The thought of a dress code or theme for an upcoming event can strike fear into the heart of even the most creative or sartorial minded among us. Established dress codes in particular settings are becoming more of a relic of the past as the balance of power shifts away from the institution and towards the individual. The idea of any establishment decreeing what is and is not appropriate dress, when dress is so deeply interwoven with personal identity, seems increasingly dated.
The last strongholds of the dress code generally fall into only a handful of categories; formal occasions such as weddings, workplace attire, and love it or loathe it, the themed party. A dress code for a particular event can create cohesion on the night and add a curated aesthetic to the photographs that are later circulated widely in print and most importantly online.
Of course, there is an effective solution to the dress code conundrum – accessories. The key to any great accessory is found within its versatility, and nothing is more versatile than jewellery.
Let us take for example a diamond bracelet, the foremost accessory to the stars of this year’s Golden Globes. This accessory can be understated enough to be worn every day with jeans and a shirt and with its ability to transition into corporate attire with ease, has become a staple in every jewellery collection. However, what if an invitation arrives and calls for black tie or even the more obscure white tie? A diamond bracelet has you covered. For black tie, consider elevating your look by fastening the bracelet with a ribbon around your neck to create a diamond collar guaranteed to enhance the most reliable little black dress tucked within the depths of the wardrobe. Worried about white tie? Contemplate the same bracelet configuration but this time placed on the crown of your head with the ribbon tucked into a sophisticated up do or alternatively across the forehead in the bandeau style, who needs a tiara! Simultaneously, you have the beginnings of a fabulous flapper costume for the ever-popular 1920s or Gatsby-era theme.
Accessories can be used also to create a mood or even enhance a theme. For instance, if the invitation calls for more playful themes, creative placement of whimsical brooches on a hat, belt, or even clustered together can be your nod to the required dress code. Pastels, a popular tonal theme, could be incorporated effortlessly by adorning your outfit with soft-hued gemstones such as aquamarine, morganite or even pink diamonds. Nothing says a 70s or 80s theme like a chunky necklace or a bold pair of statement earrings, more is more.
So just remember when the invitation arrives – its time to accessorise!
LAUREN BOUSTRIDGE / Senior Jewels Specialist, Sydney
Banner Image: Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. diamond and gem-set grasshopper brooch | Sold for $53,750