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Filed under Bracelets, Fashion Accessories, fashion colors
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High School Football Jewelry and More

To capitalize on high school sports jewelry requires some creativity because football charm bracelet with so many high schools around the country, manufacturers can’t produce a line for each one. But you can capture the local market by putting together your own line.

The easiest way to present a football theme is with generic football jewelry like the sports bracelet shown. Find football themed jewelry under the categories of sports bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and pendants on the site.

Just as easy is licensed sports jewelry for universities. It is also under the sports jewelry category on the site and includes major schools like LSU and Alabama as well as licensed jewelry for popular universities like The Ragin Cajuns and Southern.

But to have jewelry and accessories that customers will immediately recognize as your local high school, two ingredients are important–school colors and mascots. Two items help with school colors — school color bracelets and school colors in beads for chokers and necklaces.

For chokers and necklaces using suede cord or other materials that are loose beads thicker than monofilament line, you need beads with a 4 mm opening. Under loose beads, the site has color combinations that will go with nearly any school. Now all the fiber optic beads are 99 cents for a pack of 12.

Also, find chokers under fashion jewelry that help build your custom jewelry for the local schools. Use the search on the site to see if we have pendants for your mascot. Price all the items separately so customers can build their own sale and input their own creativity with the components. This makes you the only source for items that appeal to an avid market-a nice combination that builds sales.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Friday, August 15th, 2014

Filed under Bracelets, Christmas Jewelry, Crystal Jewelry, Earrings, Fashion Jewelry, Gemstone Jewelry, Necklace Sets, Pendants, Sports Jewelry, Uncategorized
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In the fast pace of the Christmas buying season, how is small business doing compared to the majors.  According to the US Small Business Administration, nearly half the employment in the US and 65% of new hiring comes from small business so their survival is vital to the American economy.  There is a push this year to make consumers aware of supporting small business in their Christmas shopping.  But ask someone if that reflects in their buying pattern, and most will embarrassingly say no.

If that isn’t working, something is.  There are a number of items that consumers simply trust small business for over the majors when shopping.  In fashion accessories we covered headwear and accessories in Part I and now let’s move forward with fashion jewelry


If there is anything radically different on the fashion scene in jewelry this year it would be statement necklaces.  These brash works in metal strutted the runways of fashion shows and stunned readers on the covers of fashion magazines. But they are just a little too edgy for department stores and most of the majors. 


These retailers like more toned-down style with the classy look often inspired by The Golden Age of Costume Jewelry.  The Golden Age began in the 1930s during The Great Depression and extended through the 1960s with the most creative houses in costume jewelry delivering elegant works.      

But glamorous jewelry didn’t stand unopposed in that era.  A rebellious statement in jewelry countered these fabulous creations with hand-made works, mostly in metals, that expressed art with primitive designs. A look back on this medium collects the works into a category called Mid-Century Modern. No doubt, this had to be some of the inspiration going into the bold statement necklaces created in metals dominating high fashion this fall and winter. 


Now where do fashion forward consumers find this look when shopping for themselves or others this Christmas?  Certainly not in an upscale department store!  No, only small business provides the high fashion look that has been dominating the runways.  So when it comes to forward fashion and edgy designs, consumers know small business is the only answer. 



Looking back twenty years in the jewelry industry, Providence, Rhode Island was the center of American jewelry manufacturing. Many businesses were cottage industries that specialized in aspect of production—linking, carding, soldering, casting, plating.  But competition from China with lower prices and gradually improving quality dismantled the American industry piece by piece. 

Then an economic slowdown caused Chinese manufacturers, importers, and major retailers to be extremely cautious.  Seasonal jewelry was a risk because sell through had to occur in a short period of time. So the 2011 Christmas season is woefully short of quality Christmas jewelry that is traditionally part of the holiday spirit.  Consumers wear it to work, while shopping, and to family gatherings.  It’s as much of Christmas as stockings hanging from the mantle.  But with short supply, where do shoppers find this quality Christmas jewelry that delighted everyone in years past? 

Small retailers are suddenly the go-to source for classy Christmas jewelry.  They do not need a massive inventory to satisfy their clientele and they have an uncanny instinct to find resources.


When consumers want to express the holiday spirit with charm bracelets that have enameled charms in Christmas colors or quality glass bracelets with lampwork beads, most likely the only source is the small retailer. 

Classy resin pins in creative designs make wonderful stocking stuffers as well as accent pieces to spread holiday cheer, but this Christmas they may be hard to find outside of small business. 

Pendants and earrings stamped from a thin sheet of metal with art and personality that is irresistible—you guessed it—only small business.  “Best Brand” is the creator of these works of art and this line of fashion jewelry is so labor intense that it is simply impossible to supply the high quantities the majors would want.  Each piece goes through stamping, plating, polishing, and often enameling for color.   The finished product makes any consumer proud to give it as a Christmas gift, but this exceptional jewelry will only be found at small retailers. 


