Help me find jewelry please
January 5, 2011 4:43 PM   Subscribe

Accessorize me! Where can I get some necklaces and other stuff?

I have a new job at which I will pretty much be wearing plain colored sweaters and dark dress pants (I am female.)

I'd like to spice it up with some jewelry, but I don't really own much. I find the stuff at Express and those type of stores to look pretty cheap-y. Yet, I don't want to spend a ton of money on beaded necklaces.

Can you direct me to some places to buy cheap but not cheap-looking necklaces and other jewelery? Specific etsy stores or whatever would be fantastic!

(I don't have pierced ears. I don't like wearing rings. I am allergic to many metals.)
posted by k8t to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (30 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Try resale, thrift, and museum shops. You could also visit a bead shop, get some beads, cord, and findings for not too much, and make your own.
posted by jgirl at 4:45 PM on January 5, 2011

I sat next to a girl on a bus once who was wearing earrings very similar to these. I told her I thought they were cool, and she laughed and said, "thanks, I got them on the clearance rack at Forever 21 for a buck 50."

I have no idea what the rest of the stuff at Forever 21 looks like, but the earrings didn't look (as) cheap (as they clearly are).
posted by phunniemee at 4:50 PM on January 5, 2011

A few Etsy favorites: 1, 2, 3, 4.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:51 PM on January 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I should also mention that I have absolutely no time to make my own or shop in brick-and-mortar stores.
posted by k8t at 4:52 PM on January 5, 2011

And yes, Forever21 has a great selection of not-cheap looking jewelry. I have a good number of necklaces from them, and get compliments all the time.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:52 PM on January 5, 2011

Response by poster: And my workplace is very formal (like close to black suits), so anything remotely cute or fun is out. :(
posted by k8t at 4:53 PM on January 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm assuming you're not after gold and silver stuff, because that way lies very expensive! Thrift shops are awesome. People also sell their stuff on ebay pretty cheaply, sometimes in "bulk lots"--this is pick and miss, but you can get a good stash in hardly any time that way.

Ask friends if they have jewellery they're not using. I have a some stuff that I don't use, and periodically I go through and give some to charity. If I had a friend who I knew would like it instead, I would give it to them.

If you want to get some interesting things, Etsy is a good place, although not cheap. I've had jewellery made for me, and have been happy with the results. The gamut from fine jewellery to macrame bracelets, which I have a few of and love! (Chunky extra-wide with superman, and one with a lotus.)

If after fine jewellery, go to pawn shops. We have a chain here called Cash Converters and you can get things well below RRP and in excellent condition.

Basically: avoid buying new.
posted by owlrigh at 4:54 PM on January 5, 2011

k8t, what about scarves and/or shawls? The Met. Smithsonian. A few nice scarves might reduce the need for fussy jewelry.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:01 PM on January 5, 2011 [5 favorites]

Hmmm. Well both of these shops make nice simple necklaces I think you could wear in more formal environments. But they're mostly metal.

If you do a search on Etsy for "beaded necklace" there are a billion options. You could narrow it down some with price and material. Or you can search by color and keyword.

Also, if you have any examples of what you're looking for it might help narrow things down.
posted by grapesaresour at 5:09 PM on January 5, 2011

Nth-ing Forever 21. They have tons of stuff and it seems to be cheaper ever time I go in. I got a whole bunch of earrings and necklaces and they ranged from $1.50 from earrings (cool dangly ones, too, not just small boring ones) to maybe $5.80 at the most. Obviously its made of cheap material, so if you have sensitive skin it might get uncomfortable. But its so cheap you may as well give it a try, right?

If that's TOO cheap, try Francesca's Collections. I used to work at a restaurant in a shopping center, right next door to one. As waitresses we had to wear all black, and the other girls and I used to blow tons of our tips at Francesca's trying to make our outfits look less boring. Their stuff was great about 5 years ago, though I haven't shopped there recently. But I bet it's still good. And don't forget to check the sale section too :-)
posted by GastrocNemesis at 5:09 PM on January 5, 2011 [2 favorites] (links to an Etsy shop) is a fabulous vintage jewelry shop where I've gotten some classic pieces for less than you'd pay at most brick and mortar chains. Some of the blog entries on candy shop show you how to put a great pin/brooch on a tweed jacket, for example, or combine two necklaces a la J. Crew but for much less. I seem to remember an entry on great necklaces to wear with sweaters. Great chunky bracelets on that site--my weakness. Fantastic style.
posted by Elsie at 5:22 PM on January 5, 2011

I see you need bold, real silver or gold jewelry. I like Overstock or for this.
posted by samthemander at 5:23 PM on January 5, 2011

Try Charming Charlie. They have locations all over. There's one near me and I haven't been there yet but my friends keep showing me nice stuff they've gotten there and they say it's fun to visit and and poke around the shop. Also it's all relatively inexpensive without looking super cheap-o.
posted by Kangaroo at 5:29 PM on January 5, 2011

