The basic jewelry wardrobe.

The basic jewelry wardrobe. Many websites tout the importance of a basic jewelry wardrobe, and offer all kinds of suggestions about what it should include. But the reality is that the way we live now, with our more casual, active lifestyles, and with the rise of cheap, trend-driven mass produced jewelry, what we need, what we use, and what we can afford, has changed. So lets explore the idea of the basic jewelry wardrobe, the origins  (and past lives) of the items it currently includes, and the options one has in creating a jewelry wardrobe tailored to their own needs and preferences. For now we will focus on the basic jewelry wardrobe for women. We will get to men. Later (possibly much later), I promise.

For starters, when people talk about the “basic jewelry wardrobe” what they are referring to are the basic set of items most women have used to adorn themselves for the last sixty or so years. The basic jewelry wardrobe of a victorian woman, or someone in 17th century France, would have been very different than that of a woman today (and keep in mind, the average woman wouldn’t have had any jewelry at all, historically speaking).

So what’s that basic set of items everyone (including me) keeps going on about? It varies based on who you ask, but it usually includes a pearl necklace and pearl stud earrings, a pair of diamond solitaire stud earrings, a gold chain necklace, a diamond solitaire pendant, a gold bangle bracelet, a diamond tennis bracelet, and many also include a diamond engagement ring and wedding band on that list. And maybe a nice watch.

So lets break it down a bit. First, I think putting the engagement ring and wedding band on the list is silly nowadays. A woman doesn’t always marry, and not all who do get a diamond engagement ring anyway (it’s a newish trend by the way, which we will discuss another time). Historically, though, the engagement ring often was (and still often is) the first major piece of jewelry a woman could call her own. So that’s why it’s on so many people’s lists, even though it won’t be on mine.

Since I am dispensing with jewelry one does not buy for one’s self, that leaves the pearls, the bracelets, the chain, the diamond earrings and pendant,and the watch. We will explore each of these in depth, looking at a variety of topics, including anthropological and historical origins, technical information, styling, and whether/when this item is practical in the modern context. I expect this series to unfold over the next few months, if not longer. I hope you will join me.

In the next installment of the basic jewelry wardrobe, we will explore the lustrous world of pearls, their physical origin and their role in culture, beauty, and adornment, as well as their place in the modern jewelry wardrobe.

I’m so over it.

I’m so over it.
The blog is getting a fresh start; here’s what you need to know…

de·riv·a·tive  (d-rv-tv)
1. Resulting from or employing derivation: a derivative word; a derivative process.
2. Copied or adapted from others: a highly derivative prose style.

What am I so over? The copying. The completely blatant, unoriginal copying of other people’s work. The incest of the fashion industry. A trend is one thing, and that’s not what I’m talking about.
To draw inspiration form similar sources and arrive at a common idea is also not what I’m getting at. To copy, reprocess, and regurgitate someone else’s design, and call it your own is quite another. And I am bored of it.

What I mean is: floral jeans? That’s a trend. Crappy padlock bags… (because Chloe made the paddington bag how many years ago, and Calvin Klein is still riding their coat-tails?) that’s just annoying. Or all the logo bags. I know there have always been knock-offs of Louis Vuitton, but most of what I am seeing right now is derivative.

I know this is a common gripe, but the copying seems to be reaching a critical mass. Or maybe it’s just my awareness of it. And I’m so over it.

I want things that are original. I’m looking for fresh ideas, things I haven’t seen before, new takes on old classics, and classics so great they stand the test of time. Great quality is a must. I want substance and style backed by a story. And I don’t just want to find it or talk about it, I want to create it.

So that’s where I am headed. I’d love for you to join me. Updates will still be sporadic, but the content will be new and  (sort-of) focused. I’ll talk about process, inspiration, styling, rocks, jewelry, shoes, and putting it all together. I’ll talk about nature, science, geology, history, fossils, farms, gardens, sheep and wool, and sometimes books and anthropology, because those are things I think about and love. I might talk about lots of things, and I’ll almost certainly talk a lot. But I’ll post pictures, too. It should be fun. That’s my goal, anyway.


Mmm.  Take a whiff. Gotta love that new blog smell.

As you may have noticed, we’ve completed our transition to the new domain from our old one. While the blog looks the same, there have been some major tweaks under the hood that necessitate leaving the old blog behind completely. The old Insouciant Studios blog, and all the old content therein, is right where we left it, though.  So if you want to look up or browse through any old posts of ours, that’s where they’ll be.  But all updates from now one will be found here.