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How to wear beaded jewellery by the beach (or practically anywhere else)

Are you sniffing what we’re sniffing? There’s a trend brewing in the fashion-sphere, and it smells of candy and coral.

Vogue called it, all snazzy Bangkokians wearing a Leila Amulet called it, and after much examination and careful consideration and downright celebration, we’re calling it too. Beaded jewellery is hot, and it is happening.

From the shorefront to the corner store, beaded jewellery isn’t exactly a new invention, and it isn’t exactly what bellows at the top of what we would call a ‘luxe list’ – yet it works in large part exactly for that reason. It’s jewellery that often times looks like something you sported (or even crafted) at summer camp, and screeches in colours we wouldn’t normally deem fit for everyday wear. Nevertheless, it thrives in spite of all this, as more and more urban fashionistas love the appeal of wearing something that looks unequivocally child-like in a serious city setting. After all, a couple of turquoise beads to peek through your shirt sleeve during a meeting? Or a coral bead necklace to top off a classic white tee? Inspiring.

Of course, beaded jewellery has a home, and its address lies by the beach. Surfers wear beads, hippies wear beads, and meditative modern-day hipsters wear beads. They’re the epitome of being totally chill, and they’re the epitome of what it means to sport feel-good fashion not only in your clothing but also in your jewellery. Putting together a variety of styles to explore, here’s exactly how to rock beaded jewellery by the beach – or the bar, the boardroom, and the bedroom – and always look peachy.

Featured image credit: Cult Gaia; Hero image credit: éliou

Beaded Jewellery: Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany & Co. Bead Bracelet

Beginning our list with a truly classic style of bead jewellery, Tiffany & Co. brings together a truly summery hue with a truly beachy essential in this bracelet (THB 9,595). Part of the Return to Tiffany Collection, the accessory features a sterling silver tag on an amazonite bead bracelet in a stunning bright blue shade. Eye-catching and yet far from pretentious, wear it to bring a splash of colour to any ensemble. Instantly brightens the wrist; immediately reminds of the sea.

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Beaded Jewellery: IssaraPap

Issarapap Brand Necklace

Thailand is quite possibly one of the most exciting countries for shopping on Instagram, especially when it comes to fashion and fashion jewellery. Made by young hobo chic Thai label Issarapap Brand, this playful necklace (THB 425) exemplifies just what makes the beaded jewellery trend so fun. Something of primary school playground antics, something of bikinis on a boat, and plenty of shapes and colour. Stack several together or pair with a monotone tee. A charming off-duty look.

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Beaded Jewellery: Pacharee

Pacharee Mini Pearls Double Ring

It’s hard not to fall utterly in love with any and all of Pacharee’s creations, and whilst the Thai designer tends to steer her stone focus more towards larger pearls, there’s no denying that an assortment of mini pearls boasts a romance unlike many others. This double ring (approx. THB 15,240) is crafted with hand edged gold detail, and set with organically shaped mini pearls. Easily stackable with other rings, and beautifully pairable with other pearl accessories, here’s a key piece for all those looking to make a subtle statement that still works from day to night.

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Beaded Jewellery: Cult Gaia

Cult Gaia Kai Earring Natural

Remember when Cult Gaia made waves across the global fashion industry when its Ark Bag went viral and became the rite of passage accessory for any fashionista by the beach? The hype may have died down a little since that moment in circa 2014, yet Cult Gaia is still shelling out beach-side essentials in its effortlessly chic and chill style. Featuring signature note from their bamboo handbags, these Kai Earrings (approx. THB 2175) boast bamboo beads with a smooth finish, topped with a gold-plated post. A laid-back classic from the modern godfathers of laid-back chic.

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Beaded Jewellery: Isabel Marant

Isabel Marant Casablanca Rings

Whilst beads in jewellery have a tendency to command the attention of their onlookers, there are a number of ways you can still flaunt them in minimal style. Isabel Marant is a grand case in point, with these Casablanca Rings (approx. THB 4475) boasting an assortment of blue spheres atop gold-tone rings. Assemble them on each finger to your liking, for a look that is cool and contemporary, and yet not all too strict and serious. A great way to switch up any casual outfit.

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Beaded Jewellery: Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta Cranberry Short Tassel Earrings

It’s no secret that Oscar de la Renta loves a good drop earring, and it’s no slip of said secret that the brand loves a good glass bead, too. Available in almost every essential summer colour under the sun, these Oscar de la Renta Cranberry Short Tassel Earrings (THB 13,404) feature an assortment of mini beads that dangle from the ear in perfect rhythm to the ocean waves. Stellar for sunset cocktails, and even moreso for Sunday brunch.

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Beaded Jewellery: Etro

Etro Earrings with Hard Stones

For a beaded jewellery look that still manages to look mature, these Etro Earrings with Hard Stones (approx. THB 9940) are the must-have for any power woman. Inspired by African art, the hoop pin earrings come decorated with deep green and striped hard stones, curving elegantly for a bold statement piece. Regal and yet relaxed, they make for an ideal dinner companion.

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Beaded Jewellery: Isabel Marant

Isabel Marant Casablanca Bracelet

Steering a little away from the classic round bead, this Isabel Marant Casablanca Bracelet (approx. THB 3360) ends our list with unconventional form and colour, and yet utmost wearability. Both easy and breezy to wear everyday, the accessory is easily stackable or pairable with other pieces, and flirts with the eye for its sheer simplicity. Jovial and joyful, perhaps it’s what the beaded jewellery trend is really all about: joie de vivre. We’ll happily sign on to that one.

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This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Bangkok on 24 May 2019. 

Lisa Gries
Creative Content Director, Bangkok
Lisa loves to travel, and is always on the lookout for the world’s best nap spots. She’s a serious Asian art history nerd, and has a knack for languages and coffee table books. She hopes to publish her own novels one day, one of which will likely be called ‘All The Great Conversations I Had In A Bangkok Speakeasy.’ It’s a work in progress.