Hey, Stud.

By: Jen Shoop

Apologies for the lapse in posting — I was on a business trip in New Haven, CT (home to Yale) and, between conference meetings and dinners, could do nothing but pour myself into bed at the end of each jam-packed, over-scheduled day.  (I also felt totally uninspired by the fashion sense up there.)  As I packed for the three-day trip, I found myself putting together easy little dresses, fitted cardis, and punchy pumps (I’ve bought at least four pairs of fabulous bow-adorned peep-toes from J. Crew  — like the ones shown below — over the past few seasons, including a pair of navy-gray-yellow-blue paisley pumps with a grayish-blue bow that draw stares of envy from literally every woman, anywhere I go…Good job, JCrew).

But the main staple to my work wardrobe?  Giant, oversized studs.

I hadn’t realized that the oversized stud was a hallmark of my personal style until a girlfriend of mine claimed she’s seen my doppelganger on the streets of D.C., explaining: “It just had to have been you — enormous sunglasses: check; pink high heels: check; oversized studs: check.”  Hm.  I took a look at my jewelry box and realized that I did, in fact, have a large collection.  My favorites?

These from J. Crew:

(Always earn compliments, especially when paired with my Juicy Couture ruffle coat — I have it in a bright, punchy red:)

I also for some reason like to wear them when I have my Tory Burch flats on — not sure why; they just seem to complement one another.A lot of my work outfits are casual dresses “workified” with pumps, cardigans, and these seed pearl studs by Kenneth Jay Lane, my go-to costume jewelry designer:

They just look classy.  I would just as readily pair a work outfit with these vintage Chanels (available through shopbop.com):

Turning back to KJL, however, I can’t tell you how many wonderful pairs of oversized studs I’ve found on eBay.  I had been in the market for some “giant rocks” for a holiday party.  I was planning on wearing this asymmetrical it’s-definitely-Christmas Shoshanna dress:

…and was in the market for some mega-sparkle to amp up the holiday spirit.  I found these gorgeous rhinestone studs on eBay for next-to-nothing (I wanna say around $10, plus a few bucks for shipping and handling):

I also stumbled upon a pair of KJLs quite similar to these vintage Oscar de la Rentas, which I love:

Another interesting new designer with a lot of big studs?  Bounkit, available through Max & Chloe.  I love these black-and-white topaz stunners:

Perfect for work.  Whenever I wear studs, though, I always try to keep the rest of the look uber-feminine.  I wouldn’t, for example, wear studs with a menswear-inspired suit.  Too severe.  I like the contrast of huge studs and a silky navy dress with a high collar, or a  frilly lavender blouse and white pencil skirt.  Speaking of lavender, try these Bounkits:

So dainty and feminine and yet bold.  Love that.  The color palette is perfect for spring.  Another stud supplier?  Amrita Singh.  I have to be honest and say that I’ve had varying success with her pieces.  Some of them are just not very well manufactured, to be honest.  I bought a cocktail ring with seed pearl accents and absolutely loved it until two of the pearls fell out.  Because her products are reasonably priced, I purchased a second — and it was NOTHING like the first.  It looked like it had been made with burnished copper whereas the first had been made with shiny gold.  At any rate: buy with caution, but I still just love her sense of style.  I bought a pair of her Noor studs (they’re big — not for the faint of heart) with a black center (not the silver shown below) and my boss basically made me sell them to her:

Just looking through the options above has sparked a whole new sense of excitement for work-appropriate wear…

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