Actually, Christmas jewelry is only the tip of the iceberg for “Best Brand”.  Their selection of pendants and matching earrings covers nearly every look in fashion plus endless themes.  The workmanship is so fine that the company proudly has its name impressed on the back of each piece.  And we are equally as proud to distribute the line, which we know from sales records goes exclusively to small business. 

Just look through the pendant line and you will find something for nearly every event or location.  And most pendants have matching earrings.  On our site an items number is preceded by PD for pendants and FS for earrings.  To find a matching earring simply change the PD to FS and put the code in the search box. 

Most businesses buying this line follow a theme.  It could be sea life for beach locations, horse and Southwest themes for a western store, motorcycles for a bike shop, baseball for little league fundraisers, and the list goes on.  So where do consumers find this exceptional line of fashion jewelry—only at small retail locations. 


This brings us to another excusive of small business–local themes and niche markets.  No national retailer will understand local interests as well as the small businesses that live and operate in the area.  What a huge advantage this gives to the small retailer! 

We are located in South Louisiana.   If you watch Swamp People, you get a glimpse of a piece of our culture—Cajun music, crawfish boils, seafood, and the home of seasonings and hot sauces.  The themes in jewelry that goes to the heart of locals is not found in major retailers.  No, it is small business and often local artists.  The same is true in every locale. 

Even sports from local high schools that everyone has, to avid fans of college teams provides opportunity for small business.  The LSU vs. Alabama game was billed the game of the century.  Licensed jewelry for both teams is found on our web site and small businesses certainly have a market for it with all the dedicated fans these two teams have.  


Now back to the local high schools.  Small business can rally capitalize on this theme because no manufacturer can afford to produce a line for such a small market.  Begin with school colors.  Glass bracelets on the site provide a variety of two-tone color and most likely your colors are there.  Next use the search to find your mascot in pendants and earrings.  If it isn’t there, choose pendants for the sport such as football related pendants and earrings.  These slide on chokers found under fashion jewelry.  To really make the jewelry pop for your high school add school color. Pick beads in the right color from loose beads on the menu.  These beads have a 4mm opening so they can slide on many chokers so make sure some of your chokers will accommodate the beads.  Group all the pieces together in your shop to tell a story and sell individually so your customers can build their own look. 

This the advantage small fashion retailers have that helps them overcome the heavy hitters in the majors. 



The flight to quality in fashion jewelry dates back to the shocking tragedy on September 11, 2001.  Suddenly family, prayer, and heroism trumped bling that was the trend of the day.  Fashion jewelry went through a worldwide search for art and materials that were classic.

Crystal, Murano style glass, lampwork beads, and gemstone jewelry were some of the mediums that captured that attention of retail customers.   But gemstone jewelry continues while interest in other forms of fashion jewelry receded. Department stores still grace their showcases with a few selections of semi precious jewelry, but small business is where consumers will find the extensive selection. 

Yes, demand remains high because semi precious jewelry has intrinsic value and unique design that synthetics can’t duplicate.  Department stores left lots of change on the table by moving on.  Every time I am in a department store, I look at their showcases.  Season after season turquoise and coral return.  In addition, each season has at least one other semi precious stone included in fashion jewelry–amethyst was a recent example.  But demand is exceeding this limited supply and customers that have grown to love the intrinsic beauty of semi precious jewelry know that the only place to really find selection is in a small retail location.      

The blog that follows will wrap up the fashion accessories where small business excels with a look at the formal side of jewelry and accessories.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Filed under Bracelets, Bridal Accessories, Bridal Jewelry, Brooches, Costume Jewelry, Crystal Jewelry, Earrings, Fashion Accessories, Fashion Jewelry, Fashion Jewelry Trends, Fashion Trends, Hats, Necklace Sets, Tiaras, Uncategorized, Wholesale Jewelry
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Accessories Magazine reviews trends shaping fashion jewelry and accessories each season based on the fashion shows that preview the coming season.  Major fashion stories result from sorting all the tangents of designers crossing the runways.  The last blog covered the first two for fall and this blog covers the next two—a dual that seems to contradict each other as fashion statements.  Accessories Magazine’s Survival Mode borders on grunge while Ice Queen has a classy majestic look.     


As different as the trends seem, both find inspiration in the dominant mood of the times—economic uncertainty.  Survival mode finds an obvious connection.  First impression is the rugged attire of inhabitants of the arctic tundra.  Earth tone colors with patches of fur deliver a nomadic appearance.  Inspiration is global with Scandinavian prints, African crafts, English tweeds, and Alpine flairs all contributing. 

Jewelry combines natural materials with metals for a close-to-earth feeling.  Wood and raw gemstones blended with metals create fashion jewelry that delivers the story.  Look for burnished metals in cuffs and bangles as well as braided leather in jewelry. 

Trapper hats are a natural fit for these trends well as any headwear that is fur trimmed.  Other hats include wide brim wool fedoras, crocheted caps, and wool buckets. 


If the previous trend reflects a rugged response to economic times, this fashion story that Accessories Magazine calls Ice Queen uses a fantasy world to cope with financial stress.  Opulence abounds in this trend characterized by shades of opal and winter white.   Fur and cashmere add to the extravagance of the fantasy. 

