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All that glitters

Gold, layers dominate winter jewelry trends

by Diane Silcox-Jarrett


Cooler weather is the perfect time to have a little fun with your accessories, and jewelry is always a great way to pull together an outfit while letting you express your unique style.


Here, area jewelers share the season’s hottest trends — just in time for those crisp, cool nights out.


Chains and layers

For many, chain necklaces have become an ideal complement to warm-colored sweaters and blouses in winter.


“These necklaces are composed of cascading chains twisted and tied together,” says Bree Ryan, store manager of Monkee’s of Raleigh at North Hills.


“The metals used in these necklaces often are darker silver and gold,” she adds. “You can pick and choose from chains, bright golds, and vintage glitz.”


Achieving a layered effect with multi-strand necklaces and other pieces is another important trend, says Amy Curran Foreman, a buyer for Uniquities, which has locations in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill.


“Layering appeals to both younger and older clientele,” says Paula Bossolo, jewelry manager for Saks Fifth Avenue in Raleigh.


 “People are layering pieces, making for a collective look,” says Barak Henis, vice president of Diamonds Direct Crabtree, which is located across from Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh.


“You can layer a pendant with some beaded pieces or pearls, or fine gold and platinum jewelry with silver jewelry.”


Similar to layering, stacking also has become fashionable. With stacking, thinner bands allow for several rings to be worn at once. Mixing and matching bracelets of different materials also is hot this season.


“Bangles are huge this season, and you can wear a few for daytime or stack them high for a fun evening look,” says Marci Bailey, fashion buyer and consultant for Bailey’s Fine Jewelry, which has two locations at Cameron Village and Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh.


“They’re being featured in both sterling silver and gold, with gemstones, diamonds, and charms.”


“It’s all about making a story on your wrist that’s unique to you, such as a leather wrap bracelet paired with a few gold bangles and maybe some rhinestones,” Foreman says.


The gold standard

In addition to varying textures in metals — including flat, brushed golds mixed with bright, brassy golds — area jewelers are seeing one variety in particular stand out.


“Gold is in,” says William Travis, owner of William Travis Jewelry in Chapel Hill.


“Most women don’t want to wear what their mothers had so gold is making a comeback, but it’s being done in a two-tone style with other metals such as silver to make it much more affordable.”


“We’re noticing that people would rather buy one good piece of gold jewelry to invest in than buy costume jewelry,” Bossolo adds. “With gold, they’re getting their money’s worth, and it’s appreciated from the moment they walk out the door.”


A splash of color

According to Henis, other popular items this season include black and brown diamonds accented with white diamonds, diamond key pendants, and other large, unique pendants on longer chains. Semi-precious stones also can brighten a winter wardrobe.


He points to pink quartz, topaz and other stones with color, while Bossolo notes that royal colors like indigo and berry help add a pop of color to any outfit. Bailey has seen the classic black and white make a comeback this season as well.


“We’re seeing jewelry designers utilizing many different black and white gemstones and enamel,” she says. “Gemstones like black onyx, Mother of Pearl, hematite, white coral and colored pearls are very popular.”


Back to basics

Mixing a modern look with a vintage feel also is popular this winter.


“Vintage glitz is modern jewelry with a vintage aesthetic, using crystals and pearls with vintage shapes,” Ryan says.


“Vintage-looking earrings with a modern twist are in,” Foreman adds. “For example, bauble earrings with clusters of stones or metal are big right now.”


One way to achieve a vintage look is through oxidizing silver, which makes it turn black and gives it an older feel.


Toning down jewelry also is a recent trend, with styles featuring a more spiritual, earthy side. According to Travis, turquoise is making a comeback and is popular when mixed with orange. Tibetan jewelry and beaded cloth bracelets also are big.


Pulling it together

To complete your look this holiday season, add some festive rings, which are available in all shapes all sizes.


“There are lots of designs — multi-finger rings, knuckle rings and elongated slide rings that have surface area laterally,” Foreman says.


“A huge cocktail ring would be a good choice for a holiday look.”


Bailey agrees.


“This season is all about statement jewelry, and the cocktail ring is no exception,” she says. “These fun rings brighten any outfit.”


To complement a larger cocktail ring, pair it with stud earrings in lieu of larger, chandelier-type styles.


“Big earrings are not hot this season,” Bossolo says. “It’s really all about necklaces and bracelets.”


“For a party, I’d go with diamond bangle bracelets and a pair of diamond studs — they’re classic and feminine,” Henis says.


“It’s fun to have a mix of jewelry and the trend now is eclectic, so have fun and use your imagination,” he adds. “The holiday season is a great time to be creative and enjoy all the different textures, stones, and shapes out there.” 


Diane Silcox-Jarrett is a freelance writer based in Raleigh.