Elizabeth Landers | The Clothes Make the Woman

Since fashion blogger Man Repeller coined and copywrote the term arm party a few years ago, it seems that stacks of bracelets, beads, rings, rhinestones and even bones are de rigueur for craftier ways to make a statement in an outfit. As someone who prefers to focus on the cut and color of clothes instead of bedazzling myself in jewels, this has been a learning curve for me. Im starting to get the hang of it, mixing my ubiquitous colored friendship bracelet with antique silver bangles from Mexico that have just enough tarnish to look cool, not forced. Other than a newfound interest in accessorizing, Ive come across some seriously chic and to most males, confusing ways to bling out. My weirdly wonderful round-up:

The Ear Cuff
Spotted on the upper earlobes of fashionable tastemakers and slightly edgier celebrities like Rihanna, this trend forgoes the pain of a piercing, instead molding a tiny cuff around the cartilage of the upper ear. The styles run the gamut from cool to freaky, some with long dangly crosses, but mostly just small, shiny gold cuffs that add a hint of gleam in an unexpected spot. ASOS and Etsy list a large selection on their sites, but fine jeweler Repossi reworked the look in small diamonds. This look is particularly appealing to people with low commitment levels: no piercing, no problem.

Body Chains
What? This was news to me a few seasons ago during fashion week when I saw a glimpse of a model wearing a body harness under a sheer button down blouse. Between the new fascination with Fifty Shades of Grey (2011) and a dominatrix trend reoccurring on the runway, body chains or harnesses are another slightly subversive, definitely fetishistic accessory. Typically a thin chain, it wraps around the neck like a standard necklace then also loops around the waist and hips like a belt. Ive seen them under sheer shirts or also on top of leotards and even gowns. Youre definitely getting after it in something like that.

Knuckle Rings
Or upper finger rings. Whatever the name for them, the look is simple and easy and should have caught on long time ago. Why wear rings on only one part of the finger when you could easily put them all over your fingers and wear so many more? Simple gold or thin silver bands adorn the upper parts of fingers. Beware: manicure mandatory.

Lulu Frost
Not to wax poetic on a certain brand, but Lulu Frost deserves it. Designer Lisa Salzer gets all things cheeky and gorgeous spot-on in her costume jewelry line. Magenta, turquoise and smokey grey crystals light up a scorpion pin, proving that this seemingly old-fashioned accessory neednt be left to the bygone eras of our grandmothers. She also reworked the traditional evil eye into a brass and white crystal remix with long daggers dangling at the bottom that mimic eyelashes but also add edge.

Shark teeth eerrrthing
Because theres no time more appropriate to be making shark references than before the warm months of summer. Gisele and Givenchy killed it last spring with the gigantic (Im talking enormous) faux but still scary shark tooth necklace they sent down the runway. Editors were pining for it and the trend has cropped up from brands like Finn an appropriate name for a fishy line as well as Khai Khai and BaubleBar. Additional points given if one can manage to mix real shark teeth into the look. Trust me, there are good ways and bad ways to accomplish this.

Elizabeth Landers is a senior majoring in political science. She can be reached at Elizabeth.Landers@tufts.edu.

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