Fashion jewelry accessorizes the look with iridescent crystals, unconventional designs of pearls, and opalescent Lucite.  Rhinestone or crystal mixed with frosted beads and pearls as bracelets or necklace sets.  Jewelry with shades white, cream, and ivory fit into this theme with wintery snow and ice inspiration. 

Headwear accessories include bobby pins with enameled flowers, lace and crocheted headbands or caps, and headwear with sequins, especially iridescent sequins.  Winter white in nearly any hat can accompany the look. 

This fashion story is easy to accessorize because the jewelry that delivers the sparkle for the trend also provides holiday jewelry that will soon be in demand.  Actually, fashion jewelry in crystals, rhinestone, and faux pearls should have a permanent location in shops because of the endless line up of events that call for dressy accessories. 

The following blog includes the fashion story for December delivery as well as holiday trends

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Filed under Bracelets, Brooches, Earrings, Fashion Jewelry, Hats, Necklace Sets, Pendants, Sunglasses
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The runways for every new season provide an abundance of fresh designs that go in endless directions.  But each season, Accessories Magazine makes sense of it all by taking thousands of photos and narrowing down the stand outs for jewelry and accessories to five fashion stories.  This blog covers the first two stories with the rest following during the week. 


 The first fashion story Accessories Magazine calls Mod Remix.  Think sixties here with a clean look and innocence that sometimes gets eclipsed by hippie movements and civil disobedience later in the decade.  However, the sixties open with Jackie Kennedy as First Lady, the picture of elegance.  Camelot opens on Broadway.  Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, as well as a fist full of classic westerns are playing on the silver screen.  Beach party movies were playing for the teens and even Elvis Presley gets into the act. 


This was the era of Lucite and plastic colored bangles and earrings and they are back with this fall fashion trend.  Color continues with enameled pins as well as enameled pendants and cuff bracelets—some matching the color blocking of the apparel.  Apparel for the trend likes sleek silhouettes and clean shapes. Sunglasses get smaller with cateye or oval lenses in plastic frames.  Color is here also. 


The use of geometric shapes in jewelry brings back oversized earrings whether elongated cone drops with color or plated metal in geometrics.  Geometrics also extend to neckwear with bib necklaces that sometimes incorporate resins. 

And what are sixties trends without patent leather—patent leather in shoes, boots, bags, even hair accessories.  Patent bucket hats also fit in.  The bags are structured often with contrasting handles or piping.  Mod Remix is the fun story for fall trends.   


A continuing debate ponders the question of what inspires fashion trends.  One solution offered is zeitgeist—the mood that defines that point of time.  It is hard to argue against the zeitgeist of this era being economic insecurity.  And that theme spills over into the next fashion trend that Accessories Magazine calls Tailor Made, making a strong argument for the zeitgeist theory. 

The austere look Tailor Made uses shades from camel to brown as well as grey, reflecting the tough times.  It is a “no frills” style inspired by menswear with little touches to keep it feminine.  What does that mean?  Well, accessorizing a double-breasted suit coat drops the tie and replaces it with a bow for neckwear, adding a feminine element.  Overall, the look is pragmatic and austere.  How do you accessorize it?

Designers showed the trend with necklaces in gunmetal plating using oversized links and chain designs.  Some necklaces have heavy design with metal bolts and large beading.  Actually, the bold statement necklaces that all over the runway and fashion magazines fit at least three of the trend stories so give them serious thought for fall jewelry. 

Necklaces also use bold pearl and meal combinations.  Over-sized beads are part of the look and sometimes large glass components, especially in smoke.  Metal cuffs and link bracelets accessorize the wrist. 


Headwear uses high crown fedoras, fifties fedoras, felt boaters.  The puffy ivy caps as seen in the 1974 film, The Great Gatsby, fit this theme. 

Next blog continues the fashion stories tht make up the major trends of the fall and winter season.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Filed under Bracelets, Brooches, Crystal Jewelry, Earrings, Fashion Jewelry, Necklace Sets, Rhinestone Jewelry, Uncategorized
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What is the difference between rhinestone jewelry and crystal jewelry?  The terms are often interchanged leaving shopkeepers as well as customers confused.  When we look back at vintage rhinestone jewelry before 1940 we see a noticeable change.  The look is quite different than we equate with rhinestone jewelry today. 



What changed?  Well today’s rhinestone jewelry is usually made with rhinestone chain–that is a continuous chain of rhinestone that comes out of a machine with the stones already set.  This look is conspicuously missing in the vintage rhinestone jewelry books that cover any era before the 1940s.  The reason is the invention of the machine that creates rhinestone chain occurred in Providence, Rhode Island during the forties, the same time America was involved in World War II and saw the rationing of many metals.   

The appearance of rhinestone jewelry made from rhinestone chain begins after the War and this is the look that we call rhinestone jewelry today.  Machines produced rhinestone chain with stones mechanically set that would roll out continuously and was wound on spools.  Designers would buy the spools and develop new designs by cutting and soldering the rhinestone chain.  When we talk about rhinestone jewelry today, this is the look that comes to mind. 



