Carol Brodie Answers Jewelry Questions

June 16, 2010 by Lila Delilah

We tend to get a lot of reader questions ranging from fashion to shopping. The majority of the questions, however, relate to jewelry. Like everyone, we have an opinion on almost everything, but instead of answering the questions ourselves we thought it would be more educational to go to jewelry guru, Carol Brodie.

Carol’s career is deeply rooted (or mined) in jewelry. After spending a decade at Harry Winston and Fabergé, she worked as a stylist and as a branding and communications expert. Carol is a gem of knowledge and we love that she wears the badge with no pretense. She’s less of a stuffy expert (da’hling) and more like a close girlfriend (“Going out without earrings is like not wearing underwear”). You can see for yourself, when she celebrates the one year anniversary of her jewelry line, Rarities on HSN on June 19th from 5pm to 8pm.

Question: I’m looking for a gold watch but don’t know if I should get it in white, yellow or pink gold.

Answer: If you do not already own a yellow gold watch, I would start with yellow gold. I love white and rose gold, but the look of white gold can be achieved with stainless steel and rose is a great choice for a second investment timepiece. If your heart is set on white or rose gold, there are some really beautiful vintage styles that may be a unique option. Alternatively, a rose dial can be a great way to incorporate this soft romantic color into a yellow or white gold timepiece.

Question: Everyone needs a cheap thrill. When is it alright to buy costume jewelry?

Answer: Costume jewelry rocks, especially when it is made well and can pass the scratch and prong test. I buy costume jewelry when I want to buy a look that is big, bold and trendy and I know that it would not be worth the financial investment to buy the piece in fine jewelry. Bold gold cuffs and long heavy necklaces are great costume pieces. I like to mix my costume and fine pieces for a chic look that is bold and modern. I would suggest buying costume jewelry that looks like “costume” as opposed to imitating the look of precious jewelry.

Question: I have all the basics: studs, a diamond solitaire, diamond band etc. What should I set my eyes on?

Answer: It all depends on your taste and lifestyle. I think every woman should own a chandelier or drop earring and a bold and colorful cocktail ring. These are the two items that can make any outfit look great. I love adding a talisman pendant like an evil eye, Buddha, peace sign, heart or butterfly to create a signature style.

Question: When is big too big?

Answer: Big is too big when it is out of proportion or budget. I believe that quality trumps size!

Question: Should you lighten your jewelry for summer? What are some inexpensive summer jewelry ideas?

Answer: For summer I love to add tons of color to my jewelry and layer on stacks of skinny bangles or beaded bracelets. Big earrings are so much fun in the summer as are coral and turquoise. With the next-to nothing fashions of summer, it is truly a season made for jewelry. For an inexpensive fabulous look, buy some wood or turquoise beads (already strung) and add on one of your own pendants (you can take any pendant to the jeweler and have them temporarily put it on the beads). Wood bead necklaces are all the rage and they look great with gem pendants such as evil eyes, stars, moons, drusy, gem slices are agate.


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