There’s been a revolution happening in our wardrobes over the past couple of years or so. Blame it on the recession, the rise of normcore or simply a reality check on the pace of trends, but at some point along the way, women decided that we deserved more from our clothes. Suddenly we were asking ourselves why the only choice for successful, stylish women should be between a Topshop item with a 7-day style expiration date, or a designer piece you’d have to mortgage your house to afford. And so contemporary brands came into play, answering our call for quality, price and designs to outsmart the trends. Genius.
At least, so it was with our ready-to-wear. When it has come down to the other components of our wardrobe, we seem stuck in bad habits, with the space between high-street and high-end a no man’s land. This is at it’s most troubling, when it comes to bling.
It would seem that the generation assertive enough to demand better clothes are still happy to wait on others to add to their jewellery collection. Ultimately, this results in the same thing: a vanity desk stacked with duck-egg blue and burgundy boxes holding the treasures we’re keeping for ‘special occasions’ that never arrive, next to a pile of greying-gold wares that we are in the tendency of replacing every few weeks at the lowest possible cost.
Just putting it out there – this makes zero sense. Jewellery is a powerful thing; it can completely change the look and feel of an outfit. We should feel as good putting it on as we do a pair of jeans, their purchase as considered a choice as the rest of our look. What we should not be doing, is allowing our collection to be dictated by the choices of others at birthday’s and christmases, or by whatever is on offer, added onto purchases as an after thought. We say, it’s time to resolutely ditch the multi-pack.
Of course, we wouldn’t be pushing for this if there weren’t good options brand wise – our wardrobes would be nowhere without the likes of Whistles, Joseph and Elizabeth & James to fill them. But that’s the thing – there really are the options now; brands that are hitting the mark on design and price point in the oft intimidating jewellery sector. Few people are doing this better, than Astley Clarke.
Astley Clarke was already a mainstay in our sartorial arsenal. Whether we’re off-duty, in the office or heading to an event, there’s not a situation their pieces can’t be worked into. But this became especially true, with the launch of their Biography collection (which, FYI, also happens to be one of the most versatile jewellery collections we’ve seen.)
This is jewellery you can slot into every look, and at the price, you can also afford to: modern-bridge dressing, for your jewels. The team were clearly on the same page as us when it came to how we should be buying and wearing our jewellery now. Suffice to say they became a natural choice to partner with.
You see, we think three things need to define this new attitude to jewellery, all of which Astley Clarke totally nail. The first is design. The whole point of going contemporary is to step away from the brands and pieces everyone else is buying. You’re looking for something a little different. The Biography collection at Astley uses stones no other brand does (think labradorite, moonstone, green howlite and amethyst) all of which are used in different ways, to give each piece a totally unique meaning.
Quality is a marker too, and a use of materials we want, but might have previously avoided for the onset expense – not so with the collection’s Biography bracelets, all of which come with diamond pavé or gold vermeil charms. Lastly, is cost. Your jewellery should be priced higher than an impulse buy, but not so much that you’d never spend it on yourself. Think of it as a considered piece you really love, and are happy to invest in. That’s the price point you want to hit, and with most pieces in the contemporary lines costing under £200, its exactly what Astley Clarke offers. But there’s still more to it.
Naomi and I have quite a classic style, in that we both know what we like. If you ever see us shopping, you’ll notice that it’s all business – we know the colours, brands and pieces that suit us, and what floors to find them on. It’s a no fuss situation, akin to the rest of our routines. Unsurprisingly, we want the same from our jewellery. What was so appealing about the four Biography pieces the team designed for us when we test-ran them, was that they just worked. You could stack them in whichever colourway you want, or just wear a standalone piece, but every combination came together. Detail is a big factor too; I love that every stone and charm on our four exclusives has a meaning, from creativity, to wisdom, freedom and affinity. It makes the piece you choose a personal statement, which seems even more important when buying for yourself. This is even before we’ve outlined the fact that the pieces are – simply put – really, really pretty. Made with 18ct yellow and rose gold, there’s not much more we could want.
So without further adieu, we present you with The Lifestyle Edit Exclusive Limited Edition Collection at Astley Clarke. To shop the range, along with the other Astley Clarke pieces we’ve wearing, head to the landing page here. Each limited edition bracelet is priced at £95.
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