Now look at a vintage jewelry book showing rhinestone before the forties.  The look is gorgeous, but very different.  Designers created rings, brooches, bracelets, necklaces and earrings with glued in or prong set stones.   The most fabulous designs began appearing in the 1930s introducing an era that continued to the 1960s called The Golden Age of Costume Jewelry.  

Legendary costume jewelry houses put their name on fabulous designs and these pieces are collector items today.  The era produced greats like Eisenberg, Haskell, Coro, Juliana, Dior, and Trifari.  Inspirations from these design houses continue in fashion jewelry today, but we usually refer to this look as crystal jewelry and jewelry made with rhinestone chain as rhinestone jewelry. 


Are the stones different?  Actually, they are not.  The quality leader in crystal stones is Swarovski, and they produce rhinestone chain as well with the same process.  What sets Swarovski apart?  First, they were the pioneer in perfecting machine cut faceted stones.  In addition, Swarovski perfected the lead crystal process according to http://www.jsbeads.com/Swarovski-Crystal/  with a finished product that is “32% lead, making the crystal optically pure”.  Don’t worry; this lead is not going to release and in any way cause harm to health.  Lead crystal is exempt from the lead content rulings. 

Czech crystals are another source of crystals that are also used in rhinestone chain.  The sparkle and perfection may be a small step below, but the price is cheaper and these stones get more use than the higher priced Swarovski crystals because consumers are very price conscious today.  

The third option, used extensively in rhinestone or crystal jewelry from China, is Mideast stones.  Sourced from the Mideast from countries like Dubai, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates, these rhinestones have high radiance, but dull over time quicker than Czech stones.  Mid Eastern stones are a favorite in Chinese manufacturing because they have eye-catching brilliance at a cheaper price than Czech or Austrian crystals. 

Finally, Chinese stones are becoming a greater player in rhinestone and crystal jewelry.  At first, the stones didn’t provide the quality for sparkling jewelry, but quality is improving for some manufacturers.  Those with a keen insight to the market can save money with high quality Chinese rhinestone and crystal, but inferior quality is still in the market from lower end manufacturers. 

So the bottom line is rhinestone and crystals are the same stone.  The difference is when and how the jewelry is made. Before World War II, the terms are interchangeable because rhinestone chain didn’t exist.   After the War rhinestone is more often applied to jewelry made with the chain while crystal usually refers to glued-in or prong set stones that are individually set.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Filed under Bracelets, Earrings, Fashion Jewelry, Fashion Marketing, Necklace Sets, New Orleans Accessories, Pendants, Religious Gifts, Religious Jewelry, Religious Jewelry & Gifts, Wholesale Jewelry
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 We are in July, it’s hotter than blazes, and consumers don’t want to get out of the air conditioning.  When it comes to fashion jewelry, what in the world are retailers going to sell?  This two-part blog covers just that.  The first part covered needed jewelry for bridal and formal plus gemstone that remains popular season after season.  But we saved the best for last.  Now we are going to cover the two categories that we have to reorder more than any other in the summer months.  The first is niche market jewelry. 



Niche market jewelry—what does that mean?  Well an example might explain it.  In New Orleans, fleur-de-lis jewelry has been huge since Hurricane Katrina.  It is the symbol of the City and a rallying point for citizens that faced a serious disaster.  Still, six year later, women from New Orleans never tire of fleur-de-lis jewelry.  For Accessory Wholesale, it is an item that requires constant reorder, even in the summer.  This is fashion jewelry with more powerful sales than even items in the latest trends. 

The point is niche markets are a huge answer to getting customers to buy in the sultry heat.  Think about your area and the niche markets for your customers.  Football is coming and some states live and die by their college teams.  High school teams also have a passionate following.  In Louisiana, LSU reigns and licensed LSU jewelry will always have a market. 


Other niche markets include the growing number of caring people involved with breast cancer awareness.  Still other markets are the fun loving red hatters

Human nature plays into the niche markets that are selling.  Right after the 9/11 tragedy, there was a return to values and inspirational jewelry reflected the thoughts and feelings of consumers who gave more thought to a Higher Being.  In fragile economic times that have a high unemployment, the same feelings return, perhaps making us feel guilty as fair weather friends.  Nevertheless, inspirational jewelry and gifts are on the upswing.  Combining inspirational jewelry and gifts in display tells a story in your shop that will capture the attention of shoppers.  This is a niche market that can be uplifting for your clientele. 

Study your own customer base and local area for niche markets that work.  This is where you have a great advantage over the big box stores that do not have your local input.      


“Best Brand” manufactures a superb line of pendants and earrings plus the chokers needed to wear the pendants.  Themes are endless in this line that has superior metalwork unchallenged in the fashion jewelry field.   

Why does this line keep selling over and over again?  Three main reasons—themes, quality, and uniqueness.  First, themes are special because they touch the hearts of the buyer.  Even a shopper that is not in the market for fashion jewelry cannot pass up a Yorkie pendant if their Yorkshire is dear to them.  The same is true for nearly every theme from gardening to motorcycles.

