Diamonds are a girl's best friend – an empty purse, however, is not. In our last post, we explored the world of synthetic diamonds and diamond simulants. We learned about three man-made stones, that, though chemically different from diamonds, deceive even the trained eye with their alluring sparkle. In this week's post, we tell you where to find the gems that are their glitter worth and how to keep'em shinin'.
As with real diamond jewellery, simulated diamond stones come in different qualities and quality settings. To avoid tackiness and disappointment, one should therefore always pay attention to the stones and metals used.
Yellow and White Gold have similar strength and durability. It is not the colour, but the carat weight (9k, 14k or 18k) together with the jewellery's design that affect the price. Fine silver is generally too soft for everyday wear. Sterling Silver, an alloy of silver and other metals, is the better choice for jewellery that is to be worn and loved often. It usually contains 925 parts of copper per thousand and 75 parts per thousand of other metals. Vermeil is a combination of Sterling Silver with a layer of gold on top. To be considered vermeil, the plating must be at least 1.5 micrometers thick and consist of at least 9k gold. Platings may wear off with time, but can be restored by a professional jeweller.
When shopping online, check reviews and pictures carefully. Also, pay attention to packaging. A higher cost, of course, may indicate better quality both of the stone and its setting, but not always. If you wish to keep your jewellery for a long time, always store it in a jewellery box when not worn, clean your jewellery regularly with a soft cloth or toothbrush and don't wear it in the shower.
As for the cut, there's nothing as timeless and elegant as the classic brilliant cut. Designed to give the (diamond) stone superior brilliance, a simple brilliant stud awards understated glamour to any look. Combine with a black sweater and skirt, and you're good for both office and cocktail party. Choose a classic four prong setting that never fails to impress, or something more elaborate to give your look a more personal note.
Enough said for the basics, now it's time to shop and swoon ;)
Most pieces shown above and below are available in both gold and silver settings.
Nothing lights up your face as much as pearls, especially combined with diamonds (or diamond simulants).
Say "yes" like you mean it, because you mean it. Engagement or not.
For good measure – because it's a night like that – choose drops, rows or clusters of diamond stimulants.
These are our favourite picks for timeless glamour. Which are yours?
If you cannot do without the real bling, stay tuned. We love real diamonds, too. ;)
When leaving for my year abroad at another university, I couldn't pack a lot of things. Not only would it have been unpractical to carry so much stuff, I also knew that I wouldn't have the closet space in my new temporary home to accommodate more than 3-4 pair of shoes including trainers, a handful of dresses, skirts, tops and jeans, one set of sport clothes and a few accessories plus an evening bag and my cosmetics (which I love and can't live without). The hardest part was to pack both for summer time and the English winter months, both for days at the lab and trips to other cities and the country side plus evenings out at the theatre, student parties and bars. So, I had a hard look at the contents of my wardrobe. What I needed to pack was essentially multi-purpose clothes that could easily be combined with one and another. I needed to be able to create different looks with only a few changes in accessories and such. Mind you, I did not have a minimalist wardrobe. Quite to the contrary, I was lucky enough to have a wardrobe big enough to find a few items that I could mix and match, besides all the other beautiful but not very practical pieces. Unfortunately, that meant that I could not just bring my favourite clothes. I had to compromise. What I learned from that experience, however, is that I had not been a very wise shopper. Furthermore, once in England, I realised how much easier it was for me to get dressed in the mornings. Of course, I completed my now somewhat minimalist wardrobe with a few pieces I had missed (practical ones such as a very warm hoodie and more decorative ones such as a printed midi skirt), but generally I had to make ends meet with what I got. So, here are my top 5 reasons for creating a minimalist wardrobe.
1.) Getting dressed faster
If you don't have that many clothes to choose from and if everything more or less goes together in your wardrobe, it's much easier to get dressed in the mornings. It won't take you long to know exactly what to combine with what from your minimalist wardrobe in order to be appropriately dressed for a day at the office followed by an after-work with friends or a romantic date-night dinner with your sweetheart.
2.) Quality for Quantity
Buying less pieces will allow you to invest in quality instead. Quality is important when creating a well put-together look with a few pieces, since it's the details that make all the difference, not the quantity of your accessories. Spending money on quality also means only buying what really fits. Upper scale high-street and high-end designer brands usually offer an excellent service in finding what suits you best. Some will also provide an in-house tailor for minor alterations.
3.) Save money in the long run
Quality items may be more expensive, but in the long run, you'll spend less money, as they will last longer. Besides, the aim for investing in a minimalist wardrobe is to have less pieces. That doesn't mean you can't update your wardrobe with a few new items every now and then, but if you have a well put together wardrobe, you won't need to run out in order to shop "basics" that you are missing, since you've added them from the start.
4.) Save time shopping
Since you have (almost) everything you need, you won't need to spend much time on shopping. If you go shopping, you'll know what to look for in order for the item to be easily incorporated in your wardrobe. Over time, this will become even easier as you'll learn what works and doesn't work for you and your closet and how to make out the difference between an overpriced piece of clothing and a real quality one.
5.) Increased over-all contentment
Creating more with less, but with high-quality classic items caters for a more sophisticated, put-together look. You can be sure to look your best at all times and in every situation. You'll have more time and energy to spend on other things, be it work, yoga, family or whatever. Your life will seem more clutter-free, more organised. And so will your closet space. Furthermore, shopping at quality houses (see number 2 above) often provides for a more relaxed shopping experience: Bigger changing rooms with better and warmer lighting, comfy chairs, water and sometimes even coffee (or champagne?!). Everything that makes a happy customer. ;)
When we meet someone who tells us that they've found a new hobby and then, two years later, has shifted interests towards something new, we might no be able to help but think this person is probably not very patient and committed.
At least that's the feeling I get from certain people in my vicinity when I tell them, that I've changed the outline not only of my blog. In an ever changing world, is it so strange that interest, too, alter? Friends and family oftentimes serve as well needed anchors, because change can be difficult to grasp at times. What about hobbies, then? The "been there, done that"-attitude, is it healthy?
I know, that I feel restless, standing on an escalator, waiting for it take me up to the next floor. That's why I almost always walk on escalators and not only when I'm in a hurry to get somewhere else. I simply hate standing still, even if the escalator is moving. Everything I do to get up quicker adds to my fitness and thus, brings me faster to the next floor and faster so with every time I choose not to stand still on an escalator. In other words, everything we experience adds to our knowledge and thus leads us to the next level in our lives. Life is fluent, so why shouldn't our interests be?
There's a difference in not being patient or persistent enough, not having enough stamina, so to speak, and striving for enhancement and gain of knowledge by shifting our areas of personal interests. As long as we stay on the path we've chosen (with some modification and as long as it still brings us to where we're headed), we shall keep moving forward.
I believe that a shift in interests and hobbies can be quite healthy if not necessary, indeed. As long as we stay connected to ourselves, we'll probably discover that our interests, too, are connected with each other as they sprung from the same seed that is our core personality and aim.
Don't be afraid to walk up that escalator. You'll only get stronger muscles.
Under-statement is a chic denied to over-
Jen is a life artist, writer and biochemistry engineer on a cabin crew adventure. She loves mixing cocktails and being an advocate for timeless, personal style, striving for a simpler, more intentional life without compromising quality and glamour.
What we're reading right now
Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann,