Customer Watch: Braced for the Occasion—Jewelry as Armor

Some days are quite a bit more of a challenge than others. Everyone has appointments, meetings and occasions that require more than average effort to get through. The day might be one involving an activity one dreads, or an event or meeting anticipated to be difficult or unusually significant on a personal or professional level.


The May 26, 2008 issue of New York magazine features an interview of actress Laura Dern, who portrays in the new HBO movie “Recount” the infamous Florida Secretary of State, Katherine Harris, “who, you may recall,” writes Chris Rovzar, “presided over the contested election while simultaneously serving as co-chair of George W. Bush’s Florida campaign. Or perhaps you just remember her makeup.”


Rovzar inquired of Ms. Dern whether she thought Ms. Harris wore so much makeup to avoid looking washed out on television. Ms. Dern noted that the experience of international press coverage was probably quite shocking for a state official used to local press coverage at best, and perceptively suggested: “I think the makeup was almost like armor.”


Image consultants speak of the concept of being “braced” for an occasion, dressing to handle the challenge of that occasion. In essence, it is quite possible to wear clothing or accessories that serve as a kind of armor. Whatever style personality typifies one’s preferred manner of dress, there are ways to dial up the look to feel especially confident, powerful and emboldened when drawing upon one’s personal strengths will be necessary. For most men and women, the braced look is that of a polished professional, often incorporating the most powerful color appropriate for the individual. This is the concept of the “power suit” or, on a slightly different level of fashion, what Lucky magazine might refer to as a “foolproof” outfit.


Jewelry can and should be an essential component of braced dressing, when one needs to look one’s confident best. A classic watch and a beautiful ring can make the wearer feel more polished. The most elegant power suit on a woman will only truly look finished when accompanied by appropriate earrings and a necklace or brooch that adds a final decorative touch of elegance. Jewelry can impart confidence, signal authoritativeness and give the wearer additional personal presence.


And yes–you knew this pun was coming—one can be braced with bracelets. If a pair of bold cuffs makes one feel a bit like Wonder Woman, ready to tackle any challenge, who can argue with the power in that?

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