Necklaces, bracelets and brooches can do more than just adorn; they can improve the fit, look and versatility of our wardrobes.
Even if we don't have children, most of us have become mothers of invention when it comes to dressing. In a pinch, we use a scarf as a belt, convert a tunic to a dress by adding leggings, transform a clingy dress into businesswear by topping it with a blazer. But most of us overlook the jewelry box. Necklaces, bracelets and brooches can do more than just adorn; they can improve the fit, look and versatility of our wardrobes. Here are a few ways to put your jewels to work.
MAKE A NECKLACE INTO A BELT
Chain belts can easily double as big, chunky necklaces if you simply loop them around your neck instead of your waist. But how about using a long necklace as a belt? Choose a favorite, durable necklace, double the strand, and feed a ribbon through the loops. Tie the ribbon in the back, and saunter through your day feeling sassily adorned.
Ever slip on a necklace that would be perfect if it were just a few inches longer? If you've got a plain chain bracelet that complements your necklace, you've got your solution. Any bracelet with a clip closure that fastens securely -- such as a lobster-claw clasp or a spring ring-- can be used to lengthen a necklace. Clip the bracelet clasp to the jump ring of the necklace, then use the jump ring of the bracelet to attach the necklace clasp. (This can work even if the necklace and bracelet have toggle clasps, but the links won't be as secure.)
USE A BROOCH TO SHORTEN STRAPS
Spaghetti straps on some tops and dresses are adjustable, but others are sewn on at a set length. Too often, those straps are so long that they droop. An easy and whimsical way to shorten the straps is to use a brooch. Just drive the pin on the back of the brooch through both straps. (If it's too hard to reach, secure the brooch before you put the garment on.) Using a brooch to cinch the straps creates a crisscross effect and gives the bodice a snugger fit.
USE BRACELETS TO CAMOUFLAGE SHORT SLEEVES
Sleeves that are too short to be full-length and too long to be three-quarter length can look awkward. Instead of hemming or rolling too-short sleeves, you can make them appear to fit just right by wearing bracelets on both wrists. The jewelry fills in the empty space. Chain, wrap and cuff bracelets are ideal since they stay near the wrist itself, but bangles work well, too, if they're stacked.