With my New York/Europe trip coming up in a couple of days, I really shouldn’t be splurging. But ever since I had come across Annie Costello Brown’s original Mini Zigzag Cuff, it had always been sitting at the back of my mind. It’s simple, and also edgy. The description also appealed to my ego:
This cuff has teeth. It is decisively fierce—the sort of slim little number you slip on when you have some serious stuff to tackle. Think of it as the pacifist’s take on brass knuckles—or just a really cool accessory you’ll wear for years. Either way.
The pacifist’s take on brass knuckles! And the cuff was made of antiqued solid brass! I wanted it even just for that winning idea alone. Alas, it was sold out by the time I came across it. Yesterday however, Mini Zigzag Cuff made a comeback with version two: this time with rose bronze alloy.
These pieces are handmade in Los Angeles in a charming little studio by a small team. There are only 70 of a kind which makes the Rose Mini Zigzag Cuff a special purchase too. I hope Annie Costello Brown makes more wonderful pieces!
Rose gold wasn’t really my thing back in the 90s when it was back in fashion. I recall owning a pair of rose gold stud earrings, but ended up tucking them away at the back of my jewelry box. Last Christmas, a dear friend bought me a Fossil leather bracelet with a diamante rose gold bird on it, and a couple of years back I was gifted a beautiful Rococo-style ring with the letter C on it. Funny how they are now everyday pieces for me… how my tastes have changed.
Maybe this is why I didn’t think twice before clicking on the buy button for the Rose Mini Zigzag Cuff. It’s definitely fate that my ring and leather bracelet will meet their new toothy friend. I can’t wait for it to arrive in the mail.
So I decided to get a pearl necklace today. I wanted a real string of them, not just a single pearl on a pendant, but knew that the price tag was pretty impressive too. I’ve checked out local markets in assorted cities over the years and the pearls they have there, but never committed to a purchase because I had no idea how to tell if they were real or fake. I had no idea that there were different set lengths either. Different sizes I kind of understood, but never realized that they were suited for different age groups. After some intensive online research (what will we do without the internet), I figured out what would be suitable:
Pearls for me should range from 6.0-7.0mm:
- 6.0-6.5mm – Young ladies 18-30 for Valentines Day & Christmas, perfect also for college and university graduations, 18th and 21st Landmark birthdays and petite ladies.
- 6.5-7.0mm – One of the most popular sizes today and generally considered a wardrobe basic for the 25 to 45 age range.
At 5′ 2, and with my love for collared shirts, the princess length is for me:
Princess (43-49 cm or 17-19 inches) The Princess length necklace is the most common necklace length and hangs just on or over the collarbones. It is best suited for crew and high necklines, but it also complements low plunging necklines.
- If you are of average or shorter than average height (i.e. below 163 cm or 5′ 4′”), Collar, Choker or Princess length necklaces look best. An even better look is if you wear a pendant, giving the necklace a V-shape or you go for the Matinee necklace length, as they will both make you appear taller than you are!
- Your face shape can also affect the length of necklace that will work with your features i.e. An oval face suits any necklace length, a round face looks better with an Opera necklace, a heart shaped face looks better with a Choker as it softens a sharper chin and a rectangular or oblong face also needs a shorter necklace i.e. Choker or Collar as this will make your face look less long.
- An open neck blouse with a collar looks good with a thicker, chunkier piece of costume jewelry. A necklace that lies around the collarbone can accent a dressy casual outfit or personalize a business suit. Make sure your necklace is either shorter than the collar on your blouse and sits shorter than the opening, on your skin i.e. Choker or Princess length or the necklace should be longer than the collar opening and sits on the shirt below the opening i.e. Opera.
- Petite people look good with smaller beads, smaller statement pieces and shorter chains.
I finally decided on a string of AAA 6-7mm Freshwater Pearls
. PearlsOnly have a grading system from A to AAAA – which allowed me to gauge the best price for pearl quality. The stats for mine were Luster (AAAA), Body (AAA), and Shape (AAA), with an overall grade of AAA. The price jumps higher if you are looking at the AAAA ones, and I figured I wanted something that was nice, but also something I could wear everyday. I’m also a fan of white gold, and was happy that I could change the gold clasp to a 14k white gold one for free.
Valued at AUD$879, I was able to save 81% and get my pearls for $186 – it is an extra $21 for the Princess length, on top of the $165. Although it may be a bit pricey for a necklace (before this point, I bought items under $100), I figured that the quality would mean I could wear it my whole life. And this is how I found myself wearing my pearls to work everyday, tucked under my shirt collar. I just need to grow out my hair and put in a bun, to pull off the full librarian look.