The essential 6: Your jewelry wardrobe by Nan Napier

Everyday earrings

Everyday earrings

Statement ring

Statement ring

Party earrings

Party earrings

Stack of Bangles

Stack of Bangles

Jewelry with color

Jewelry with color

Just as there are pieces that every woman must have in her wardrobe – a little black dress, classic black pants, crisp white shirt and flattering jeans – you also need a few essential pieces of jewelry for everyday and special events.

And there are different ways to build your personal jewelry collection:

Silver versus gold. Most women favor either silver or white tones, including white gold and platinum, or golden yellow tones. This could be based on anything from current hair color to family heirlooms. But I don’t know anyone who owns only all gold or all silver. That’s just too confining. Some outfits really need silver, some gold. So while the emphasis may be on one or the other, both are needed.

Jewelry suites. A “suite” of jewelry is at least two matching pieces worn together, like a silver necklace with a mother of pearl pendant and matching mother of pearl drop silver earrings. It’s all ready to go. You’re not hunting for earrings to go with your statement necklace.

Individual items. I love having individual pieces to work with as I pick out a day’s jewelry. Sometimes suites get too matchy-matchy. What’s the downside? Sometimes I am stuck with great pieces that don’t necessarily look perfect with anything else I have. Still, I’d rather deal with the challenge of mixing items to create something interesting.

At Tres Mariposas, we carry the beautiful Ippolita collection, designed by Ippolita Rostango, the daughter of an American artist and an Italian intellectual who grew up in Italy and now lives in the U.S. Ippolita is so successful in part because of the versatility of her jewelry.

Rostango recommends building a collection with styles that work together and can be used in many ways. Her pieces can be worn together or apart, so women can be comfortable matching or mixing.

Ippolita recommends six essential pieces for your collection. Here are this year’s must-haves:

Stacks of bangles. Mix bangles of different metals and stones to create your own look. Bangles are your No. 1 essential right now in terms of popularity.

Everyday earrings. These are your go-to earrings that work with anything. For some, it’s a diamond solitaire; for others, it’s a silver hoop. Boom. Done. No more thinking.

Statement rings. Tell the world who you are with a ring that reveals your personality, bold, flirtatious or sultry. Make it edgy, like a large stone in an unusual setting or a fun combination of metal shapes and textures.

Long necklaces. Wear one significant strand or several long necklaces layered. Long necklaces have more drama and oomph than shorter pieces.

Anything with color. Don’t settle for an all silver or gold jewelry wardrobe. You wouldn’t settle for all-neutral clothes. Include pendants, earrings or bracelets that carry a punch of color.

Party earrings. This time of year, our everyday earrings just aren’t enough for evening affairs. Sparkly, dangly, shimmering and luxurious, party earrings elevate your outfit and your mood.

If you’re shopping for jewelry for the ladies in your life, have fun selecting something from this list of essentials.

You’re sure to receive a big hug this holiday season!

 

Ready to wrap up: Top 10 ways to wear fur by Nan Napier

Animal Print Fur

Animal Print Fur

Fur Stole

Fur Stole

Colorful fur scarvesColorful fur scarves

Dress-length fur coat

Dress-length fur coat

Dress-length fur coat

Dress-length fur coat

Orange Fun Fur

Orange Fun Fur

Fur Trimmed Sweater

Fur Trimmed Sweater

Reversible travel coat

Reversible travel coat

Furs rode back into fashion on a big wave a few years ago.

It’s said that in time of economic downturns, people look for ways they can find luxury and glamour. The resurgence of furs continues strongly this year because of innovative products that meet the need for lightweight practicality.

If you haven’t shopped for fur garments recently, you might be surprised. Knitted fur coats and jackets are amazingly lightweight, feeling more like a sweater than a heavy winter garment. These pieces can be so light that they are often substituted for a blazer or jacket.

Prices are appealing, varying from a couple of hundred dollars for a fun vest all the way up to the sky for Russian sable and exotics.

Fur accessories are also hot this season. A fur scarf is a must, but you can also have fun with fur-trimmed sweaters, fur hats and fur collars. Just as you have a closet full of coats, multiple furs are needed for dressy, casual, and sporty outings.

Here are your top 10 ways to wear fur this year:

• The animal print fur

• The fur stole, a must for evening occasions.

• Fur scarves in bright colors

• The dress-length fur coat, in a bright or neutral.

