Playing Dress Up With Jewelry Designer Ippolita

Ippolita, jewelry, necklace, bracelet, fashion
Ippolita in her 18-carat gold cherish chains and stacked bangles
Image provided by Ippolita

I have a confession: When it comes to jewelry, I have no clue how to bedazzle myself.

There, I said it.

I thought I was fooling everyone with my clothes, shoes and handbags, but a friend pointed out recently that I almost never wear jewelry, and she’s not really wrong.

I have a few pieces that I rotate that I hoped kept it from looking super obvious, because my fashion secret is that I’m bling-bling-challenged.

It’s not that I’m not girly. I’m actually incredibly girly. After all, I love things that sparkle—the shinier the better and the bigger the diamond, the more I believe my husband must really, truly love me (just kidding….a little…) but if bracelets are going to be noisy and bang against my laptop as a type or a necklace is going to make me feeling like I’m being strangled, forget it. I’d rather be dazzle-free.

So you can imagine my mixed feelings when I was invited to come check out the entire Ippolita jewelry collection at Neiman Marcus on Michigan Avenue—with Ippolita herself!

Now, regardless of how I feel about accessories, I love all things fashion, so I was psyched to meet Ippolita, who proved to be as confident and dynamic as her jewelry. First off, her wild, curly hair was pulled back into a ponytail with an enormous black feather holder….something only a woman with a tremendous sense of self, fashion, and someone who doesn’t give a s*&$ about what anyone thinks about her could pull off. She wore it like a proud peacock and looked super cool. I was instantly drawn to her and excited to hear what she had to say.

How can I explain what it’s like to get fashion advice from someone of Ippolita’s caliber? It’s like discussing architecture with Frank Lloyd Wright over drinks or having a meeting about how to publicly embarrass yourself with Donald Trump.

You just don’t get to do things like that. At least, I usually don’t. And since I only had one chance, I figured I’d ask the woman who designed the entire line what three things she would pick for herself to go for day-to-night.

Here are Ippolita’s gems of wisdom:

A comfortable, yet show-stopping necklace. Ippolita’s pick? Her Cherish Chain. The designer takes two of the lightweight 18-carat gold long chains and doubles them up so she can wear them during the day or at night. To add some drama for nighttime, however, she’ll attach them together to make one extremely long necklace, but you can wear them however you want and make the look your own.

Personalized stack of bangles. Even I’ll admit to owning a spectacular stack of Ippolita bracelets in silver, yellow and rose gold that I wear over and over again. I wear them day and night to dress up everything from jeans to cocktail dresses. Fortunately, the designer approves and even suggests curating a collection of bangles in a color, style or shape that is unique to you.

Either a statement ring or earrings. This last one totally depends on what kind of girl you are. For instance, I am not a ring girl because I only wear the rings my husband gave me. The whole cocktail ring thing just isn’t my thing—with the exception of my yellow gold double tube ring by Moxxe Designs that I believe everyone should own. However, I’m a total earring girl and to be honest, if I glammed out anything, it would be by way of my lobes. Therefore, I fell totally head over heels in love with Ippolita’s new Gemma earrings—a chandelier-style earring that is lighter than air and as gorgeous as can be! The bonus? Unlike most chandelier earrings, these babies are just as beautiful from the back as they are in front, so you can actually go ahead and updo without worrying about tacky backings.

So am I a total jewelry convert after my designer encounter? I think like everything else, I need to take baby steps. I will admit that instead of my typical boring studs, I wore a pair of large, sapphire blue drop earrings to a kids’ birthday party on a Sunday morning, in an effort to be a little more daytime fab, so I guess Ippolita rubbed off on me.

Next stop, feathers in my hair!!! For some reason, I don’t think that will shock anyone as much as the daytime jewels…

Here are a few of Ippolita’s stunners that I got to play dress up with at Neimans. Yes, I’m a lucky girl!

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