Lynn Yaeger, The Freedom to Wear a Jewel

As an authoritative writer for Vogue America, and The New Yorker, here the journalist Lynn Yaeger outlines her idea of a free interpretation of fashion and jewelry

Once upon a time, not so long ago, your personal jewelry story went something like this: if you were invited to an elegant evening out, you wore your very best jewelry—really fancy things that you owned, or could beg, borrow, or steal. And if you were just running around town, picking up the kids from school, you might opt for some fun costume jewelry, made of low-cost materials, pieces that were pretty and cheerful but never meant to be taken seriously. But mix a plastic necklace with an 18-karat gold chain, or introduce a rubber bangle in an armload of gold? Never. In the last few decades, I am happy to report, all of this has changed. Just as we began to wear, say, a beautiful pullover from a high street shop with our most expensive designer skirt, or pop a faux fur shrug over a stunning evening gown, so have the rules disappeared when it comes to jewelry. It’s all about being modern and throwing out those old-fashioned ideas: who says a man can’t wear an art deco diamond pendant with a tuxedo? Why can’t I wrap a platinum and diamond necklace around my wrist instead of my neck? And of course, I practice what I preach: anyone who knows me, or knows the highly individualistic way that I dress, knows that I am personally a fierce defender of freedom—sartorial and otherwise. So go ahead—put that vintage Bakelite brooch in your hair as a barrette! Let your blazer lapel sport not one brooch, but seven! Because, in the end, isn’t the joy of jewelry all about the magic of creativity and the triumph of imagination?

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