Pearls of Wisdom

Shoulder Jewelry: Chain and Beyond

Shoulder Jewelry: Chain and Beyond
by Barbara van Look, Content Development Group, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

When Carrie Underwood wears a style, you know it's not only mainstream, but in good taste.

Call it shoulder bling, body chains or military-influenced--shoulder jewelry is a hot trend for bride and fashionista alike.

The Bride Gets the Sparkly Shoulder

Shoulder Jewelry: Chain and Beyond Ideal for the strapless wedding gown, shoulder jewelry on the bride is a better way to bling than a mere statement necklace. (Bonus tip: Also a great look for proms and spring formals.)

While many shoulder jewelry styles use chains (see the Fashionista section below), bridal shoulder jewelry is often about bead embroidery featuring seed beads, Swarovski® crystal beads and components, pearls (cultured, crystal or glass-based) and more like Stefania Iucci's ''Honeymoon in Dubai'' jewelry harness.

The military influences are clear with beaded pieces shaped like uniform epaulettes, connected across the collarbones and upper back using beaded strands, chains or ribbons as Pauline Peskoff used in ''Frozen''.

Finally, the bridal jewelry designer isn't stuck working with a color palette that's only shades of white! Color is a fun element to bring into shoulder jewelry. Whether you decide that the bride's version needs to pick up the secondary wedding colors--or if that's going to be part of the bridesmaid's look, instead--shoulder jewelry with color is a brilliant addition to wedding style.

Shoulder Jewelry: Chain and Beyond Shoulder Jewelry: Chain and Beyond

A Fashionista's Favorite Shrug

Chain is big in the jewelry harness look--especially if it's not for a bride. Jean Paul Gaultier put it on his models, Rhianna's rocking chain shoulder jewelry over a tailored leather jacket, the Litter Girls have messy-chain versions over their blazers and Carrie Underwood's wearing it to perform at halftime!

Lightweight colorful anodized aluminum or shining steel chain jewelry harnesses are the bomdiggity in the fashionista's world.

But it's not all about chain. Debbie Benninger's amazing ''Steampunk Klepto Octo'' showcases the intersection of shoulder jewelry, statement necklaces and steampunk!

Sure, most jewelry lovers like a lot of sparkle, but not everyone. Whether you're a fan of Game of Thrones or the Dragonriders of Pern--there's some obvious shoulder jewelry for you. Who doesn't want a shoulder dragon? Laura Medéiros created ''Here Be Dragons'' using polymer clay, peridot chips and paua shell. The Swarovski cupchain leash helps keep him perched just where you want him, too!
Shoulder Jewelry: Chain and Beyond

Shoulder Jewelry: Chain and Beyond Shoulder Jewelry: Chain and Beyond

The tiniest of beads can have a big impact when used in shoulder jewelry! Lana (Svetlana) May created ''Necklace Expectation'' using Ming Tree size 11 and Miyuki size 15 seed beads with a mix of Swarovski crystals beads and components. The ruffled bead neckline is plenty comfortable and the sparkly swag stays right in place during cocktail hour.

Materials Resources If you have a question or feedback on this Pearls of Wisdom article, or would like to share your own wedding project idea, please contact us here.
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