly try them on in stores – most of them ridiculous like a bauble the size of a standard disco ball and a flower that could fit nicely in a full-size urn. But some are pretty cute. Simple bands with small bows, gems or birds adorning them. There are some monster rings – like the ones that go all the way up one finger, or the double-finger rings that look more like brass knuckles. Some are a little louder than others and scream out in brazen attention, but the ones made of a more matte metal without any bling are fun to wear as the only piece of jewelry – just something to spice up a jeans and t-shirt combo.

Finally, the bracelet. After a while, the clinky racket of bangles sliding up and down the forearm and the fact that loose bracelets move back and forth and back and forth with every minute movement of the arm gets intensely irritating. But fear not, there are other wrist-wear options. The cuff and the watch have made a comeback as the immovable and highly noticeable wrist adornments. The cuff can be flashy, of course, but it can also be understated with solid gold, matte metal cut-outs and of-the-moment leaves that wrap around your wrist and give any old outfit a quick pick-me-up. The watch, too, has many faces (pun intended), with the chunky old-man style or the more demure, thin leather bands – watches have a certain air of distinction that says, “I don’t need my phone to tell the time.”

If you’re more drawn to the simpler side of things and the idea of wearing all your jewelry at once gives you a teeny-tiny panic attack, add just one piece when your outfit feels lacklustre, and you’ll feel that much more put together.

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