I had originally intended to do a post featuring outfits chosen by my nearest and dearest but these photos will show why I did not venture outside to take photos today.. SubstandardFullSizeRender-1 It was a very wet morning. I decided to stay safe and warm in my bedroom instead, and seeing as I don’t usually do many close-ups of my looks, I thought it was high time I had a chat about one of my real passions in life: jewellery. As a jewellery-maker, and someone whose obsession with diamonds and gems has led to a couple of qualifications, bling is my thing. Here are my top picks for where to get the best jewellery.

Topshop

IMG_7277 Topshop’s jewellery section is extensive in store, and online, catering to a wide range of prices and styles. My plastic crystal-inspired choker was a great alternative to other chokers that in my opinion looked like they came out of a christmas cracker or a particularly fashionable Kinder egg. Topshop usually steers a metaphorical ship somewhere between unusual and sophisticated. What I love about these eye earrings is that they’re eye-catching because of the large geometric shapes hanging from them, but it’s only when you’re looking at them that you notice the eyes. My tassel necklace has served me well by smartening up countless jumpers and t-shirts. The tiny hoops look great in cartilage piercings or lobes, and they’re good for work when I can’t wear obscenely large earrings (that’s shattered the myth that I work as a Pat Butcher impersonator).

H&M

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H&M is my real jewellery go-to. Everything they do is just so unique, and they do amazing statement pieces. My giant snake necklace is a favourite because it’s so versatile- you can wrap it as many times as you want, knot it, or just leave it hanging. It’s a real focal piece. The giant ring pictured is plastic but designed to look like a mineral slice, which makes it a lot more affordable but still eye-catching. The cuff has a snakeskin pattern on that makes it a bit different from the plain pastel cuffs that were circulating in the high street as Marc Jacobs knockoffs a while back. H&M are particularly good at multi-packs of rings, which takes a lot of work out of trying to find individual rings that work together. It’s the same with earrings- if you have multiple ear piercings, this is the place to go to get earrings that you can wear together.

Charity shops

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If you can spend time rummaging between chipped vases and unwanted christmas presents, charity shops offer a lot of cheap and interesting jewellery. Brooches seem to have fallen out of fashion recently, so they appear in the thousands. I love them, because they settle nicely at the collar of a buttoned-up shirt for a quirky twist. My ship brooch is my favourite because I reckon it looks a lot more expensive than the £3 I paid for it.

Craft sellers

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Handmade jewellery will always be better quality and more unique. Sites like Etsy and Folksy are awash with talented creatives making one-off jewellery items. With craft sites you also know the pieces are worth the money-every penny is going to the maker. This Banksy- inspired necklace is never going to be found on the high street. The earrings are made with watch and clock parts, and I haven’t found anything even remotely similar elsewhere.

DIY

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The easiest way to get exactly what you want is to make it yourself. Sites like Pinterest and Youtube make it very easy for beginners to make simple pieces of jewellery. There’s nothing like the pride of being able to say you made something when someone asks where it’s from. I made the above pieces myself, and I’m certain that the ring and the thimble necklace could be made without any trouble even if you have no jewellery-making experience or equipment. Why not get yourself along to a workshop to learn a few tricks? A big plus of DIY jewellery is that you can make it out of anything! Well… not beans.

So there you have it! It’s not hard to find unique and affordable jewellery if you know where to look! Following from this post I may do a few DIY tutorials so you can make your own jewellery, and I have another special post on the way about a jewellery trend I’ve fallen in love with… When the rain finally stops (it wouldn’t hurt if the rest of the UK wasn’t enjoying a heat wave, damn the Scottish weather!) I will present the style decisions of my family- I’ll warn you now, it’s a mixed bag.

Enjoy the heat while it lasts!

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