Fake it ’til you make it

One item that’s been on my wishlist for quite a while now is a longer pearl necklace. But I don’t want just any old demure pinky-extended-four-o’clock-tea pearls. I want some pearls with presence, pearls that dance to the blues and ride in a convertible with the top down, pearls that are more Basie than Bach.

Earlier this week, Duchesse posted about Priceless Imperfections pearls, and after perusing the website, I’ve found my ideal pearl necklace. But, drat my timing, between paying last year’s taxes and saving for this year’s vacation, we’ve put ourselves on a spending moratorium. So I’m really glad that last month I jumped on these faux Gerard Darel beauties from luxcouture.com. Aren’t they fun?

I’ll confess now that with the exception of my engagement/wedding ring, my Wendy B “Diana” necklace and a gold chain or two, almost all my bijoux are of the costume variety. I covet and admire many pieces of the real stuff, but for the most part, les bijoux faux seem to fit my life and style a bit better. There’s less worry about loss and theft, and far less guilt about picking up a little something new when inspiration strikes.

What’s your jewelry style, faux or real or a mix of both?

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  1. April 16, 2009 / 1:23 pm

    I’m a faux gal. I can’t afford the fine jewelry that I like, and usually the kind of thing I like is costume anyway. Surprisingly, fine jewelry is not something that I usually get too excited about. I need that money for shoes!

  2. April 16, 2009 / 1:51 pm

    Pretty necklace! I say, after 50, your jewelery should be real. But I say that with tongue in cheek (chic?). AND I do advocate real pearls. There is ‘real’ as in Mikimoto’s finest akoyas at $200,000, and ‘real’ as in a $300 (or even $1200) strand from Zara. So don’t get your panties in a wad, ladies. “Real” pearls need not cost the earth and have a depth and glow the fakes can only dream of. That doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy your fakes, it’s just a whole different thing.

  3. April 16, 2009 / 2:06 pm

    With the exception of a few special pieces (mostly gifts from my husband and a couple of pieces from my grandmama) I really prefer costume. I like the fun of it and I love being able to let my pre-teen daughter grab things to wear without having to worry about it.

  4. April 16, 2009 / 2:18 pm

    I’m with you Pseu. I love to look at real and I’m happy to have some decent pearls, some basic gold studs, ditto small diamond studs, and I have some semi-precious pieces with chalcedony, lapis lazuli, or coral or whatever, but otherwise, I’m generally happy with the impact of costume. I have a just-for-fun long string of those HUGE faux pearls that I get a kick out of wearing with an LBD — they’re actually graduated and individually knotted, which I think is a hoot given how very fake they are. Yours are much more wearable and they look great on you!

  5. April 16, 2009 / 3:40 pm

    faux versus real……
    I think that by now I’ve made myself clear on that issue.
    But…..I know how to buy real jewelry like Style Spy knows how to buy designer clothes and shoes.
    Back in the day the traditional mark-up on jewelry was something like a gazillion percent. Those days have changed.
    For example at Beladora.com and Beladora2.com you can shop online and buy all kinds of high, medium and lower end pieces for close to their INTRINSIC VALUE.
    Like with the French way of dressing…you don’t need a lot of jewelry, just a few great pieces.
    Oh..and when you get tired of your jewelry you can SELL it or TRADE IT.
    Sorry…I can just go on and on with this subject.
    BTW, I love the mixed color Tahitian Pearl necklace.
    tres chic.

  6. April 16, 2009 / 4:50 pm

    This necklace is very pretty. I like the length of it too. I mix both real and faux, but my faux leans toward vintage faux jewelry. I love it.

  7. April 16, 2009 / 4:53 pm

    cheap + real = silver = aging hippy = oh well, but it goes with my brown hair and light skin.

  8. April 16, 2009 / 5:28 pm

    Hmm, well I like both. I’m heading more towards real but some fakes are just fun.

