By Prudence Wade
It’s been a sad year for jewellery, with many of our favourite pieces left gathering dust. Now, as restrictions slowly start to loosen and we once again consider wearing anything other than sweatpants, the joy of jewellery is back.
Glittering rings, chunky chains, funky bracelets – they’re the easiest way to brighten your mood, express your personality, and make an outfit look put together.
Particularly if you’re suffering from re-entry anxiety (and who among us isn’t, to some degree?), having a bit of fun with accessories is the perfect way to help calm your nerves and feel in control of something.
While fashion might still largely be separated into ‘male’ and ‘female’, the world of jewellery is becoming refreshingly gender neutral. There’s still a way to go, but big brands are increasingly releasing genderless collections – from the more affordable (such as Missoma) to the high end (Bulgari).
This means jewellery can be for anyone – and here are the hottest summer trends to give your accessories game a boost…
If it’s good enough for Chanel, Simone Rocha and Emilia Wickstead, it’s definitely good enough for us. This season, the catwalks were obsessed with all things pearls – and now it’s time to get in on the trend yourself, whether it’s real or fake.
Billie Eilish – the undisputed voice of Gen Z – recently posted a selfie wearing a slim pearl choker. Her style tends to be more experimental and cutting edge, and it shows pearls don’t have to be stuffy. Vivienne Westwood has long been a champion of the punk pearl, and for her spring/summer show she modernised the look by going for a ‘more is more’ approach, and layering up necklaces with plenty of pearls, chains and matching drop earrings.
If you’re not convinced pearls can work for any gender, just take a look at style icon Harry Styles, who is often seen sporting a string of pearls.
Remember the brightly coloured plastic jewellery everyone was wearing in the Nineties and early-Noughties? Well, like almost everything else from that era, it’s back. This trend is all about having a bit of fun with your accessories – think candy colours and kitschy shapes, with lots of flowers and kawaii animals.
To give this look a 2021 upgrade, pair these elements with elegant silver or gold accents – think bright beads threaded onto a delicate chain. It’s a way of harking back to the jewellery of your childhood, while still looking sophisticated.
If statement jewellery is your style, this season it’s all about the chunky cuff. It’s like the armour version of a bracelet: bigger, bolder and a whole lot more eye-catching.
Either opt for sculptural, artistic pieces, or use it as an opportunity to get in on another huge trend in fashion: logomania – as seen at Louis Vuitton. If you’re feeling particularly edgy, take a leaf out of SportMax’s book and wear your cuff around your upper arm instead.
Personalised jewellery isn’t a new trend, but there’s one reason – and one reason only – it’s so popular right now: Beyonce. In April, the star posted a picture on Instagram wearing two necklaces with her name on. After that, everyone has been scrambling to get in on the trend.
There are plenty of ways to do it – either go big and bold like Beyonce, with heavy plating featuring your name, or adopt a more minimalist approach and wear a single initial and minimal layering. You don’t even have to wear your own name – take inspiration from the Duchess of Sussex, who wore a delicate necklace with the initial ‘A’ to Wimbledon in 2019, in tribute to her son Archie.
Many of these jewellery trends are big and bold – perhaps we’re all keen to make up for the months we didn’t touch our accessories.
So it’s no surprise chunky chains are set to be everywhere – big, bold necklaces and bracelets that jingle as you walk and almost feel like a workout to wear (in a fun way, we promise). This isn’t a time to go for shy and retiring fashion – take a leaf out of the fashion books of Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta and Victoria Beckham and layer as many large chains as you can, purely for the fun of it.
A thick chain can elevate any look – so if you’re not quite ready to wear outfits that are not elasticated, pop a shiny, eye-catching necklace on top and you’re ready for anything.