Category Archives: jewelry

Cool, understated jewelry. Yes please.


Last night, I attended a trunk show for local SF jewelry brand, Salty Fox. Very cool stuff. I’ve been attracted to big, vintage-style baubles for a long time now (still am!), but have started to gravitate towards more minimal pieces for my day-to-day. Maybe it’s the West coast laid back-itude. Or maybe I just appreciate less fuss and more versatility now. Either way, I found Salty Fox’s pieces to have just enough edge to keep things interesting. Not too girly or precious, and completely wearable.

colleen mauer designs

And in a not at all seamless segue, let me take this moment to highlight another SF designer, Colleen Mauer, whose pieces will be making a debut in my upcoming video (stay tuned for deets). Her aesthetic reflects that same subtle, tasteful edge. I’m especially in love with her ridiculously awesome square stacked ring.

Salty Fox available at

Colleen Mauer designs available at

Look like you know what you’re doing when you buy jewelry as a gift

So every year my father buys my mom a piece of jewelry for Christmas. It’s such a wonderful gesture, but the box is often returned a few days into January. My point is–Dad, if you’re listening–buying a woman jewelry is HARD. It’s a very personal thing, especially if she tends to be particular in her tastes (and we kind of all are, right?). That said, I thought it’d be helpful to offer some guidance for anyone willing to take that risk and buy some bling for their loved ones this holiday.

First of all, stick to brands and designers you know the person likes. This makes the odds of them not fake-liking your gift that much more in your favor! Unfortunately, you’re not always going to know that info. But if you can gather some style and personality clues, then shopping for jewelry can be easier. Hopefully you know the person well enough to catch a glimpse of said style and personality. Unless it’s secret santa, in which case, buy fancy booze instead.

Take a minute to think about the type of person you’re buying for, and then let that lead you to one of the following designers. All of which I love.


If she’s: trendy, modern, and loves to follow fashion

Look for: Kelly Wearstler, Dannijo

You will score big points if you show up to gift-giving time with one of these designer’s pieces. On the pricier side, though, just fyi.

If she’s: nostalgic, romantic, loves vintage

Look for: Lulu Frost (who also does a line for J. Crew), Miriam Salat, Kenneth Jay Lane

For the decadent grandmother in all of us. These designers offer opulent, over the top, gorgeous items. Lulu offers stuff on the more delicate side too.

If she’s: edgy, rock and roll-ish

Look for: Pamela Love, Eddie Borgo

Yes there are spikes involved. But they’re chic spikes! Plus a single piece from these designers will appropriately edge up a conservative ensemble. That means your waspy Aunt Stephanie would also look pretty rad in Pamela or Eddie.

If she’s:  classic and minimalist

Look for: Ippolita, Gorjana, Madewell

Ippolita is definitely an investment piece, but their bangles go with everything. And both Gorjana and Madewell offer tiny trinkets that can be worn everyday for a long, long time.


If she’s: hippie/earth goddess (but still cool)

Look for: Agapantha, Jacquie Aiche

These pieces have a more organic, handmade feel. Super pretty, feminine…and affordable!

Also check out BaubleBar, Love her Madly, and J.Crew for darling xmas picks at all prices.

My love affair with Love her Madly

I wrote about the amazing Love her Madly a while back in a post on office-appropriate jewelry. The site is owned by a friend of mine, who has an insanely good eye for one-of-a-kind pieces.

I knew Rachel from my first job in fashion (she was my boss), and I remember being so excited to see her walk into the office everyday, not only because she was one of the nicest people on the planet, but because THE GIRL COULD DRESS. She was quite the style genius. But not in an outlandish, in-your-face kind of way. I’d say her style was soft and feminine with a kick. And that kick would often come from fantastic jewelry. So I was beyond thrilled when she started Love her Madly, which offers an impeccably curated selection of jewelry from around the world.

I sat down (virtually) with Rachel, and asked her some questions about the biz and such.

How did you come up with the idea for Love her Madly?

 I have always adored jewelry.  As a child I would watch my mom accessorize with sparkling pieces that I would dream of wearing some day.  Through both of my parents (yes, my dad has great taste too) I observed their knowledge and appreciation for one-of-a-kind costume jewelry pieces.  So the idea of Love her Madly has been cultivating in my head for years.

