Working Girl Style: Necklaces

24 Aug

Like most ladies who’ve ever worked in the finance industry, my idea of “wearing jewelry” has always meant pearl studs or tiny charm necklaces.  (And while we’re at it, should we mention the nude nails and appropriate lip hue?)  Some people are born to carry a different purse every day and wrangle Barbie doll shoes, but as a kid I read a lot and watched the Adam’s Family.  I think you could say I’m not the target accessory audience.

But like most things, jewelry is FUN.  It makes you look good, it’s easily interchangeable and it’s versatile.  Ever since Bearca wrote about her work outfit formula, I’ve started thinking about the pieces that I want to use for my own version (shocker: they’re the pieces she mentions in the article!)  Once I figured out that a simple tee/tank+blazer/cardigan+jeans would make my style at the office more consistent, I thought about how I’d match those pieces so that I fit in with my coworkers.  Granted, the whole POINT of a casual work dress code is being able to dress in what works for you.  And I like to take advantage of that!  But the DANGER of such flexible options is that you could be in a very important meeting wearing a long sleeve t-shirt (slight stain on the hem) while your boss is asking you tough questions in a this-season wool blazer.  Like it or not, being presentable gives you credibility. (Not to mention: dress for the job you WANT.)  Enter: Project Hallways.

You know this project. You’ve probably DONE this project.  It’s a very simple premise.  First, you watch what your coworkers are wearing in your hallways, in the cafe, in your meetings.  Which people look sharp and what makes them look that way?  Who do you want to take advice from?  Then, what items do you want to steal from their outfit and how will it work for you? ( I LOVE five inch heels, but I will never ever wear them again.)  Finally, identify what you WILL wear and go shopping.

This is how I arrived at the mall looking for an item that a lot of people know about: the statement necklace.

A necklace fits all of my criteria! Necklaces are not a million dollars.  They don’t require you to be model-sized.  They’re comfortable and generally pain-free.  A necklace is how you go from this cute but sad polka dot sweater:

to this cute, bright combo:

Cost of this transformation? $18 at Francesca’s.

(Disclaimer: I have very Sensitive Skin which is allergic to lots of metals.  I used to think this trend wasn’t for me because even a WHISPER of nickel makes me break out in a terrifying rash that takes upwards of three weeks to even die down.  The awesome part of the current fashion is that the necklaces are being made in LOTS of materials that TOTALLY work for me like beads, acrylic or ribbon.)

There are so many places to start looking for pieces to add to your own collection.  I favor bright colors or good sparkle, and while I don’t like paying a ton of money for them, you can certainly find lovelies at fancy shops like Kate Spade.  But don’t let that stop you since all the major national chains carry many amazing necklaces, such as these beauties from Banana Republic, Loft, J Crew and Target (often ALSO pricey, but most of the time you can find coupons, in-store clearances or similar options at outlet shopping centers).

Besides the availability in stores, another great thing about the materials involved is that you crafty types can probably make some of your own!  I think this Vince Camuto bib necklace is to die for, but not only is it prohibitively expensive- it’s metal and won’t work with my skin.  Enter: Cotton and Curls, a rad DIY blog that shows you how to make a cloth bib necklace.  So cute!  So easy! All I need is a bit of fancy fabric! I’m either making this one myself, or I’m bribing someone far more talented.

Get some necklaces, I think you’ll dig ’em.  Then come back later when I discover chandelier earrings!

(PS- The polka dot sweater I’m wearing?  Totally available NOW and ALSO $25 at regular price.  Comes in three polka-dot colors and ALSO two color options with a heart!  Fun alternatives to $268 or out of stock options!)

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5 Responses to “Working Girl Style: Necklaces”

  1. Becky August 24, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    I am totally into statement necklaces right now. I love the links you provided!

    • CharlieSue August 24, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

      I kind of want a new job where I get to find fabulous necklaces for people. Links are like my gateway drug. 🙂

  2. elleinadspir August 24, 2012 at 9:55 am #

    love that sweater!

  3. bearca August 24, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    I love the before and after shot! The necklace is darling (as is the sweater!).

  4. RA August 24, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    I love necklaces! Whenever I’m feeling a little blah, I just toss on my big red necklace, and it seems to fix whatever outfit woes I have for the day.

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