By Janet Kelly
IF ONLY I had liked summer camp as much as I do when I reminisce about it. Those were carefree days filled with swimming in the lake, nonstop sports (ok, I didn’t like that so much), roasting marshmallows and making bracelets, lanyards and necklaces out of bright beads and baubles.
Maybe it’s the kitschy, colorful, mood-lifting jewelry, which pops up almost every summer, that reminds us of less stressful times spent stringing together alphabet necklaces, braiding rope bracelets and weaving daisy chains.
Speaking of daisies, earrings in floral shapes are particularly popular this season, with brands from Lele Sadoughi to Kate Spade, Kendra Scott, Tuckernuck and Lizzie Fortunato selling their own flowery interpretation.
For the past few summers, Rosie Assoulin has made her mark in hot-hued, elastic, slip-on bracelets. They’re certainly cheerful confections for counteracting the anxiety of a long lockdown, and nothing could be easier for accessorizing whatever you’re wearing. The Sundance Catalog also offers plenty of choices of handcrafted wrap and multi-strand bracelets with multi-colored gems like lapis, turquoise and aquamarine.
Of course, along with more sophisticated designs come higher prices, especially for high-end designers, such as Balenciaga and Bottega Veneta who have put a more luxury spin on the trend with, respectively, a $450 beaded bracelet and a $1,300 hand-enameled silver and macramé wrist circlet.
Considering that this is supposed to be fun jewelry, our choices—below—are on the more wallet-friendly side. If you’re artsy-crafty, creative and DIY-inclined, Assoulin sells a You Do It ….Candy Necklace Kit ($150) with 73 enamel beads, two gold-tone plated end caps and a tan string with button closure. Or, head to Michaels, which sells all the tools and materials you need, along with instructions, to make a beachy multi-strand bracelet for a total of $110, less a 20 percent discount (until the end of July).
Anyway, here’s to being a happy camper and endless summer days.
LEFT: A mix of translucent gemstones and ceramic beads brings texture and eye-catching color to a made-for-summer necklace ($80) from Gorjana in shiny 18-karat-gold plate.
RIGHT: As kids in Jacksonville, Florida, Danielle Snyder and Jodie Snyder-Morel’s would fiddle with their mom’s vintage jewelry and make earrings and necklaces using their father’s medical tools. The sister act launched their brand in 2008 and have been going strong since. Their 18-inch-long Carmen Necklace ($170) is made from cowrie shells, pearls and beads of varying size and color, accented by a charming heart of 10K-gold plated brass.
LEFT: If you need a birthday or a just-because gift this summer, think pink. This delicate, rose-gold beaded Friendship Bracelet ( $46) on an adjustable nylon cord is from Catbird, a woman-owned-and-operated company that prides itself on ethically sourced materials and eco-friendly practices.
RIGHT: Catbird designer Emily Levine, a Milan-based native New Yorker, BBB designed this 16-inch-long sweet Double Daisy Chain Necklace ($25) in a grown-up palette. Show it off by layering with one or two of your favorite gold necklaces.
LEFT: Flower-etched magnesite beads, strung on leather, are accompanied by strands of bright gems of lapis, ruby, turquoise and pearls and closed with a sterling silver button. Tough and girly meet happily on this Super Bloom Bracelet, which is $238 at the Sundance Catalog.
RIGHT: Say hello to midsummer with a pair of dreamy, drop New Bloom Earrings (on gold-plated wire) from jewelry designer Lizzie Fortunato. The flowers are carved from lemon-yellow agate and set with faceted rhodolite stones.
LEFT: Dazzle ’em with Kate Spade’s Daisy Studs ($58). Made of enamel and glass, they’ll sparkle lots when they catch the light.
RIGHT: Feel good about spending money. Jewelry brand Akola provides living-wage jobs to poverty-stricken Ugandan women. The women make each of the pieces, such as this elegant Monarch Beaded Stretch Bracelet ($125, Neiman Marcus), with materials like recycled glass and dyed bone beads, accented with gold-tone discs.
ABOVE: Made of raffia and pearl beads, Tuckernuck’s statement-making (1.9-by-1.9 inches) Lilac Fleur Earrings ($88) are part of a playful collection that includes chili peppers and artichokes, as well as other floral designs.
LEFT: Stack your wrist with Rosie Assoulin’s Color Therapy Set ($150) of eight bracelets, strung with vibrant enamel and gold-tone beads. The designer calls it “jewelry to make you smile.” While you’re doing that, note that green hues are associated with abundance, healing and growth.
RIGHT: Aw. Assoulin’s We Are Family . . . . Camp Bracelets ($75) make such sweet presents. Keep one and give the others to the mother, sister, daughter and friends in your life.
Trendy, daisy-shaped Kyla Gold Stud Earrings come in a cheery raspberry as well as a go-with-everything white. They’re $68.
The color turquoise just screams summer, and these hand-swirled acetate Button Earrings ($85 from Lele Sadoughi) that measure 1 inch with a 1/2-inch crystal fireball center make a fetching floral accent to your summer wardrobe.
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