Where do you find the jewelry? Who designs it?

I seek out designers from all over the world.  Our goal at LhM is to consistently introduce pieces that are unique, vibrant and well constructed. My design team and I create some signature pieces as well.

Do you have any current favorites on your site?

I’m loving vibrant color right now so our Bliss Droplet Earrings are a must have for summer. Rings are a huge addiction of mine.  I’m a sucker for classic statement pieces like our Rhinestone Claw Rings.

Why do you think jewelry should be a part of one’s wardrobe?

 Jewelry is powerful.  It has the ability to change your mood and the mood of your outfit. Even the slightest touch of jewelry will never go unnoticed.

Who are your style icons?

My grandma Roz tops my list by far.  Her style was daring & bold, yet simply amazing.  I also adore Ali MacGraw’s style from the 60s and early Kate Moss in the 90s. For me it’s about confidence and risk taking.  Current style icons… Kate Bosworth & Gwen Stefani.

 Any fashion blogs/sites that you follow regularly?

As of now just a few…

StyleCasterFarfetchThe Re-Stylist!!

Shop Love her Madly’s lovely baubles at

(image from LhM)

Jewelry that works for the office (because not all does)

While I’m away, I’ll be re-posting some favorites from the TRS archives. Be back soon! 

Jewelry can add sheer amazingness to an otherwise ho-hum ensemble. Statement necklaces, bold cuffs, and fabulous earrings all do wonders to personalize and jazz up wardrobe basics. But when it comes to the office, not all jewelry will do. That doesn’t mean you have to leave the fun stuff at home, just know how to pick and choose correctly.

Most importantly, if it makes noise, it’s not office-friendly. This is especially true for stacked bracelets. Don’t get me wrong, I love the stacked effect, but if it jingles and jangles, then you’ll become that annoying distraction to anyone who sits near you. Opt instead for a chunky watch, or a single bold cuff. This allows for a silent, yet equally strong, statement.

Long earrings are acceptable, but don’t make them too fancy. After watching Serena Williams play tennis in blinged out chandelier diamonds, I must stress more than ever that there’s a time and place for everything. And for eight-foot-long diamond earrings, that place is not the tennis court. Oh, Serena. Reserve sparkly things for evening and more formal occasions. For the office, try out geometric shapes, or earrings that have a retro feel.

Necklaces are your safest bet. Because they tend to blend into an ensemble (since they’re placed on the clothes, as opposed to a ring or bracelet which sits away from the outfit), you can get away with working bigger statement necklaces into your office look. Above are some beautiful pieces from a new jewelry site, Love Her Madly. (Full disclosure: the creator of LHM is a dear friend of mine, but I would feature her jewelry ANYWAY, as she is one of the chicest ladies I know!)

Sasha Maks Vintage jewelry… because you gotta go big or go home, people

Last night I attended a party and trunk show celebrating the launch of the new e-commerce site for Sasha Maks Vintage. If you’re into decadent vintage jewelry (and really, everyone should be), Sasha Maks is a name to know. Her collection is impeccably curated, and just plain amazing. And now she’s offering them for sale on her very own e-boutique. I am always on the lookout for unique jewelry–both for myself and my clients–and I’m SO happy to have discovered Sasha Maks.

The launch party was held at the hidden gem, Conifer, in Cow Hollow. There were stunning vintage pieces galore, as well as the cutest teeny tiny cupcakes for the guests.

Below is some of the amazingness:

The red pendant and earrings on the left are vintage Dior (not yet on the site).

And here’s Sasha rocking some eye-catchers herself. Look at those fierce green shoes!

My favorites of the night: A crazy jaguar bracelet from the 50s, and the statement necklace of all statement necklaces: a 1970s Lanvin.

Check out these and more goodies at Congrats, Sasha! I will be shopping on your site way too often for my own good.

My new find: Topshop’s trendy baubles

Need some bling on the cheap? Check out Topshop! It’s where I recently discovered a treasure trove of affordable jewelry. I was there with a client, and we ended up spending quite a bit of time in their 1st floor accessories area. They have a ton of cool necklaces, rings, earrings, and bracelets especially.

