Trend Watch: Change the Hair Style, Change the Jewels

Celebrity watching can be a worthwhile sport. Not necessarily because the objects of scrutiny either merit or deserve the intrusion, although a number of them seem to live to be photographed. But it’s almost a sure thing that a popular celebrity making an abrupt course correction in his or her choice of styles will send ripples through the fashion world and this, in turn, may affect demand upon jewelry retailers in direct and indirect ways.


This past week, actress Katie Holmes (Mrs. Tom Cruise) was once again in the paparazzi’s camera lenses with a new hairstyle which, fashion experts proclaimed, upstaged her husband at a media awards event in Germany. The style featured heavy bangs, slightly longer at the sides, falling to her eyelashes and completely hiding her forehead, and the rest of her glossy, dark hair cut into a sleek bob. Some photos show the detail of slightly longer pieces of hair extending over the line of the bangs at the sides, literally falling over her eyes, giving the style a bit of a playful update from the classic 1920’s bob seen on Catherine Zeta-Jones in the movie version of “Chicago.”


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From the standpoint of a jewelry stylist, the hairstyle sported by Ms. Holmes has several important effects:

  1. It eliminates the ears as a site for adornment;
  2. It affects the optimal lengths at which to wear necklaces; and
  3. It allows for more angular, geometric designs to be worn.

The wearer’s ears, like her forehead, can no longer be seen, and similarly the area under her ears is also completely hidden by hair as the style sweeps forward toward her face. There’s no point to wearing earrings with that hairstyle, other than the simple pleasure of having hidden treasures at her ears. With earrings not able to provide adornment, other jewelry becomes more important.


Necklaces are an excellent choice, and the women wearing the hairstyle may well find that she likes to wear her necklaces a bit shorter than she had previously. The reason? The length of her face that is exposed is much shorter because the bangs hide everything above her eyes. This affects the placement of necklaces at the “first balance point,” a term coined by image consultant Carla Mathis, AICI, CIM and utilized by image consultants worldwide. The first balance point measures the distance from the hairline (here the line of the bangs) to the chin, and drops down a like distance under the chin. That point marks one of the optimal lengths for wearing a necklace. Without bangs, the first balance point is lower than it is with bangs. 


In fact, necklaces are brought into prominence, because the ends of the hair bring the eye down as if the hairdo is pointing directly to whatever necklace adorns her throat. The hairdo has a somewhat geometric flavor that allows for more geometric jewelry designs to be worn by someone whose features are otherwise curved more than angled. Indeed, Art Deco jewelry with its geometric design elements, was a beautiful complement to the bob cut back in the 1920’s.


A change of hairstyle by one of your customers is an opportunity for you, as a jeweler, to help your customer update her jewelry wardrobe to work with her new style.


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