Coffee Break: Clear Lucite Necklace

lucite necklaceToday we’re loving the idea of a chunky, clear lucite necklace — which eBay has aplenty, at very reasonable prices. We’d wear it with a casual outfit like a fuschia tee and gray pants, or even a colorful twinset and a skirt — for some reason we think we’d avoid wearing it with blazers or collared shirts. Love it, though. Pictured: VINTAGE CHUNKY FACETED CLEAR LUCITE NECKLACE & EARRINGS, available at eBay starting at $6.99.



  1. AnneCatherine :

    I actually have a clear Lucite chunky beaded necklace. (Hey, it’s better than the heels of that variety, right?) Although I thought I would/could wear it with everything (it’s clear!), I tend to wear it very seldom. I think the very clearness of it bores me or something, even though I thought I was going to love how it matched so many things. For what it is worth, I wore it last Spring with a collared blouse (white) and that is how I thought it looked best. I also wore it with a black v-neck dress and felt somewhat like Wilma Flintstone, though I realize it’s not an exact analogy since she wears big white pebbles around her neck, not clear ones. I also think, and maybe it’s just me, that you have to have a certain “presence” which I lack, conferred by either age, wisdom, confidence, verve, height, or something, to pull off this type of thing convincingly. For instance, I can imagine Christine Baranski’s character on The Good Wife totally rocking this (in some $500 permutation), while Julianne Marguilles’ character would probably stick to a silver chain with one pearl drop. Not sure if that clarifies things. That said, I would probably like it on someone else.

    • I have something like this and I actually also think it looks best with either a crisp white shirt or with a simple white/black tee and a nice black blazer.

      Once you go to bright colors or twinsets, it just looks too store window mannequin for my tastes (but maybe that’s just my particular necklace).

    • Excellent example! I often admire women with the panache to pull off statement jewelry like this – I can do some statement jewelry, but being a petite woman (5’2″), I can only go so big… I do love unique pieces though!

      At under $10, it’s a fun necklace to wear with a dress and not worry that it won’t go with anything else!

  2. I agree. I love necklaces like this one, and I tend to wear them most with a white collared shirt. I think this one would go nicely with a white shirt/grey suit ensemble (but I would ditch the earrings for something not so matchy-matchy).

    (sorry if this a repeat! I got a “slow down. posting too fast” message the first time)

    • I have a chunky one like this, and wore it with a gray dress, and a male friend complimented me on it, saying it looks expensive. The thing was around $13 :)

      Unfortunately, I have been loath to wear it with anything other than said gray dress.

  3. LOVE it! Placed my bid! None of you ladies better out bid me ;)

  4. anon - chi :

    It might be an unpopular view, but I cannot get over my “clear accessories = stripper” reaction. I know that transparent stuff is supposed to be very in right now, but it’s not for me.

    • could not agree more. i could imagine wearing it with a fun swimsuit on the beach with a tacky hat and a pina colada… but definitely not anywhere near a place my boss might be!

  5. legalicious07 :

    I have some clear earrings like this that I picked up two years ago in Atlantic City. I agree with the OP that it is actually very hard to match this clear/lucite style up with the rest of your wardrobe. I would pass on this personally…

  6. C- I thought you were in the I only wear “real” to work camp — “real gold,” “real pearls” etc.

    • For my $.02, I think it’s only an issue if you’re trying to pass a fake off as a real item — I think lucite like this is fine. (But that’s just me — even though I love my real pearls, lots of powerful women have proudly worn fakes, I think including Jackie O and Barbara Bush.)

      • Real v. fake is a bit of a false dichotomy. Of course my pearls are real – they exist, don’t they? I love wearing what’s beautiful and makes me feel beautiful – whether its the “real” Japanese pearls my grandmother gave me that cost more than a year of law school, or the “fake” pearls I’m wearing right now. BTW, I get far more compliments on the fake ones (except from jewelers or other experts).

        I have a moissanite engagement ring – for a lot of reasoons, partially my political beliefs, partially because we got engaged young, partially because it was *perfect.* Comments ranged from “he’s lying to you, that’s too gorgeous to be fake” to “of course it’s fake, it’s totally clear and not white, real diamonds are white, it’s too sparkly” (the latter being someone I didn’t like, fwiw). I *love* moissanite, especially since I’m petite. Small stones set in white gold in my ears with perfect fire – it would look odd if I had a single carat in each ear whether it was CZ, moissanite, or “real” diamonds.

        The problem with “fake” is that a lot of costume jewelry isn’t appropriate for the office – but neither is my real wedding jewelry set (think big and 22 carat gold).

        • N – Can you expand on your comment that your real wedding jewelry set is not appropriate for the office? I’m curious.

          • It’s freakin’ huge. And I mean *huge* – I’m Indian, but I have two wedding sets (long story), one that’s Indian (and classically purchased in the Indian homeland of New Jersey), and one that’s from Thailand. For an Indian bride they were both understated. But they are large 22 carat gold pieces – the earrings dangle too much for the office, and the Thai set has too many gemstones embedded.

            That said, the NJ-purchased necklace *might* be office appropriate with a very, very plain outfit, because it’s plain yellow gold, but it’s not appropriate on all 5’2″ of me in the office, even in a plain outfit, because it looks even bigger and gaudier on my frame.

            I also think very bright yellow gold can be hard to pull off in the office for most people.

        • I did moissanite for my wedding ring too! Glad to hear I’m not the only one!

    • I think fake might be fine — but there’s good fake and bad fake. For fake to be appropriate, you generally are looking at something that’s a bit more expensive than what a lot of people would pay for “fake jewelry.” As a result, I don’t think that you can have a blanket fake is ok/not ok rule.

    • I’m ok with fakes if they can pass for real… cubic zirconia studs that would weigh in at a karat each are tacky (in my opinion) — that said, I love my real pearl necklace and earrings, because they’re classics that I’ll wear until they fall apart (and then have them restrung) and prefer to ind costume jewelry that’s more of the fun/trendy/interesting variety.

    • I strongly prefer real or very high quality fakes where it’s nearly impossible to tell (I’m hoping for a high quality “fake” engagement ring someday – I have a thing against the diamond industry). I strongly dislike the look of plastic jewelry and the types of things sold at chain stores (e.g., Banana Republic jewelry). It all reminds me of stuff in my jewelry box in second grade. Today I rotate a string of pearls, a few nice silver necklaces, and one gold necklace. I’m not this much of a “snob” when it comes to anything else in my work wardrobe, but this is something I’ve decided to care about, for some reason.

      • Eva — there are diamond alternatives that are sans conflict, if you’re interested. You can get a “diamond look” with white sapphires. . . . for some reasons, that seems much more appropriate for an engagement ring to me than cz :)

        • SF Bay Associate :

          I just learned about white sapphires from my hair person (stylist? dresser? totally unclear on the correct noun) and am very intrigued. Have you seen them in person? Do they sparkle? I realize nothing looks like a diamond, but I’m drawn to the sparkle of a diamond like a moth to flame even as I’m frustrated/repulsed by the diamond industry, its labor practices, and its price manipulation.

          I’m on the verge of getting engaged and I’m really torn. Diamonds = sparkly, very pretty, neutrally colored, but artificially expensive, and politically/ethically compromised. Maybe a white sapphire is the answer.

          • Like all stones, white sapphires run the gamut quality-wise. Some are very inexpensive & those are often cheaply cut & placed in rather inartful settings, which do not look all that great. But there are some gorgeous high-quality designs and, honestly, they’re amazing looking, at least to me (granted I am not expert) & are so much less expensive than a similarly sized/placed diamond.

