Jewels that keep you looking cool and chic
I usually like it hot. In winter, I dress in layers, sleep in cashmere and hang out in down slippers that might be suitable for Alaska. Yes, I am a sight, but at least I am cozy and warm in my Manhattan apartment. One winter, I remember it was so cold inside and outside that I thought I would have to re-size all of my rings because they would fly off of my fingers every time I moved my hands. Instead, I went ring-less that year, which for me, is like going without lipstick, mascara or earrings for most women.
Yet after enduring the seemingly never ending winter and getting jipped out of spring in May and June, we are experiencing a week in NYC that makes Florida feel arid in August. Every time I walk out the door of my apartment building, it feels as if I walked into a pizza oven, Yes, it’s heatwave, but unlike the snappy lyrics of the Martha Reeve and The Vandella’s song, this is definitely not the “way love is supposed to be”, especially when it comes to wearing jewelry. Yesterday, I had to hop on and off the subway to different meetings and my bejeweled fingers swelled up so much that they were twice the size and there was no way of getting them free from the bands that bind. No amount of lotion, cream, running water, ice, or holding my hands it in front of the air-conditioner, (or all combined) released the grip that was blowing up my right ring and left index finger and turning my them a purplish cast.
And no way was I winding up in emergency room on with the explanation of being strangled by my rings. No intern was slicing a few of my favorite styles (one, an 1780’s Georgian closed foil backed garnet eternity), which even the best of trained jewelers would be hard pressed to put perfectly back together.
Eventually I cooled down, literally and figuratively, woke up in the middle of the night, and although my stack of rings didn’t exactly slide off my fingers, the swelling has somewhat subsided, and I eventually got them off.
Moral of this story: when it’s sweltering outside, it might be wise to alter your jewelry style to beat the heat of summer without having a melt-down. Then when fall/winter arrives again (which will be all too soon) you can take your cue from the statement pieces like the fully armed cuffs at Schiaparelli Fall/Winter 2018-2019 haute couture or the ultra-wide collar at Givenchy.
But in the meantime, if you want a cool, stylish, effortless look that won’t make you feel like you are wearing heavy metal armor, then here are some tips:
-Cut your stackables to half the amount you usually wear.
-Chose one statement ring for summer with a tapered shank. Once I was able to bend my knuckles again, I thought of some of the rings that have a big, bold feeling in the front but have a tapered or thinner shank and are seasonless and lighter weight then they appear.
-Don’t wear looks that are too wide all-around. There is no room to maneuver these as you begin to notice your fingers swelling up.
-Keep most antique rings for cooler weather. You don’t want to have them cut off (oh the mere thought of it), should you not be as lucky as I was.
-Should you still need some help, I found that as wonderful as lush lotions and oils are for creating soft, smooth hands upon which to wear your jewels, there’s nothing like pure olive oil (any brand will do) for slipping out of your too tight rings.
I am a huge fan of both layering multi necklaces and wearing multi-charms on one chain. But in summer I tend to stay away from four or five graduated layers that stick to the back of my neck. They eventually begins irritating my skin and I wind up wanting to take them off as quickly as possible which lands them in a pile of tangled chains. Instead I have learned to keep the layering down to a minimum when the heat index hits 99 and go for one or two lightweight styles that work all summer long.
-Talisman charm necklaces which can carry a lot of weight in winter in antique, antique and modern and all modern charms could weigh you down in summer. Why not taper the amount of pendants you wear on your necklace when the temperature soars. Trade off different meanings and symbolism for different days, depending on your moods, feelings and sentiments.
-I also will give the same advice to you as I give to myself. A little color goes a long way. A delicate lariat or Y-necklace or one beautiful disc with enamel and gemstones will go a long way during the summer months and will allow you to feel cool, comfortable and chic.
-Stay away from piling too many on. You don’t want to feel shackled to your jewelry. If you want to layer, then go lightweight.
-If you are a statement girl at heart and you love sentimental meanings then I would recommend one great gold or silver Victorian bangle. They are traditionally hollow and not too heavy on the wrist and they still offer great stand out looks.
BROOCHES AND CLIPS
-These multi-purpose jewels are perfect all year round. Why? They are usually pinned to a piece of clothing, so they are getting stuck on you when the humidity soars. Place them on the shoulder or a sleeveless dress or the side of a skirt. You can wear them in multiples across a neckline or with a few tricks and bobby pins—they can be worn to decorate and hold your hair in an elegant updo for summer.
-The earring revival is still going strong. It’s the one place you can layer and pile it on for during the extreme heat and look chic and cool at same time. But beware, stay away from styles that weigh too heavy on your lobes.
-Go long and lean in antique and modern styles
-Find yourself a few studs
-it’s the one place you wear jackets and not feel like passing out
-Cuffs can be as light as a feather and can be added to your look
-Single and double drops look great when graduated up the ear and even better when they mix modern and antique elements.