Surprisingly, Talbots and Ann Taylor are great sources for pretty, classic looking costumer jewelry. And I do buy from both of them online.
posted by bearwife at 5:33 PM on January 5, 2011

The Bigcartel directory has some cool stores if you don't mind browsing around online (far easier than shops!) Obviously change the search terms to some specific if you need.
posted by rinsemedown at 5:42 PM on January 5, 2011

Best answer: I'm not sure what length you want, or how bold you can go, but here are some Etsy items I would wear if I was trying to be dressy conservative for work (I personally favor silver over gold):

Pave Pearl Drop
Dainty textured ring
Gold crescent necklace
Snow drop ivory pearl
Helene 14k gold
White pearl and silver pear
Chain of clouds
posted by Squeak Attack at 5:50 PM on January 5, 2011

Best answer: And I just love jewelry, so now you won't be able to shut me up.

I ordered quite a bit from Peggy Li in the past - she went more delicate and classic than I wear now, but she makes nice jewelry.

If the selections I posted above were just a little too conservative, and you could do more color, you could go with:

Snazzy combo necklace - I would convo the seller and ask if she could shorten the piece.

All from the same shop:
Gentle breeze
Branch of Hope
Cherry tree

A little something
London blue topaz - spendy but pretty
Spines of silver
Turquoise with caps
posted by Squeak Attack at 6:15 PM on January 5, 2011

Forever 21 has a surprisingly good selection and I've found some of the stuff from Target to be nice as well.
posted by ACN09 at 6:50 PM on January 5, 2011

If you sign yourself up for the unfortunately named and check their e-mails you will see some ads for tacky shirts, some ads for $20k diamond bracelets, and then, eventually, "YAY! This is the nicest necklace ever and it is 80% off!"

Kate Spade -- wait for "25% off sale section!" sales -- makes some cute stuff.

The MoMA Store has had some stunning pieces, not so cheap though.
posted by kmennie at 7:16 PM on January 5, 2011

I wear only my wedding rings and these: typewriter pendants of my various initials. People often ask and comment (some decked out in gold, silver, diamonds and the rest); I just like letters I guess.
posted by emhutchinson at 8:15 PM on January 5, 2011

My favorite places to buy jewelry are Nordstrom's juniors section, Van Heusen, and Novica. I pretty much exclusively wear stone/bead jewelry and plain silver.
posted by gatorae at 9:38 PM on January 5, 2011

You may have luck in the costume jewelry section of Macy's - in particular, Monet has had some great looking art-deco-ish stuff recently. I've also had good luck at Ann Taylor (classic) and J. Crew (statement, though theirs is PRICE. EEEEE.). Oh, and next time you do have time for brick and mortar stores, try Kohl's - you'd be surprised what you can find.
posted by maryr at 9:44 PM on January 5, 2011

Oh, duh, also - Banana Republic.
posted by maryr at 9:47 PM on January 5, 2011

A lot of classy yet reasonably priced jewellery and scarves can be found at Ten Thousand Villages. Bonus: Warm fuzzy feeling of the fair trade shopping experience.
posted by copperbleu at 1:10 AM on January 6, 2011

k8t - think Chanel and Jackie O! A good strand of costume pearls (different lengths would be perfect for different necklines) and incorporate gold or silvertone chains with them (or just wear them by themselves.) This is a classis look that is still seen on runways today and will neve go out of style.
posted by pamspanda at 3:13 AM on January 6, 2011

I like Ten Thousand Villages and will point out two lovely sale scarves: Crimson and Chocolate Brown. Also, more scarves.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:49 AM on January 6, 2011

Wood necklace
Branch necklace

Beautiful scarves
Glam golden cowl (search for more cowls with different textures and colors and accessories)
Ruffle scarf (search for more)
posted by barnone at 8:58 AM on January 6, 2011

Keep an eye on Antrhopologie's sale section, too.
posted by dpx.mfx at 9:51 AM on January 6, 2011

I recommend lots of pendants and a few chains. Since you want cheap, ebay will give you MUCH better value-vs-price than most of the stores mentioned above.

Search the pendants category on ebay, ordered by "ending soonest" (also, if you like, specify an upper price limit like a few bucks, and specify free shipping, so you can eyeball efficiently knowing that everything you see is ending soon and is genuinely only a few bucks).

Also, a couple of specific ebay sellers I most recommend checking out:
- ana-silver-co (extremely high quality for the c. $12-shipped most of their pendants end up being, and some fairly subdued/classic looks in their simple faceted stones like smoky quartz, citrine and amethyst)
- swimmicoco (very cheap, good quality mother of pearl and shell pendants)
- jaljewelry (real leaves and other botanical stuff encased in metals; lower prices than you see for these elsewhere)
posted by sparrows at 9:47 PM on January 6, 2011

Response by poster: This was incredibly helpful. Squeak Attack's links were the perfect price and didn't look cheap, so she won best answer. Lots of GREAT answers here though. Thanks all.
posted by k8t at 1:21 PM on January 8, 2011

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