But it is not just the theme; it is the exceptional metalwork that delivers the jewelry that is immediately recognizable with intricate detail.  The process of “Best Brand” is unique in the fashion jewelry industry.  Most pendants and matching earrings start with a thin sheet of steel that a stamping process presses into a dimensionally raised shape, loaded with detail.  Then they cut a back and solder it in place so the pendant or earrings are hollow and lightweight, borrowing a page from puffy sterling silver jewelry.  Finally, the jewelry is plated, sometimes epoxied with color, and polished.  The manufacturer is proud enough of theses creations to stamp their name on the back of each piece.  Retailers are buying the jewelry of future vintage collectors.

Not everything is theme.  “Best Brand” also creates fashion designs that follow the trends in jewelry.  Geometrics, animal prints, inlays, Southwest inspirations, Murano style glass, and classic patterns—it’s all here in this fabulous line. 


Now retailers need chokers and chains so customers can wear the pendants.  “Best Brand” answers that challenge with one of the most extensive lines of fashion chokers.  Stock several with your display and price each component in this line separately.  That way the customer gets to create their own designs and they may want more than one choker to give different looks to the same pendant.  Also the customer can build their own sale that will fit their budget.  Whereas, combining pendant, choker, and earrings can elevate the price and put it beyond an impulsive buy.    

Make a statement in your shop with this line and you have something unique with practically no competition.  Look around online and in brick and mortar shops and you will probably not find this sensational line or anything like it with such high quality.  One final reason why customers are constantly reordering this fashion jewelry—the look with pendants on chokers is tailored, a classy accessory for career wear, and it is timeless, never going out of style.  This is the line we reorder more than any other.  You have hardly any competition in it.  So try out this fashion jewelry and see if it helps your summer sales like it is helping other retailers carrying it.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Filed under Bracelets
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WHO COULD EVER BELIEVE where we’ve come to with bracelets?  A simple gold chain piece?  Pleeease….! Now the look is multiples upon multiples, styles upon styles, colors upon colors, materials upon materials, all worn together up one arm and down the other.  Big, big bracelets.  Dazzling, colorful bracelets.  Huge pieces clipped onto the arm that would surely make it impossible to write with when they’re on! 


Of course, we’ve been talking about bracelets for some time now.  And, we’ve been talking about wearing bracelets in multiples.  But we haven’t seen anything like this, believe me!  Right now, bracelets frequently take prominence over all other fashion being worn.  These are bracelets that demand attention. 


Bracelets run from the most primitive to the sleekest, most modern and sophisticated.  They also come from all over the globe and have all kinds of stories attached to them.  For example, there are plenty of breast cancer awareness bracelets.  But now there is so much more.


Take Diane von Furstenberg’s telephone wire bracelets from South Africa’s Senzokuhle Wire Co. The designer purchased the colorful, ethnic bracelets through Vital Voices, an organization that enables impoverished women around the world to earn money while preserving their artisan traditions.

  — And that’s not all.  There are numerous charities and organizations selling bracelets for various causes, many of them just string or cord pieces, but meaningful.  You’ll find both men and women wearing them. Bracelets for Haiti are among the newest.


Fascinating stories are frequently attached to the bracelets, too. For example, Barbara Bui offers a collection of sterling silver and crystal bracelets inspired by serpents with carefully placed emeralds, snake heads and scales.


Hammered metal makes for interesting looking bracelets, especially those with an archeological appearance and references to ancient Rome, perhaps, or Pharaoh-era Egypt.

Heavily glitzy bracelets with large gemstones often have Russian Romanoff design inspiration and seem to have all the intrigue of yesterday’s Eastern Europe somehow imbedded in them.  Fascinating!  


                                           Tough and Sassy


Metal-based bead encrusted bracelets are especially popular.  These tend to be big, cuff-like pieces, done in silver or car-repair shop metal, with circles of beading around them.  A new ad by Guess features three or four (it could be twelve, it’s hard to tell!) bracelets on one arm, with twice that number on the other. The look is absolutely dynamite with a western-denim fashion story.  Wow!








  • Cuff bracelet with open weave design.


Guess isn’t always so edgy.  In another ad, the firm features a bracelets galore look with African-inspired tribal bracelets, featuring some beaded pieces, along with blue and white etched bracelets plus a couple of plain silver and gold bracelets.  A real mixture.


Beads of many different materials make for exciting bracelet collections.  Giorgio Armani offers a beautiful glass crystal bracelet in multi-colors, with beads of many different shapes and sizes.  Resin is an important material in modern-design bracelets, most often used in clear interpretations.  Sterling silver is a particularly popular metal right now, either real or faux. 


 Here and there you will find a bracelet that can be worn by itself. These are usually real or faux diamond bracelets, not really tennis bracelets (while this is now a classic, it is not really as “hip” as it used to be) but rather medium-wide pieces with interesting, usually floral or geometric designs, mostly in silver or silver-plate.  These are strictly for formal wear;  they don’t work for daytime!


