As part of her series on minimalist dressing, Deja Pseu has graciously invited me to write a guest post on jewelry.
-Duchesse, Passage des perles
If you enjoy jewelry, the subtle cuts of minimalist clothes are a perfect backdrop, but require some thought.
Pieces like this Céline pantsuit are styled for the runway with no jewelry, but I'd feel naked with absolutely nothing on my fingers or ears, and appreciate the subtle softening effect of a ring or earrings.
Mass-market production jewelry (such as those in a typical department store) is often over-designed and too fussy. One of those messy-chain necklaces will look as out of place on a calm Calvin Klein dress as fuzzy dice in a Bentley.
Instead, invest in fine quality or seek out young designers making handmade pieces from the noble metals– and don't mess with Ms. In-Between.
Resist one-upping the restraint of minimalist with the starkest designs; you don't want to look like a nun who won the lottery. The Tiffany Frank Gehry Torque Pendant is an example of what I'd avoid: too cold, too neuter.
Below, suggestions for what you pull out of your jewelry box, or for additions to your collection, at both fine and emerging-designer price points. Because sometimes our budgets are minimalist, too.
Serene yet interesting, Dean Harris' citrine and 18k dangles provide a rich yet neutral accent. Price, $1,550 from Barneys.
At the gentle end of the price continuum, rosaline glass and washed-gold over brass earrngs by Etsy seller juliesadorabowls have the right organic feel. Price, $22.
Minimalist clothes suit bangles and cuffs. For the fine jewelry option, I'd choose vintage and admit serious jewel lust for Beladora's retro rose cuff; price, $2,450. What begins as lust would turn into a lifetime romance.
Ethnic jewelry is marvelous with simple chic, and the clothes return the compliment. This etched brass Turkish Tile cuff molds to the wrist and is just $30 from Etsy seller bcjewelry. At that price, you can wear a pair!
Natural materials like Roost's horn cuff also work well. This 2-inch bracelet is $35 from Multi Chic.
Around your neck
I noticed a woman in an Eileen Fisher ensemble accessorized by a huge, bright-bead necklace that overwhelmed its grace, and could almost hear her thinking "It just needs something to pick it up". Think caress rather than bear hug, texture rather than brilliant colour.Beth Orduna's labradorite pendant necklace features a shimmery faceted teardrop stone (nearly 1 1/2 inches) fastened to a flowered clasp holding a ring of moonstone, and a 19-inch silver chain. Price, $814 from Twist.
Etsy seller wulfgirl has the goods for our budget option; check out her 18k bead and silver-coated Czech glass 25-inch necklace strung on silk.
It's nubbly and cool, and combines silver and gold so mixes easily with what you already have; price, $40.
Your jewelry looks best when it's not too formal, in harmony with the relaxed simplicity of the clothes. (Shown: Eileen Fisher double-faced merino jacket.) Wear a standout ring, like this Jamie Joseph oval serpentine ring with diamond, bezel-set in 14k gold on your hand and voila, you're dressed! Price, $805 from Ylang23.
Low-end for rings is often a false economy: they need to wear well. But Anat Basanta's is the exception; her silver Corset Ring combines substance with subtlety; price, $185.
The traditional wedding band and diamond ER set looks dated with these sleek clothes, so if you wear them, how about a new ring? Shown, Carla Caruso Infinity Band, price, $350 from The Clay Pot.
Don't forget your pearls!
Minimalism’s assured authenticity is best accessorized with the unmistakably genuine, but real pearls don’t have to be perfect spheres. Save that polite white strand for blazers or tweeds; choose pearls with character and natural colour. With so many pearls available in the triple-digit range, you can wear your gems day and night.
A 32-inch rope of baroque Tahitian pearls (8mm-11mm) with natural (undyed) hues of peacock, pistachio, deep blue, aubergine, chocolate, silver, and deep steel grey would be quite wonderful. Price, $540 from Kojima Company.
I think I saved the best for last, but you know me and pearls! Both Pseu and I will enjoy hearing what you like to wear with your pared-down favourite pieces.