Saturday, November 17, 2012

Between Fad and Fashion: Know the Difference

Fashion is always changing and you sometimes end up not being able to catch up with it. How many times have you bought a new outfit and ended up just wearing it once because it was no longer in fashion? Were there times that you bought a lot of stuff that ended up at the back of your closet, never to see daylight again? Don’t you just cringe when you remember what you wore it once just because it was the “trend”?

With the way fashion changes in an instant, it becomes really difficult to distinguish which is fad and which is true fashion. You most probably end up buying tons of stuff that you never get to wear the next year or worse, the next week, and thus, were not worth the money that you paid for them. Here are some tips to help you all along.

Know the Trend, Know Yourself

It is actually very easy to know what the next trend is going to be. You get a hint of this when you watch popular television shows and observe famous actors and actresses. Celebrities are usually the ones who promotes a new trend and if you don’t really like gossiping about their lives, then think that this is one way of finding out what the next fashion is going to be.

Finding what’s popular now is actually very easy. You will see images in magazines, designs copied in stores and the most telling part is when somebody you know is wearing them. The important question to ask yourself is, “Can I wear them?” and “Will I have the opportunity to wear it?”

Don’t just buy something because it is the new trend without being sure yourself that you can wear it. Don’t just stash it in the far corners of your closet thinking that you could probably put it to good use someday. There is really no point in buying something that you are not sure you could wear.

Keep Up with Fashion, Ignore the Fad

It is very tempting to buy the latest skinny jeans or indulge in a pair of espadrilles but you should stock up on the basics and classic pieces first. Classic pieces like the little black dress, black slacks, white button down shirt, jeans and a black pencil skirt are fashion pieces that never go out of style.

For example, leopard prints are the latest trend and you want to try the look out. Instead of buying every article of clothing that has a leopard print in it, why not buy a few accessory pieces or two just to satisfy your curiosity and give you that updated, new fashion look? You can buy headbands with leopard prints or pumps with leopard prints and pair those up with classic pieces like a pair of jeans and a white button down shirt.

Don’t get caught up in fashion to the point that you don’t get to decide yourself if you look good or not. Know yourself, know your body and decide to wear what you like and what looks great. Sometimes, fashion is just all about common sense.

The 411 On Pearls And Fashion

So you got some nice pearl jewelry that your husband bought for you for Valentine’s Day. Or perhaps your son surprised you with a nice pearl choker for Mother’s Day. Maybe Santa gave you a stunning pearl pendant for Christmas. With all this jewelry, do you know how to accessorize them with your wardrobe? If not, don’t panic. Pearl jewelry is very versatile; it will go well with just about anything, depending on size and color of the said jewelry. Here are some helpful hints on how to add flair to your everyday style with pearls.

Pearl jewelry is useless if you allow it to collect dust on your shelves or in your jewelry box; after all, it was designed as a fashion accessory. As mentioned before, pearl jewelry is incredibly versatile and can enhance any apparel or attire depending on the occasion and the kind of attire you will be wearing. Medium-sized white pearls would go wonderful with a red evening dress while smaller white pearls would go great with a business pantsuit. Obviously, there is a time and place to wear pearl jewelry. Evening parties and a night at the opera house are two acceptable occasions to wear this kind of jewelry; likewise, a job interview or a day at the beach are occasions when pearl jewelry is NOT acceptable to be worn.

For those looking to dress up for a night on the town or to a formal dinner party, teardrop pearl jewelry is a must-have! No matter what your skin tone is, white teardrop pearl jewelry is the best for formal wear. For white dresses or pantsuits, teardrop pearls in a cream color or an off-white hue is perfect (white jewelry with white clothes will “disguise” the jewelry). Teardrop pearl earrings with added Cubic Zirconium diamonds are the perfect accessories to a black, spaghetti strap dress. They also go well with prom dresses, too.

If teardrop pearls don’t interest you, then try round or “off round” pearls to go with your formal wear. These pearls are what most people imagine pearls to be like: round, white or light pink, and full of luster. A pink pearl necklace made from round pearls will dazzle any light colored eveningwear. For darker clothing, wear a 2 or 3 row pearl necklace as a choker. This kind of jewelry is also perfect for any bridal ensemble, especially in a light pink pastel color. They also make great pearl earrings as well as pendants.

So you don’t go to formal dinner parties but you still want to wear your pearls, right? Don’t sweat; you can still wear them with a short-sleeved top or button-down blouse with a pair of blue jeans (you can also wear them with a white blouse and a pantsuit for work, too). It all depends on the color of both the pearls and the blouse. Light black round pearls with a blue overtone look perfect with a white blouse and blue jeans as a bracelet or a pair of earrings. As a necklace, they would look best if spaced out instead of a full row of pearls. If you like pastel colors, pastel pink, lavender, or a light orange will work just as good. If you want to wear pearls with a sundress, pastel colored pearls would look fine as long as the sundress has solid colors. If your dress is multi-colored, then go for pearls that are bigger and darker in color (preferably in a single color) to contrast the colors of the dress (note that bigger pearls are more expensive) and it should be in one of the colors that are in the dress itself.

If properly cared for, your pearl jewelry should last a long time. Some pearl jewelry has been kept as heirlooms for generations! If you would like to create a special necklace for a young family member albeit your daughter, granddaughter, niece, etc., here’s a nifty idea that you can try. Starting with the first birthday (or any birthday before the age of five), add one or a few pearls to a silk strand and do this for each birthday. When the girl finally reaches her 18th birthday, her necklace will be a complete strand of pearls! It would make a great birthday gift or graduation present. Better yet, keep adding more pearls (as space allows) and give the necklace to her to wear for her wedding. Who knows, maybe she’ll keep it as an heirloom and pass it down to her children.

Pearls are attractive as jewelry, but what if you want to include other items in your bracelet or necklace? What you can do is “mix it up.” Simply mix saltwater and freshwater pearls together in a pattern (preferably in two or three different colors). You can also use coral beads and semi-precious gemstones to the mix as well. Like regular pearls, you can use the same color or mix and match for a pattern, depending on your personal taste and your creativity. Remember, the only limit is your imagination!

Now that you know how to wear your pearls with your clothes, let’s talk about how to take care of your pearl jewelry. Unlike the other jewelry you have in your collection, pearl jewelry cannot be tossed around anywhere. You don’t want to damage the pearls, especially if you’ve invested a great deal of money to buy them. Never put them in a place where they can be scratched up or where the strand can be broken. Make sure that they are in an area where they cannot be reached by young children or pets. The last thing you want is a $100 pearl necklace to be torn to pieces by your dog.

To keep your pearls clean and free of perfumes and sweat (trust us, everyone sweats), clean them with a soft cloth and light soapy water. Pat them dry and put them in a SEPARATE jewelry case away from your regular jewelry, preferably in individual cases if you have a long, expensive pearl necklace so that they don’t rub up against each other. This way, your pearls will stay lustrous and beautiful for a long time.

In short, pearl jewelry is versatile for most occasions and apparel. They can be worn at cocktail parties, business meetings, weddings, and even at a casual stroll at the mall. They can be given to young women as coming-of-age gifts or for anytime. Whatever the occasion, you can certainly count on pearl jewelry to make your clothes as well as yourself look stylish!