                                        Arabian Nights


Oh, oh…let us not forget the Saudi look! We’re talking about rich, gold or gold-plate cuff bracelets, worn two or three or four at a time, along with several (if not many) skinny gold bangles, all on one arm.  Add a luxurious handbag and a pair of dark sunglasses and you’ll look like a Princess even in clothes from the flea market!


And is there anything more popular than a charm bracelet?  It seems demand for these classic pieces grows non-stop!  There are so many of these, it is hard to even begin to list them.  But, here are a couple of pieces: 


   –My friend’s daughter recently received a charm bracelet from her boyfriend with hand-picked charms commemorating points in their relationship. A little puppy stands for the pet shop they met in.  A piece of pizza commemorates their first “eat-out” date.  A bicycle represents their athletic activity. Put on a pretty chain link bracelet, and it makes for a delightful bracelet. 


   –On a more expensive scale are Tiffany’s charm bracelets, representing cities, such as Paris, and New York.  Needless to say, Paris includes a plane (for getting there), a French poodle, and the Eiffel Tower, among other things.  Great to own!







Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Filed under Bracelets
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BRACELETS HAVE NEVER BEEN SO HOT, so big, so important to fashion.  Every designer is showing bracelets as an essential component of an overall fashion look.  And what is most significant:  Bracelets are invariably being worn in multiples.  No more a nice, pretty – or should we say wimpy – single little bracelet on one arm. 


                                         OH, NOOOOOO…..


The look now is for many bracelets (we counted them on top runway models, and the average number was 6) on each arm.  That adds up to 12, minimum!  The look usually includes a combination of styles, although the bracelets can be all of one sort, like 6 or 8 plain silver or gold bangles.  Either way, the style is strictly 2009-10.  It is fresh, innovative, and creative. And it always involves many bracelets.  Lots of bracelets. Wow! 

  —Is this a terrific multiple sale item?  You better believe it!  


                                             Exciting and Wild


BRACELETS WORN IN MULTIPLES give an exciting, even wild look to fashion.  The pieces can be anything from Asian to Russian to modern to traditional, mixed or separated in mood and appeal.  You can purchase individual bracelets and combine them yourself, or you can take advantage of the many manufacturers who are offering groupings of bracelets at a single sale price.


If you are particularly creative, you might want to offer special one-of-a-kind combinations to customers who want the trendy look but may not know how to get it on their own.


Here are some ideas for the hippest ways to combine bracelets now:


WOOD AND METAL:  Pile them on! This is perhaps the most popular look in all the fashion world now.  The combination of wood and metal is dynamite, with most of the metal being gold (tone or plated or 14K) against a kind of mahogany-hued wood.  Pick out five or six bracelets, half wood and half metal.  Make the wood bracelets thick, big round bangles.  They can be smooth and polished, or even have an African look (which works well here). Combine them with gold bangles with a plain or maybe hammered finish, but generally make the metal bangles thinner, to balance out the wide wood. 


The new, young actress Alexis Dziena, who plays Kristen Bell’s wingwoman in the new romantic comedy When in Rome, goes crazy with this look, showing off at least 15 wood and metal bangle bracelets on one arm alone. She wears the collection with a colorful orange/brown/blue scarf over a plain black exercise suit. 







  • Silver plated cuff bracelet with Southwest inspiration separates into 3 bands for       a terrific, updated effect.  This is hot fashion at a fabulous price!



                                                 Biker Young


LEATHER AND METAL. This is often a stylish look for the younger set, although you’ll find no small number of costly, even designer-level bracelets sporting this look now. The style basically calls for a large leather cuff with metal embellishment in the form of small metal pieces or strips of metal or even metal grommets.  The look works wonders with the right biker outfit!


GOLD AND ENAMEL. Watch this hottie!  This look is most spectacular when inspired by jewelry from traditional India.  Think in terms of bright enamel blue bangles with Indian embellishments in rich, shiny gold. A real Bollywood look by Tajani involves jingly, Indian style bright blue bangles with gold acrylic embellishment straight out of Bombay. Considering the new Global Look pervasive in fashion now, you can wear these fabulous looking bracelets with anything.


Gold and enamel bangles also make for a wonderful multiple-bracelet look…although the bracelet number should stop at about 6 inches in all.  That’s a comfortable limit for bracelets this bright!


SILVER, SILVER, AND MORE SILVER.  Whoa…there is no stopping this metal when it comes to bracelets.  There are just sooooo many looks out there to mention.  Let’s start with the multiple matte silver bracelet look.  Lots of thin silver bangles, not too loose, worn one after the other, after the other.  All the same bracelet. Wow! 

  —In a very strange way, this is very ancient Roman looking.  Or, you might imagine the bracelets on the wrist of an Irish-Druid girlfriend of a Nordic conqueror.  Pile them on, maybe 8 or 9 at a time!  And fantasize!




