MARGE Simpson and Wilma Flintstone rocked them well before we did. They wore them with a cool attitude that made chunky beaded necklaces part of their identities.
These gutsy women had always known that when your attire is dowdy and rather “un-fun” or uninteresting (as opposed to today’s glamorous designer frocks), the only way to revive it is to put on a piece of chunky accessory.
Be it a necklace of odd-shaped wood and rustic pressed metal, ethnic glass beads and twirls of silky ropes, or fabric bibs of soft lace, shimmering studs, and colourful paper-plastic roses, it’ll provide you with the magic touch you require to make you the star of an occasion.
Add an eyeful of gorgeous chunky pendants all in a row, arm-candy bangles of contrasting colours and of different sizes and textures, and the tribal look is formed.
Yes, the trend this season is to put together wild pieces of accessories with “boring” clothing to create statement-making looks.
The eye-catching looks of patterns and designs for chunky accessories today are very much derived from native ethnic and aboriginal artwork from around the world.
From African tribal designs and Indian intricate and richly colourful patterns to Indonesian and Malaysian nature-inspired batik motifs as well as Sarawak’s complicated pua kumbu, the choices of accessories is mind-boggling.
The intricate artwork of these necklaces, bangles, anklets, armlets, earrings, hair bands, hair clips, brooches, rings, and other trinkets are mainly made up of shimmering super-sized glass beads, plastic geometrical-shaped pieces, shiny diamantes, and real-looking faux pearls.
They are glued, tied and entwined by rope, thread, wool, twisted fabrics of different hues, gold and silver plated chains as well as wires and clasps of all kinds.
Shells of various shapes and colours are also used and, for the environment-conscious, these are not the real things. They are manufactured and, so are more elaborate in patterns.
Huge patterned brass pendants hanging from velvety ribbon strings accompanied by glass beads are very beautiful and add glamour and elegance to a casual outfit.
Long ropes of wooden and nut angular-beads woven through with straws, with huge faux pearls in between, are also lovely.
The ensemble of ornately-designed wood, glass, brass and fabrics sculptured together makes us feel like we are wearing pieces of artwork meant for walls and exotic exhibits in glass boxes.
Big brooches are also here in a big way. Animal brooches such as owls, horses, unicorns, cats, panthers, beetles and spiders creep and crawl on your outfit.
If you are wearing an oversized brooch, wear only one. If they are small, wear in groups of three or five. There are also lips brooches and other odd-shaped ones that can happily adorn collars or scarves.
Rings come huge these days and some are worn on three fingers at once. These are topped with tiny tea-cups, cupcakes with icing and cherries and even a teapot: A whole complete tea set that will do the Queen of England proud!
There are many others in seemingly ridiculous designs beyond one’s imagination. They are eye-poppers, and add character to one’s look and style.
MIX AND MATCH
All these bedazzled looks and embellished styles that come from various creativity and artwork of mixing different items, textures, hues and shades are needed to perk up styles quotient.
As with any fashion style, with chunky accessories, there are a few mistakes to avoid. One is that chunky accessories do not go with high-neck or turtleneck tops. It appears as if you are suffocating and makes you look uncomfortable.
When earrings are already dangly, feathered and with strings of chain, it is wise not to wear chunky necklaces. Instead, match them with a stack of oversized bangles.
Layering your ensemble with pieces that are less voluminous but sleek and sophisticated is also a popular concept, as long your outfit is simple and clean.
Wearing chunky accessories with button down shirts or T-shirts and jeans is a favourite look for the old and young alike. Fabric bangles studded with fake gemstones and diamantes, stacked from wrists to just below the elbow (one arm only, please) can shift your look from drab to fab!