    I tend to like the colors of semiprecious and some even non-precious stones. When I was young I mostly opted for fake because I couldn’t afford the kind of real that I tend to like and refused to accept the kind of standard, pretty things my mom wore, the kind of “real” jewelry you can find in any mall jewelry store across the country.

    I am a firm believer in planning and saving for something that really suits. And I found something I love on that site too, but after paying last years taxes, and having (voluntarily) reduced income to offset losses, while having to pay higher estimated taxes this year, we too have agreed on a spending moratorium until after second quarter taxes are paid in June.

  9. metscan
    April 16, 2009 / 1:46 pm

    Real for me. Absolutely. And I don´t buy silver either. If I can´t ( and I can´t ), I´ll stick to my few real pieces.

  10. Maravonda
    April 16, 2009 / 9:02 pm

    Weren’t the ropes of pearls that Chanel wore faux? Maybe not, I can’t remember. But when I was a little girl my grandmother had two huge dresser drawers full of costume jewelry, and I would spend all day on Sunday playing in it while the adults talked. It was pure joy. And I’ve never stopped loving it…

  11. Sher
    April 16, 2009 / 2:23 pm

    If I could afford all real jewelry I would. But with the trend of big bold pcs, I can’t. I mix my real with costume. It also makes people who know me, wonder….


  12. Sal
    April 16, 2009 / 3:55 pm

    I’m a faux girl all the way. I like to have loads of options, and fakes make that possible.

    One of my close friends is a jewelry designer (Karin Jacobsen) and works with precious metals and gems all day. I asked for diamond studs for my 30th, but all we could afford was classed-up CZ. When I kvetched to Karin, she said, “Are they pretty? Sparkly? Do they make you happy?” Yes, yes, and yes.

  13. Kalee
    April 16, 2009 / 5:47 pm

    I have to admit I prefer real. I do have a lot of fun cheap jewelry for everyday, but overtime I am planning on replacing those piece with real ones that are similar. I tend to wear the same pieces over and over, and those are the ones I plan on having remade into real jewelry. Mainly it stems from my real jewelry just holding up better, so I want the pieces I love to last.

  14. April 17, 2009 / 12:56 am

    Whether fake diamond studs are as good as real depends on the quality of both. The best czs do not look like the best-cut diamonds.

  15. April 17, 2009 / 1:29 am

    Is silver “real”? I have some really beautiful and heavy pieces. Albuquerque tends to be a mecca for Native American pieces, plus there are many quality non-Native jewelers who work in silver here.

    But at the same time, I have some costume pieces I really enjoy too. Like Mme Chanel, I’ll mix high and low. Why not?

  16. Daffodil Planter
    April 16, 2009 / 6:30 pm

    Wonderful necklace!

    I used to be a “real pearls only” person. Then I fell for Kenneth Jay Lane faux pearls in so many colors.

    The end of me buying real pearls was seeing on TV how many oysters die when their pearls are being harvested.

  17. April 17, 2009 / 1:37 am

    StyleSpy – yes, a woman needs to set her priorities. 😉

    metscan – so you wear mostly gold then? or white gold/platinum?

    Duchesse – thanks! I called Zara to check on the price and the ones I listed she said would go for around $900 retail. I definitely have put these on my wish list.

  18. April 17, 2009 / 1:39 am

    Modest Mom – it’s nice to be able to share without worry!

    materfamilias – yes, I find that costume and semi-precious pieces have the impact I’m generally looking for (though no doubt some of Belle’s Beladora pieces would have cause a respectable stir, it’s a different effect).

  19. April 17, 2009 / 1:43 am

    Sher – I think it’s great to mix real and faux. It’s really about wearing what we like, non?Belle – I still do have a couple of Beladora 2 pieces on my list. I haven’t forgotten those great fleur-de-lis earrings or that gorgeous gold and green ring you posted a few weeks back.

    Sal – that really boils it down to why we wear jewelry, doesn’t it? Wearing what makes us happy!