  • Multiple bangles in antique gold or silver plate come in a set of eight bracelets ranging from simple to ornate.  Some are plain narrow bands; others feature crystal and/or metal embellishment.  Incredible look, complete all by itself!





WOOD WITH BEADS. This is a somewhat disjointed style, we think, but it is still being seen in top fashion outlets.  It involves two or three wood bangles, fairly sizeable but plain, polished, together with one or two beaded bracelets.  To play down the strange style grouping, it is probably best to keep the beads small, and in the same fashion category as the larger beads, creating a dark wood and maybe tan-colored bead effect. 

                            We’re Gypsies, One and All I Say…


GYPSY FANTASIA.   A collection of bangles in an unconventional grouping of different metals and styles invariably adds up to a great gypsy look!  Were these stolen by gypsy marauders invading your village late one night?  No matter…here they are looking exotic and sophisticated in a way you might never have thought of.  The multiple 4 or 5 bracelets are worn together, often with several rings to heighten the gypsy effect. 

   –Imagine a brass bangle with silver strips, a gold bracelet with pale blue etchings, a medium-width wood bracelet with a little circle hanging off, and one or two thin, plain gold or silver bangles. Generally speaking, all these bracelets should be of different widths, with the exception of the thin bangles, used to balance the whole collection out.


On one hand, these bracelets are all of different styles and mood.  But, at the same time, one design brings attention to the other, heightening the gypsy inspiration for this mélange of design and craft.  Does this make for great mind pictures?  In the outer world, wear this with long ’60s-style dresses for a great vintage look. 

  –Of course, all “thrown together” bracelet looks have a gypsy imprint.  Think of a traditional gold cuff bracelet, etched or with crystals, or otherwise embellished or decorated, together with a sequined gold bangle with small decorative drop offs, together with another gold bangle of medium width with wooden decorative pieces, and a filigree gold piece topping it all off.  (We aren’t sure of how it works, either.  But, it does!)



MEN’S PAVILION:   More and more men are wearing bracelets, too, so let’s not let them out.  Think about pieces that are somewhat more modern; for example, a flat 1/2-inch slice of gold worn together with a thin wooden or leather bangle strip.  These bracelets are generally worn tighter to the skin, not as loose as women’s bracelets, but no less handsome!


Wear them with casual pieces, especially tans and browns for late-summer-fall.  A slightly tough or even blue-collar outfit works well with bracelets, since it allows men to wear jewelry usually reserved for women without compromising their manliness.  (Hey, need we forget that jewelry as personal adornment started with men, not women?  There’s nothing intrinsically effeminate here!)

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

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I ONCE KNEW a beautiful young woman named Shallah who was born in the Middle East and who had a remarkable sense of style and elegance.  I knew her for a long time before she confided in me that not only was she born in Iran (she preferred to say she was “Persian”) but her great grandfather had been the second to last Shah of Iran.

      –Naturally, I didn’t believe a word of it.


But then, CBS TV News came along and did an hour-long documentary on her father, who published a dissident political newspaper out of Switzerland, opposed to both the last Shah (who had deposed her grandfather) and the Ayatollah.  For that service, he was awarded the Number One spot on the Ayatollah’s Most Wanted List. Basically, America loved him.


Shallah’s father had 10 or more children and was remarkably generous to them all.  One Christmas season, the girls all received full-length mink coats.  The following year, he gave them all Jaguars. Somewhere along the line, I was just too overwhelmed to question any of this.


                                          An Ethnic Thing


ANYWAY, THE REASON I bring Shallah up is that she had a spectacular signature style that was distinctly individual. Among other things, she wore bracelets.  Lots of bracelets.  Running from the wrist to the elbow, on both arms. That, mind you, was at a time when no one wore more than one bracelet, on one arm, and nothing on the other.


I figured it was an ethnic thing. But it was also terribly impressive. Not only did the bracelets look fabulous, but each had a history and story all its own. They were all more than jewelry to her; they were prized possessions, worn night and day


Shallah’s bracelets were all bangles of one sort or another, some wider, some thinner, but most in the same size category.  They were all metal, some engraved, some tooled. And they all looked spectacular on this real Middle Eastern princess, with her long silky black hair, dark golden skin, and super-skinny body.









                                       The Hot New Bracelet Mix


NOW, ALL OF A SUDDEN, Shallah’s personal style – with all of its mystical Middle Eastern panache — is making news throughout the fashion world.  Bracelets are hotter than hot.  And if one is big, several dozen are bigger.  Pile them on.  Wear them with impunity. Twenty bracelets on each arm are not too many.  No matter how you wear them, they look great. 


ADOPTING THE NEW BRACELET MIX TAKES A BIT OF PERSONAL WILDNESS. But beyond that, it is easy.  You see, almost anything you do with bracelets will look good, even though some looks are more “designer-y” than others.  Try mixing a big bangle bracelet with a wide cuff for some hot double-duty fashion.  Or, put on a tight cuff, some loose bangles, and another tight cuff for a three-way zinger.  Terrific!


