When Faux is Your Friend

Everywhere I look, and I mean EVERYWHERE, there is a plethora of statement necklaces, huge pendant earrings, and giant rings. Sometimes all together. There is a “more is more” philosophy that is quite fun and fresh, when done right.

Piles of jewelry pulled off oh-so-right, captured by The Sartorialist

Piles of jewelry pulled off exceedingly well, captured by The Sartorialist

(Btw, if you really want a ring(s) similar to one above, I found something close at Singer22.com, click here for the ring, and here for other designs by Soixante Neuf. Now, can someone help me find this sold-out Isabel Marant necklace?)

While I love the direction of some haute jewelers taking this trend and running with it, it’s not so easy for most of us to actually COLLECT these pieces.

A luxurious tangle of bracelets worn by Sarah Jessica Parker to the 2010 Academy Awards. A pretty penny from Fred Leighton and Cartier, no?

A luxurious tangle of bracelets worn by Sarah Jessica Parker to the 2010 Academy Awards. A pretty penny from Fred Leighton and Cartier, no?

Besides the cost, however, there is another reason to not always purchase the precious metal and gemstone-variety of these pieces: busy, active women are not always so great at keeping their jewelry intact.

A couple of friends were talking about this recently. I told the story of catching a long, pretty necklace that I had just purchased from a local clothing boutique on the handle of a stroller, as I was bending to take off my shoes in the security line at the airport. I was kind of upset, as it was the FIRST time I was wearing it (and now I was heading into my trip without my signature accessory), but it was softened a little by the fact that as fun costume jewelry, I had spent maybe $100 on it. Frustrating, but not devastating.

My friend had a more upsetting story. She had purchased for herself a great bracelet from one of her favorite designers for around $700. She remembers putting it in a small box and stashing it somewhere in her house. Unfortunately, despite looking everywhere, she hasn’t yet found it. She wonders if perhaps her enjoyment could have been even greater if she had spent, say, $70 and then wouldn’t have mourned over losing it.

Don’t get me wrong–precious metal and fine gemstone jewelry has a place in every woman’s wardrobe. But for long, layered necklaces and shoulder-dusting earrings, sometimes it just makes sense to buy something in a price range that won’t leave you comatose if it breaks or disappears.

Here are some of my favorite finds for fun, fabulous and faux:

Here’s a great shape for a sparkly bracelet, just right for a night out:

Fun take on Neil Lane from Forever 21, $12.80 Retail

Fun take on Neil Lane from Forever 21, $12.80 Retail

I like the north-south orientation of this ring from BCBG Max Azria, plus it has a bit of the darkened metal/hematite color thing going on. BCBG often edits their jewelry well each season.

Muna Ring by BCBG Max Azria, $88 Retail

Muna Ring by BCBG Max Azria, $88 Retail

I found this Vanessa Moore (love her stuff!) necklace on Etsy.com, this is a great representation of something like a Giles and Brother multi-strand necklace, but at 1/4 the price.

Multi Chain Necklace by Vanessa Moore on Etsy.com, $65 Retail

Multi Chain Necklace by Vanessa Moore on Etsy.com, $65 Retail

This ring is from designer Marcia Moran, who does some pretty things in vermeil (a sterling silver base plated with at least 10K or higher of gold at least 2.5 micrometers thick). I could get lost in that blue agate. Greenwich Jewelers has a nicely curated collection of interesting and affordable designers.

Marcia Moran Blue Agate and Vermeil Ring, $100 Retail

Marcia Moran Blue Agate and Vermeil Ring, $100 Retail

Found on celebrities such as Zoe Saldana and Julia Roberts, Melinda Maria designs some amazing jewelry in vermeil. These earrings are absolute show stoppers for $265:

Melinda Maria Mosaic Turquoise Earrings, $265 Retail

Melinda Maria Mosaic Turquoise Earrings, $265 Retail

These faceted resin bangles from Pono Annex are a sparkly addition to your wardrobe, and at $28 each, you can stack them up and not worry about the cost.

Pono Annex Suzanne Resin Bangle, $28 Retail Each

Pono Annex Suzanne Resin Bangle, $28 Retail Each

How ’bout you? Have a sob story about jewelry you lost that you wish didn’t cost an arm and a leg? Or do you have a fantastic faux find of your own to share? Let us know!

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