  20. April 17, 2009 / 1:45 am

    Bonjour Madame – merci bien! I love this necklace because you can wear it long or doubled as I’ve shown. Lots of versatility! Vintage pieces are always great, whether real or faux.

    dana – be watching the blog next week, I have something 70’s and silver I’m going to share.

  21. April 17, 2009 / 1:49 am

    Mardel – mall jewelry! That’s the stuff I just can’t get into. Every new “eternity blah blah” piece that Kay or Zales or whomever perpetrates on the public…GAH!

    Kalee – that sounds like a great way to go, and you’ll end up with unique pieces that you really love.

  22. April 17, 2009 / 1:54 am

    Daffodil Planter – I’ve been hearing from a lot of people that they love KJL pearls; I’m going to have to check those out.

    Maravonda – I believe the ones that Mlle Chanel wore were real, but that she found someone to manufacture imitations of her strands to sell. How fun that your grandmother had all of that costume jewelry for you to play with!

  23. April 17, 2009 / 1:56 am

    indigo16 – if I felt more confident in my choosing and stringing abilities, I’d definitely give that a try.

    fmcgmccllc – another vote for the KJL’s! I have some cz studs from Talbot’s of all places and people are always thinking they’re real and asking, “wow, when did you get THOSE?”

  24. April 17, 2009 / 2:01 am

    Duchesse – true. I think with the stud earrings though, very few people really get close enough to make that distinction. But once the stones get big enough, or numerous enough, it becomes more obvious.

    Nancy – you might enjoy a piece of jewelry I’m going to share next week. Native American, silver and definitely handcrafted.

  25. April 17, 2009 / 5:23 am

    I love a mix of both! I’m loving cocktail rings – but they’re all faux (or should I say real ‘created’ sapphires and the like). The sizes I like, I’d never afford!

    I do have real pearls – a friend imports from china and gives me a very good deal.

    Otherwise I have lots of silver jewellery, murano glass and other things that are interesting and don’t need to cost the earth. Fortunately gold doesn’t suit my colouring so I dont have to feel bad about not being able to afford lots of gold.

  26. indigo16
    April 16, 2009 / 10:33 pm

    I buy semi precious from ebay and string my own. If you can brave the Chinese sellers you can get enough potato freshwater pearls to make a stunning necklace for about $40 or less depending on size and quantity.
    Buying freshwater may not be as glamorous as Hawaiian pearls but it is a great compromise.

  27. fmcgmccllc
    April 17, 2009 / 12:01 am

    More jewelry than I need, most of it real, however some of my favorites are faux and vintage costume. I will not however spend money on real diamond studs as the fakes are just as good.

    Collecting KJL pearls for years and I wear them more than my real pearls.

  28. metscan
    April 17, 2009 / 5:10 am

    Deja! Yes, white gold it is and then I have this gorgeous multicolor pearl necklace with extremely large pearls As a matter of fact I really own very little jewelry. To me,less is more.:)

  29. lady jicky
    April 17, 2009 / 7:08 am

    Being a “perfume girl” I like to put my money there so – I am a faux with some good silver thrown in.

  30. April 17, 2009 / 5:21 pm

    Miss J has a few good pieces, lots of costume, too.

    But these pearls! Oooh la la! THESE are MIss J’s kina pearls. Miss J has always prefered freashwater and coin pearls and these are oustanding pices. Well worth coveting and saving for. Thanks for the 411.

  31. Karen
    April 24, 2009 / 6:45 pm

    I love costume!

  32. Soigne1908
    April 26, 2009 / 1:46 pm

    Faux. I am unmarried and have always believed I’ll get the fine jewelry I want (Mikimoto cultured pearls) when I get married. My income is not such that I can save or splurge.

    Majorica costume pearls are my go-to costume jewelry and I can always find them on sale at Nordstrom Rack, Saks Off Fifth and Neiman’s Last Call.

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