Couturier Alexander Wang uses bracelets with class.  His newest runway look: wide, industrial-styled bracelets in silver, silver pave, and a hematite-like metal, along with half a dozen or so loose dark bangles. Dynamite!



  • A wide basket weave cuff features textured metal openwork in gold or silver plate. 


                                     It’s All in the Mix


MIXING BRACELET MATERIALS also makes for an intriguing new bracelet-arm look.  For example, two wide silver or gold plate cuffs worn with a fabric bangle. Or, you might want to play with styles, combining a single bangle bracelet with a more ornate cuff. 

Yet another idea:  Play the cuff game.  Combine several wide cuff bracelets on one arm.


One of the most impressive bracelet arm structures involves color.  The mix:  plain metal-plate bangles with enameled bracelets in varying colors.  On days when you’re feeling less experimental, stay to the colorful mix alone, putting on many of the same bangles, in different colors, yet all together.







  • Lucite bangles in bright colors of orange, green and yellow





  • Enameled bracelets with geometric pattern
Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Friday, March 13th, 2009

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FORGET ABOUT RULES:   One of the fabulous things about fashion today is that looks matter more than rules.  What you like, what you think looks good, is where it is at.  White can be worn after Labor Day, and who would ever limit their shoe wardrobe to only black?  Direct this modern day psychology of freedom and abundance to jewelry and it opens up worlds of fashion possibilities that didn’t exist just a few years ago. More is more and…everything is flexible! 

Consider bracelets. Wearing only one at a time could be downright boring.  What’s more, bracelets don’t have to be worn only against the skin. They can be put on top of a long sleeved sweater or T, effecting a gorgeous look! Pile them on, the more the merrier. 


With flexible bracelets, as most beaded bracelets are, the fashion choices are especially BIG.  Put a yellow beaded bracelet against a black or blue sweater and wow!  Instant drama.  Let a delicate beaded bracelet fall down below a long sleeved white blouse, gracing the hand with color, and you begin to get the feel of the:

new jewelry dynamics.     

You can always go with classic fashion expressions, but why limit yourself?  Think about these charming bracelet beads and give them the creative uses they deserve!


CERAMIC AND ANTIQUE:  Beads are wildly popular right now, as they have been for several seasons.  The variety and choices here are almost endless, running from archeological-looking varieties to modern, transparent glass or Lucite beads with a Bulgari sensibility.  Shapes are as myriad as colors. Some are oval, some are faceted, some mimic cabochon gemstones.  Many are carved, such as ceramic and antique beads available with an old American Indian appearance.


The age of the wearer is never a factor with beaded bracelets, either; they work for everyone.  And the stretch quality helps them bridge a variety of body types, from very thin to large. What could be better for gift-giving?  — No worry about fit!


Have a classics enthusiast as a client?  Bring out some faux pearl bracelets.  Or show off the elegant plated bead bracelets that give voice to the luxe metallic rush moving across the industry right now.  These beautiful pieces go well with other gold plated bracelets, too, on the same or opposite wrist.  They also make a great fashion play-off against each other!


CELEBRITY POWER: The celebrity impact on beaded bracelets can’t be over-estimated. Gwyneth Paltrow wears a blue-toned multi-strand beaded bracelet on one wrist, and a wide rigid silver bracelet on the other for a beautifully subtle, attractive look.  Charlize Theron also wears bracelets on both wrists at the same time, one notably a double strand large beaded bracelet, the other a more rigid beaded design in matching color.  Artsy.  Classy.  Bohemian.

                  — But, don’t forget the color.  Beaded jewelry brings color to the wrist in a special way and color always (yes, always!) adds a special dimension of fashion and beauty to the wearer.  And you just don’t get better color than with beaded jewelry.


Color, of course, is one of the most desired qualities of beaded bracelets.  Think about a big black glass beaded bracelet set against an outfit expressing the incisive and sophisticated black design look so strong now. This is both hip and urbane, working sales motivation across market segments.  Mardi Gras colored beads are fun for a pre-Lenten expression of wild abandon, or as an everyday connection to the extraordinary individualism that is New Orleans. 


COLORWORKS:  Multicolored beads are leaders in the present fashion field.  Multicolored stretch bracelets are easy to wear and great for all seasons.  They run the gamut from small, dainty and often multi-strand varieties to big, bold single strand balls of colorworks.  Clustered beads on stretch bracelets can be single or multicolored; either way, they are rich and impressive.  The multi-color direction can also be expressed in two or more different colored bracelets worn together:


Seen dancing this week in a Beijing nightery…a beautiful Asian girl in

Western attire wearing two double-strand beaded bracelets tight to the

wrist, one in ivory, the other amber.  Very hot! 


But … beaded jewelry isn’t limited to hot spots. Night clubs are one thing, but beads are as much at home in church, on the beach, in school, or at work.  Indeed, small beaded bracelets have been used for centuries as prayer beads by people worldwide. High schools often order a collection of bracelets in school colors for their students.  Beads fit every and any situation, dress up or casual. And, the fun is, the more you learn about beads, the more intriguing they become. What great conversation starters…!

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Monday, August 18th, 2008