Trend Watch: Add-on Purchases and Creative Combinations

Add-on purchases can give customers the confidence that they are increasing or maintaining the value of other items they are purchasing or already own. When the add-on is itself a piece of jewelry, versatility is often the rationale for, and the joy in, the purchase. With some glimmerings of a trend-setting return to matched suites, after years of matchy-matchy being almost universally a no-no, many a savvy customer may want to purchase more than one item in a collection.


Earrings are an obvious add-on purchase that can finish an ensemble, but think beyond earrings for some interesting possibilities.


I recently watched a jewelry designer offer a bracelet to match the customer’s selected necklace, both having identical width and matching clasps that were incorporated into the design. See how you can add the bracelet to the end of the necklace to make it longer, she demonstrated. Oooh, aaah, responded her audience. Voila – instant versatility and an immediate sale.


The December 2008 issue of Glamour magazine highlights a creative “glamour girl” who demonstrates her after-five style. Some of the young woman’s tips (for instance, layering two pairs of tights to keep her warm in her micro-mini skirt), will appeal to a very limited demographic, but her approach to necklaces was another thing entirely.


She is pictured wearing layered necklaces, one of which is a vintage piece from her grandmother. The necklaces integrate so well that it is impossible to distinguish how many she is wearing.  


While her look is accomplished with costume jewelry, this same approach might produce some interesting results by combining new fine jewelry with pieces from a customer’s existing jewelry wardrobe. You can help your customer take a lonely single chain or strand of beads and rev it up into a statement style of multiple necklaces.


As another example, the future First Lady Michelle Obama’s style of wearing multiple brooches can be duplicated through the same approach, finding pieces that work with pieces your customers already own. The key is working with your customers’ existing jewelry wardrobes to give them increased versatility and a multiplicity of creative combinations.