7 accessories to transform your work uniform
Working non-stop all week doesn’t only mean keeping yourself mentally sharp (and by that we mean well caffeinated), but it also means presenting yourself the right way. It’s always best to invest in the basics: an LBD, a crisp white shirt, a tailored blazer, a high-waisted pencil skirt and pointed court heels. But once the weekend rolls around, it feels like we have nothing left. Right?
If you want to look smart when you go shopping with the girls or out for your weekly brunch, simple accessories can help revamp and stretch your wardrobe (and your budget).
Jewellry designer Alina de Albergaria’s collection will transform your conservative office ensembles into something fun, flirty and edgy on the weekend – saving you plenty of money. With a breezy California feel, the company stays true to its Santa Barbara roots while evolving into city-like vibrancy with the designer’s recent move to San Francisco.
YCB had the pleasure of chatting with the brains (and hands) behind Designs By Alina to learn more about how seven little luxuries in her line will transform your work uniform. As a wife and mom, we wondered how she found the time, but after just a few minutes speaking with her, Alina’s energy made it quite clear that her ability to be in multiple places at one time is quite truly possible.
As you’ll see in her online gallery and product images below, her pieces are the perfect balance of feminine and daring.
“Much like a piece of clothing, a piece of jewellery is a statement, only it’s more versatile,” explains Alina. “An edgy necklace can give your conservative dress a spirited spin or your skinnies and a tee an elevated look. A tailored spring pant suit can look more relaxed with flirtatious hoops like Here Comes the Sun, or edgy and sophisticated with our Saturn Baroque earrings.”
Saturn Baroque Earrings – from $260
This hand forged gold hoop showcases a high luster smooth baroque suspended below.
Alina hand picked a few pearls for these earrings so supply is low and no two pairs are exactly alike, making them unique. Not only chic, the quality of the incredible pearls must be appreciated in person.
Here Comes the Sun Earrings – $300
This piece is Alina’s tribute to George Harrison: …it seems like years since it’s been here. These earrings are a contemporary classic and now a best seller, exhibiting delicate bursts of irregular cuts of smooth, translucent citrine gemstones, suspended on a hand-forged, hand-distressed 14kt gold hoop.
Color Me Pretty Necklace – $370
Minimalist at its best, this Designs by Alina choker length necklace brings the concept of mixed metals to the diamond table. The delicate diamond clad 7/16″ disc is set on oxidized silver with vermeil accents.
Alina hand forged the modern angular clasp in 14K GF. The copper colour supple leather cord completes the mixed metal look for a chic piece that looks great alone or layered with a variety of necklaces. (But, we at YCB highly recommend it being worn alone – you don’t need anything distracting from this conversation piece.)
Follow Me Earrings – $500
We’d follow Alina anywhere (she’s travelled the world; more on that below)! These hand forged, hand distressed 14Kt gold diamond shaped studs host two beautiful pavé diamond studded arrows ready to follow you.
Pavé-O Bracelet in Midnight Blue or Natural – $750
Sshh, Do you hear that? Parler Pavé’s older cousin, Pavé-O speaks volumes of diamonds set on a beautiful asymmetric oval, more than 1.5″ in length.
The supple midnight leather (don’t you just want to eat those words up?) is expertly assembled into the piece and finished with a heavy clasp which is also pavé diamond clad.
Alina’s bracelets are usually 7-1/2 in length but can be customized to fit your wrist. These are also available in midnight leather or natural.
Diamonds on a Ruby Stroll Necklace – $980
Perfectly hued rubies go on forever. The 1″ diamond clad leaf can’t put the brakes on its shimmer. And, the gold clasp is designed and hand forged by Alina. If you purchase this delight, you might also consider its sun-kissed cousin, the Diamonds on a Sapphire Stroll. This piece includes diamonds, oxidized silver and of course, those irresistible rubies.
And Diamond Makes Nine (Lilac) Necklace – $1,450
This masterpiece marries the smooth luster of top quality, gorgeously hued pearls with a heavy dose of pavé diamonds including a weighty clasp (measuring about and inch and pavéed on every surface), a pavé sphere and two pavé rings.
This piece pretty much has it all: sumptuous leather and a girl’s best friend. We’re not talking your grandma’s pearls here ladies. This is a sassy number to pass along to your kin (as the cool aunt).
Much like clothing, jewellery can’t simply be thrown on. A great outfit is premeditated without being contrived, or, in other words, effortless.
As Alina puts it: “an effortlessly stylish woman knows how to stretch her wardrobe by tweaking and updating it in ways that are in keeping with the personal style she has honed. Effortless style is about a type of confidence which goes beyond fashion.”
When it comes to style, a cardinal rule for Alina is balance.
“If I wear a statement necklace like And Diamond Makes Nine, I would typically forgo earrings. But the wrist would be fair game and I could easily pair that necklace with the Pavé-O bracelet. A heavy gold cuff bracelet would pair well with our Here Comes the Sun earrings. Layering necklaces is fun too but you need to be mindful of the style, weight and necklace lengths so as to create balance and not overwhelm.”
Somewhat subconsciously, her pieces are all personal interpretations of her experiences and travels.
“I find inspiration in everything I experience. My travels to Morocco inspired the All Wired Up necklaces, my daughter’s obsession with hula hoops inspired the earrings of the same name, and our Follow Me earrings were inspired by my dive into the world of social media.
My designs morph as I do, with new experiences and discoveries. The best example, perhaps, is our diamond collection: a fusion of city, country and beach living, which was catapulted by our move from Santa Barbara to San Francisco.”
Designs by Alina is always working on a new batch of beauty. To stay up-to-date on new pieces and events, sign up for her mailing list, check out her blog, and follow her on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.