• The car coat, for everyday errands

• Color in a fun fur

• The wrap in purple fox

• The fur-trimmed sweater

• The fur vest, the hottest style of all because it’s so easy and sporty.

• The travel coat: mink reversible to rain silk.

 

15 Top Fashion Tips – Tried and True by Nan Napier

Scarves by Michael Kors

Scarves by Michael Kors

People always ask me for fashion advice and I love to share what I’ve learned from years of experience in this field. I actually collect fashion tips, writing them down with you, dear readers, in mind. This week I’m sharing my favorites, starting with the tried-and-true classics and ending with some for the current season.

• Stay healthy and fit. If I had to pick one tip for being fashionable, this would be it. It’s nigh on impossible to look chic and stylish if you are ill, weary, overweight or anorexic. Take care of yourself, keep up with your vitamins and good nutrition, and get enough sleep. If you aren’t physically fit, find an exercise that you enjoy and ease into it slowly.

• Be yourself. Style is as much about character and personality as it is about a specific look. Know who you are in each chapter of your life and use your clothes as a vehicle for self-expression.

• See the total picture. This includes makeup, clothing, accessories, hair and the way you carry yourself. One trendy item doesn’t make great style unless it is blended with the right elements.

• Change is good. Don’t stick with one look for a lifetime. Every season designers give us new looks and introduce new colors. You need only adopt a few of the many au-courant options available. Even a little change will make you look youthful and up-to-date.

• Wear clothes that fit. Proper fit is neither overly roomy nor too snug. You want clothes that have a really nice drape without tugging or bagging. In designer or couture circles, good fit is sometimes called “elegantly loose.” The alterations expert is your fashion assistant. Correct hems for pants and sleeves are a must.

• Take a cue from European women. They prefer quality over quantity. Look for quality in fabric, construction, design and fit.

• Throw on a scarf, the ultimate accessory. I know I get a lot of compliments every time I wear a scarf. I’m pretty sure I could wear a garbage sack and a scarf and I would still get compliments. Don’t try too hard to tie it in a cutesy way or you will look contrived.

• Leverage the power of color. Coco Chanel said, “The best color in the world is the one that looks best on you.” It’s not hard to figure out. It’s the color you’re wearing every time your friends say you look great.

• An organized closet is your friend. Many closets and chest of drawers are cluttered with clothes that haven’t been worn in years. Even though it’s a pain to constantly update, the benefits are huge. Working out of an in-shape closet means you are choosing only current items that you like and that fit. What would you rather face each morning: a great small assortment or an overstuffed closet of questionable garments?

• “There are no ugly women, just lazy ones.” This Helena Rubenstein quote reminds me of how some women say that they wish they could look more fashionable and more youthful, but they don’t do anything. It’s like the joke where a woman looks into the mirror and says, “Somebody needs to do something about this!” Spending time on ourselves is all a matter of priorities, whether it is getting just the right haircut or exercise regime or wearing sunscreen and a hat.

• Update your evening wardrobe. Don’t make the mistake of having one evening wear or black tie outfit that you pull from the back of the closet once or twice a year to wear to a gala. Just look around at the next big party or wedding: some women will be wearing their same old dated uniform. Yes, it’s impractical to buy a new dress that you will only wear a few times. However, it’s fun to dress up and feel like Cinderella! Remind yourself that you are worth it.

• Be open-minded. Take at least one thing into the fitting room that is a stretch for you. You never know until you try. At Tres Mariposas we have women who are astonished all the time.

• Know the universal colors. These colors go with all skin tones: they’re not too warm or too cool, too light or too deep, too muted or too bright. They include coral pink, violet, watermelon red, turquoise, teal and periwinkle blue.

• Pay attention to silhouettes. Right now, big on top and skinny on bottom is fashionable. However, you can’t wear a little cropped, tiny silhouette jacket without looking dated these days. Silhouettes, the overall shape and form of a garment or outfit, change. Even though you have 10 pairs of black pants in your closet, you need the current shape and silhouette.

• Accessorize with brights. All it takes this month is a yummy bright colored scarf in solid or pattern, and you have it made. A great scarf positively pumps up everything else to make a super look. What could be easier?

Looking for more quick tips? A couple of great sources in my library are In Style magazine’s list of “The 50 Best Fashion Tips of All Time” (“In Style/ Makeover 2011”) and Dorius Pooser’s book, “Always in Style” (Axo Press, 2010).