Stylish New Uses for Your Old Jewelry

BlogHer Original Post

Wrap a shawl around your waist, and that shawl becomes a sarong. Put a sweater over a dress, and that dress becomes a skirt. Scrunch a tube top around your neck, and that tube top becomes a cowl. Most of us are pretty open to letting our clothing multitask. But what about jewelry? Jewelry can do more than just adorn, and some very simple tricks can totally transform how certain pieces get worn. Here are a few ways that I (and my fellow bloggers) have retooled our jewels.

USE A BRACELET TO LENGTHEN A NECKLACE

Any bracelet with a clip closure that fastens securely -- such as a lobster claw clasp or spring ring -- can be used to lengthen a necklace. Clip the bracelet clasp to the jump ring of the necklace and then use the jump ring of the bracelet to attach the necklace clasp. Voila! Your necklace is several inches longer. This can also work if both necklace and bracelet both have toggle clasps, but the links won't be as secure. E has done this several times with her orange F21 necklace. The piece is actually a bib-style, but she prefers to wear it longer.

USE ONE NECKLACE TO DOUBLE UP ANOTHER

If you've got a clasp-less necklace of a problematic length, try using a clasped necklace to elongate and double it up. Fold the clasp-less necklace in half, thread the clasped necklace through the folds, close the clasp, and presto! A longer, double-strand necklace is temporarily created.

USE A BROOCH TO CINCH A BLAZER

Sometimes you want your outer layers to be boxy or cozy, but sometimes they look better fitted. Dress clips may have gone the way of the dodo, but using a brooch to cinch a blazer or cardigan from the back works wonders. So long as you don’t use a gigantic brooch that will pierce your spine whenever you lean back into your chair, this is a great way to do some on-the-fly tailoring AND add interest to otherwise staid pieces. Learn this trick from Kasmira, who is pictured above demonstrating it.

USE A SAFETY PIN TO SHORTEN A NECKLACE

In case you don’t have jump rings, needlenose pliers, and the other trappings of jewelry-making just sitting around, here’s a way to shorten up a chain necklace in two shakes. Pass the pointy end of a safety pin through a chain link, as shown. Use the safety pin in place of the ending jump ring -- meaning, attach the necklace clasp to the safety pin instead. Isn’t it weird that E lengthened her orange bib necklace, while I shortened mine? What are the chances?

USE A BROOCH TO SHORTEN DRESS STRAPS

In response to my post on what to do with brooches, beautiful Bridget sent in this photo. Seriously, how clever is this? She’s used a brooch to shorten extra long spaghetti straps on her dress. We can’t see the front, but this technique pulls the bodice up a bit, making the dress less revealing and more fitted. Plus it creates a really cool crisscross strap effect in the back!

USE BRACELETS TO DETRACT FROM SHORT SLEEVES

I realize that many people think wearing matching bracelets on both wrists is a bit odd, but I love doing this. Perhaps it stems from my love of Wonder Woman, whose bullet-deflecting cuffs challenge anyone to decry matchy-matchiness. Anyhoo, I employ this technique for stylistic reasons, but it also works great if your sleeves are just a smidge too short. The bracelets fill in that empty wrist space and make it look less like you’ve had an overnight growth spurt. Niiiiice.

USE A NECKLACE AS A BELT

Chain belts can easily double as big, chunky necklaces if you simply throw them over your neck instead of looping them around your waist. But how about using a long necklace as a belt? You'll need a necklace that has no clasp, and preferably one that's pretty durable. (The one I'm wearing here is made of chunky plastic faux pearls.) Double the strand, and feed a ribbon through the loops. Tie in the back, and saunter through your day feeling sassily adorned.

What other tricks do you use to alter your jewelry? How about tricks that utilize jewelry to alter garments?

Photo Credits:

Top image courtesy Damselfly58

Second image courtesy of Academichic.

Fourth image courtesy of What I Wore Today.

Seventh image courtesy of Finding My KD.

Sally McGraw writes daily style and body image blog Already Pretty.

Recent Posts by Already Pretty

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