The prices go from $10 to $50, so you can stock up on fun stuff for all of your fall looks. The types range from edgy spikes to art deco to more tribal-inspired pieces, including lots of big stones that actually don’t look too cheap. I mean, they’re still of the costume jewelry variety, but at least the glue’s not oozing from the setting.

When asked where I find good inexpensive jewelry, I often suggest Banana and J. Crew, but will be adding Topshop to that rec list for sure.

Also available online at

The 2011 choker: no more wimpy velvet


Remember when chokers were all the rage? Especially those velvet ribbon ones with cameo pendants or big fake jewels dangling from them? Well, they’re back. Sans the velvet. (Phew.)

According to today’s Who What Wear email, along with a slew of other trend sources, the 2011 choker is here and in full effect. And it’s not the flimsy kind we remember. This season’s chokers are very structured and bold, often made from heavy metals or chains. I mentioned my excitement over Michael Kors’ wide gold ones on the fall runway, and have been seeing similar styles pop up in stores. About a month ago, I stumbled upon a ton of them for sale at Housing Works (one of my favorite thrift stores). I bought three, and am excited to incorporate them into some fall looks.

Style hint: Try teaming a thick choker with an assortment of long thin pendant necklaces for an edgy combo. Or opt for a choker over that turtleneck we talked about.

Arm Happy

Today, Refinery29 showcased their favorite fashionistas’ obsessions with arm candy. In general, I love the mixing and matching of bracelets, watches, and other arm-y things. I think it creates an edgy, fun look that can punch up any ensemble. And while I wouldn’t advise my clients to go all out with bling up to their elbows, there are some great ways to make this trend your own.

–Try mixing metals. I’ve mentioned this before as a way to amp up your jewelry look. It can be as simple as wearing a gold bangle with your silver watch.

–Pair different materials, like a fabric bracelet with metal, or wood cuff with a gold watch.

–Try a bunch on one arm, and a single on the other. This creates a cool, off-balance, not-too-heavy vibe.

And I must point out the above dinosaur bones bracelet from Noir as one of my new favorites. It was featured on Gwen Stefani on the cover of Elle UK back in May. This is definitely on my wish list for fall, even though it’s sold out (minor detail). I’ll bet there’s a cheap knock-off somewhere in Chinatown with my name on it.

Michael Kors bling coming soon, and for a decent price

I apologize for the deluge of jewelry posts lately. Guess I got gold on the brain. Anyway, I couldn’t pass up sharing this tidbit I found on NYMag’s The Cut.

The amazing gold cuff necklaces and bracelets from Michael Kors’ Fall 2011 show will be made available next month for us mere commoners to buy! And at around $125, they’re not completely unattainable.

I have been eyeing these pieces (especially the necklaces) since I first saw them on the runway. It’s the perfect power accessory to a simple dress or muted suit. In fact, I have been searching for something exactly like this for my wedding dress. But that’s a whole other post, so stay tuned.

And as soon as the location/date become available for where to find MK’s jewelry, I will let you know!

Mixing Metals: a do or a don’t?

One of my clients just posted this fantastic question on the TRS Facebook page:

I have an awesome, large-faced watch I wear that is silver… And as a teacher I find I definitely need to wear a watch! But a lot of my fun, funky jewelry is gold or gold-toned that I wear on a regular basis. Should I invest in a big-faced gold watch (or other type of watch) OR can i mix and match?

The answer is a big fat YES to the mix and match! If you already have a watch that you love, there’s no need to invest in a new one. The concept of matching all of your jewelry is as archaic as matching your shoes to your outfit. It just doesn’t need to be done.

I own a chunky men’s Michael Kors watch in silver, and I pair it with everything: gold, silver, bronze, and even bold colors. Even though I tend to buy more gold jewelry, I happen to think silver watches are just so sleek.

The mixture of metals, whether it’s right next to each other (like above), or simply a silver watch worn with a gold necklace, will always give your ensemble a more dynamic feel.

So save your money for other fun jewelry, and keep on flaunting that silver watch.. with everything!

Have a burning style question? Like TRS on Facebook and post your questions there, or start following me on Twitter and tweet away.