More Is More When It Comes to Jewelry This Winter

jewelry3If a little jewelry is good, then a lot of jewelry is better. At least it is this winter for jewelry-loving girls like me.

Old and new. Smooth and shiney. Gold and silver. Mix it up and layer it on until you think you’ve added enough—then put on one more piece!

It’s hard to flip through a magazine these days without being dazzled by this trend, especially if you’re Sid Vintage’s Nanci Bennett. In one month, her recycled, chunky gems graced national covers on the likes of Reese Witherspoon and Hillary Swank.

“It’s crazy how busy I am,” Bennett says with a laugh from her eco-friendly Venice, Calif., studio that doubles as her home. She surprisingly prefers to keep her business small—and local. “I don’t want my jewelry to be made by a machine. It’s almost all made by me.”

jewelry_shipwreck_ringA visual artist by training, Bennett is inspired by what’s often forgotten.

“It’s exciting to me to collect these random pieces from different places and transform them into something beautiful,” she says. “No two pieces are exactly the same.”

Bennett is particularly inspired when people share their personal items with her. She is able to breathe new life into items someone else was going to throw away.

jewelry_coral“When someone hands over a box of old buttons or broken jewelry, I can see the possibilities,” Bennett adds.

Even though the Hollywood elite (and their stylists) are among Bennett’s best clients, her jewelry is fairly priced between $100-$500.

If this price tag seems a bit much to invest in a trend, you can create your own statement pieces.

For example, Chicago’s very own k-amato has a number of necklaces that are just made to layer—for example, the “Tremont” and “Tilden” necklaces that are shown below. Add the “Oak” (a pre-assembled piece that’s fab on its own), and Hillary Swank will have nothing on you! Each necklace retails under $88.

Another suggestion, check out Forever XXI. This store may be your tween daughter’s favorite, but it’s unbelievable what can find starting at $5. On a recent outing, I picked up a Chanel-inspired necklace for a little more than $10!

One bit of advice before you start to pile it on. If you’re going to layer your jewelry, focus on necklaces or bracelets—not both. In this case only, less is more.

jewelry1Sid Vintage jewelry can be found at Tangerine or at

K-amato jewelry can be found at Runway in Deerfield and Fresh Ideas, or at

To find a Forever XXI store near you or shop online, visit

If you have a styling tip you’d like to share, e-mail

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