2000s-Era Silver Jewelry Is Back and Better Than Ever
12.11.18

For far too long, silver held second place to gold in my jewelry box’s popularity vote. It made me think of silver-plated mall jewelry: cheap, sparkly thrills my friends and I would store our babysitting money for back in high school. It made me think of rings that turned my fingers green, my first initial in a three-inch-tall cursive rhinestone letter and earrings that bent out of shape just by blowing in the wind. It felt very “early 2000s.” When gold became more of a thing — teeny, tiny personal pieces that (seemingly) everyone’s necks and ears began to collect, I declared myself “a gold person.” My memory was erased of silver’s relevance altogether, the metal a distant shimmer of nostalgia, like a piece of tinsel found in the couch from a decade ago.

But sometimes, out of the blue, you (and I do mean me) decide that the preconceived notions you held about such arbitrary things as whether or not you’re a “silver person” are kind of tiring, particularly as you begin noticing, Huh, I really like the way the sun shines off that silver cuff my pal is wearing, then find yourself looking the other way because it’s not something you’d normally wear, or because you don’t have any other silver to go with it. What weird excuses! If it catches your eye, go fish!

Today, I’d like to formally announce my recommitment to silver — the metal, the plating, the likeness of it. And this time, that doesn’t mean its counterpart, gold, goes back in the drawer forever; why should it? There’s enough skin and occasion to go around. Right now, however, as silver-marketed by Elizabeth Tamkin (as in, she found all the jewelry shown here) and modeled by Imani Randolph (who, in the photos below, also makes the case for varying degrees of silver eyeshadow), I’d like to explore all the places silver deserves to make an appearance.

For an evening soirée

The silver recipe: Enormous silver earrings to show that you’re not afraid to dive right in. Blue sweater (black tie ball gown under) to represent the metaphorical water. A chunky cuff and geometric ring to balance out the weight of it, and opaque ovals of silver eyeshadow atop your lid for the sheer drama of it.

For a casual gathering among friends

The silver recipe: On this opposite end of the drama spectrum, the silver is less the main entree as it is a very welcome bread basket. Think minimalistic chokers and bracelets, small hoops that hold up chunky beads (that I know I kind of want to bite into). Wear with truly anything, but also, a split pea knit works wonders. As for the eyeliner, wing it out, then marvel at how subtle you’ll find it.

For when you’re too cold to get dressed but know you’ll regret not showing up in an Outfit

Silver recipe: This one is wonderfully simple. Wear your heart on your clavicle, over a gray turtleneck, and add a teddybear coat. Go for wacky earrings and do a quick swipe of see-through silver shadow. Add legging and sneakers on the bottom half to really treat yourself.

For a nostalgic ’round of Pretty Pretty Princess

The silver recipe: In case you found yourself inspired by the sparkliest room in our 2018 Holiday Gift Guide and want more, you’re in luck. Pair drippy-heart rhinestone earrings with a multicolored-gem-dotted choker, add a king-sized ring to your pinky, throw a silver scrunchy in your hair and embrace yesterday’s silver eye-wings that you’ve yet to take off (for great reason). Wear it with a waffle knit henley to keep yourself fireside-ready — the best location for a board game marathon, if you ask me.

For a date that you’re actually excited about (be it a date-date, a friend date, or a date with mom)

Silver recipe: Start with hammered-thin vintage-inspired chains and earrings that look like something your grandma loaned you, then add a newer, shinier pendant to bring the look back to today’s agenda. Add shadow on your lids to the point of no return and ask the waiter for the desserts menu before he’s taken your dinner order.

To star in the movie that is your life

Silver recipe: A swipe of moon dust on your lids, stars and planets in your ears. A chunky chain around your turtleneck’d neck and I’d say you’re good to go on silver for the next 100 years!

Photos by Edith Young. Market and styling by Elizabeth Tamkin. Modeled and makeup by Imani Randolph. 

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