Glimmer, Gleam & Glow: Jewelry to Wear with Metallic Daywear

Metallics are having their day in the spotlight, and in the sunlight too. The freshest neutrals, metallics add a bit of stylish gleam. Garments rendered in metallics are perennially popular during the holiday season at year-end, of course, and often make an appearance in formal looks on the red carpet, but this year metallics are continuing their reign out in the sunlight into the spring and summer. Personally, I’ve swapped out my workhorse black handbag for a version in glimmering silver leather, and I won’t look back.

That metallics have staying power for daytime wear is readily evident with the amount of coverage they have received in the fashion press. How to accent these shimmering garments with jewelry presents an intriguing new issue for many fashion-savvy women. Here’s a look at metallics in the American fashion magazines and how they are accessorized with jewelry.

“Mix in Metallics” urges InStyle magazine in a spread on office-appropriate apparel in the January 2011 issue: “A gauzy, gold-threaded tank reflects light, brightening up dull winter complexions.” The tank, by Trina Turk, is shown above right, worn under a wool-nylon jacket from United Colors of Benetton. The ensemble is accented with moonstone, tourmaline, cubic zirconia, and gold plate drop earrings from Julie Sandlau.

About the ensemble shown above to the left, InStyle states: “A metallic brocade skirt is a striking departure from typical 9-to-5 attire. Balance the opulence with a simple silk button-down, flats, and an arty cuff.” The resin, agate and gold plate cuff is from Isharya. The crystal-accented goldtone hoop earrings are from Marlyn Schiff.  

“Shimmer Down Now” proclaims the March 2011 issue of Marie Claire, “Like pixie dust, iridescent finishes breathe magic into menswear staples. The magazine suggests that readers limit glitz to a top or bottom, never both, and provides this style tip: “Don’t let jewelry compete with the look:  Moonstones and pearls are subtle complements.”  The pearl-studded cuff bracelet is from Tasaki Collection by Thakoon; the long moonstone and 18k gold necklace is from Pippa Small Jewellery, and the moonstone and 18 karat gold ring is from Irene Neuwirth.

The March 2011 issue of Allure states: “A glint of metal—rather than full-on sparkle—is the new way to shine.” The spread features a pair of metallic bracelets: an embossed lambskin and leather cuff from Ted Rossi, and a faux-leather cuff from Sequin.

The March 2011 issue of Allure also features this look, including sterling silver cuffs, all by Reed Krakoff.

In its feature “Trends for Grown-Ups,” the March 2011 issue of Good Housekeeping focuses on sequins: “Putting on the glitz is now daytime doable, if the silhouette is simple and the sheen is subtle—pick low-luster pewters and pearls, not showgirl scarlets and sapphires. And quiet accessories let these sparkly pieces shine.” The necklace shown is from Relativity; the bangle is from Fantasy Jewelry Box.

The April 2011 issue of InStyle addresses Blake Lively’s look, above, with a question to readers: “Still not sold on spring’s riotous colors? A jacket like Matthew Williamson’s washed-silk-and-cotton blazer (over a Prabal Gurung dress) is a shiny cloak of insurance that no one will lose sight of you.” Lively wears long drop earrings and a chunky ring accented with what appears to be moonstones or pearls.

InStyle magazine’s senior market editor Wendy Wallace discusses how she would spend an April 2011 fashion budget of $1,000. Her strategy: “I have a lot of neutral items. Now I want things that are more eye-catching. I usually don’t choose shiny clothes—I’m too pale to wear gold—but this spring feels like the right time to try pieces in silver.” Her choices are a soft jacket from IRO and a stretchy silver-plated spiky bracelet from Metal Pointu’s Paris.

Here’s an ad for St. John from the April 2011 issue of Vogue, picturing a sequined top and satiny pants with a knit blazer and a bold pearl-drop charm bracelet.

An ad for Covergirl makeup running in the April 2011 issue of Harper’s Bazaar shows Taylor Swift wearing a sequined ensemble and a gleaming cuff bracelet.

Although this post focuses on metallics in daywear, I feel compelled to include this photograph of actress Nicole Kidman looking absolutely stunning in a evening look pictured in the February 2011 issue of Harper’s Bazaar. Kidman wears a gleaming strapless metallic gown from Ralph Lauren Collection, mercifully shown without the Western-style bighorn belt buckle that accessorized the look on the red carpet (as seen on the page from the March 2011 issue of Allure above).  She wears cuff bracelets from Gucci and Lanvin and her own ring.

Lest you think that metallics are a flash in the pan, the March 7, 2011, issue of People confirmed that pretty metallics are a trend that will continue into Fall 2011, as evidenced at the recent Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. The pictured dress from Calvin Klein, minimalist and unadorned with jewelry as typical for that line, is accompanied by the comment “Metallics are modern and glamorous” by Francisco Costa, women’s creative director, Calvin Klein Collection.

When choosing jewelry to accompany metallic daywear looks, all-metal designs work (think subtle gleam rather than high-polish). The precious metal of the jewelry need not match the metallic hue of the fabric. Pearls, moonstones, rock crystal and opals are choices that will play beautifully off the glow of the metallics. The end result is eye-catching and lovely, soft glimmer rather than sharp sparkle.