            I would seriously investigate. Check smaller, boutique jewelers. This is not something you will find at mall jewelers like Kay, Zales, etc (at least it won’t be done well). But I have seen a few beautiful stones. And frankly, I have also seen some rather murky & uninteresting diamonds . . . so even ethics re: diamond industry aside, a high quality, beautifully cut white sapphire seems like a much better purchase than a cheaper, less well-done diamond.

            For the morally-minded who don’t mind paying extra for something that’s already very expensive, there are, of course, ethical, conflict-free canadian diamonds out there . . . or you could always go vintage. Happy almost engagement :)

        • and of course, you could get something that’s not a diamond. I know someone who really, really loves the color purple. Her engagement ring is a very pretty amethyst ring.

          Speaking of diamond alternatives, someone who knows more about jewelry than me: is there really much difference between natural and lab-created gems any more? Let’s say you have a synthetic diamond and a natural diamond. Can you tell the difference? I mean, it’s still a diamond, right (structurally and atomically speaking), but I thought synthetic sold for cheaper and it just occurred to me with this discussion that I have no idea why.

          • Well natural diamonds are the result of millions of years of pressure deep in the earth – synthetic gems come out of a lab…

          • Well, synthetic stones cost less and are less precious. Meaning they will not have much value in the future — not that anyone thinks about selling their jewelry but this can be quite valuable as time goes on & it’s much more meaningful to leave to your kids/grandkids, etc.

  7. Pearl Girl :

    And Michelle O.

  8. Clear beads just don’t have enough presence or “pop” for me, so I’m rarely drawn to pieces like this.

  9. This reminds me of Justice Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings last summer. I remember watching Judy Woodruff interview a woman from the ABA, and both of them were wearing blazers, crewneck shirts (could have been t-shirts, it was hard to see on TV), and chunky necklaces like this (although not clear lucite). I saw the look a few other times on TV, too. It’s been one of my favorite summer/casual looks ever since.

  10. I like these clear lucite pieces when they are chunkier and look more like ice, or quartz. This one is nice though.

    I have to say, I love that C featured an eBay item. I buy a lot of my wardrobe on eBay. I love the link to the eBay search result. That way if the pictured item sells out, it’s easy to find something comparable.

  11. Well, at least it matches pretty much anything you can throw at it.

    • microentrepreneur :

      Being a jewelry collector, this necklace made me think of two historical references: one is bakelite jewelry, especially the Deco designs, which has a similar chunky/in your face plastic vibe, and was made in a rainbow of colors. The other is Victorian crystal bead jewelry, which can go one of two ways–elegant and sparkly, or like bits of Grandma’s chandelier.

      BTW, for anyone who has a beef with the diamond industry, antique diamond rings may be less of a problem than new. The damage was done decades ago, and the designs from around 1900, with inset, rose-cut stones, are subtler and (to my eye) more interesting than the newer solitaires.

  12. Great necklace. I love statement pieces and it’s so much more modern than a lot of “good” jewelry. I have a diamond on a thin gold chain (sentimental value; was my mother’s engagement ring) and it’s almost a dated look at this point. I find myself wearing a lot more of the statement pieces.

  13. I would probably wear each separately -either necklace or earrings, otherwise I would feel to matronly (is that the word for it?)
    But I still think it would be fun to wear this with something casual

  14. Moissanite! AKA silicon carbide.

    It’s almost as hard as a diamond (9.5 Mohs), and has superior fire and luster.

    The biggest test, IMHO, is how hard a stone is if you plan to wear your ring every day. An emerald, for example, is a poor choice because they are soft (though gorgeous).

  15. Maybe someone can help me: I am looking for a lucite bangle bracelet and cannot seem to find one anywhere. Has anyone spotted one?? I am talking chunky, at least an inch and a half — and completely clear. No designs, no harware, just lucite. Thoughts?

    • carole tanenbaum jewelers
      milk way jewelers

      (both on line and specialize in vintage…including bakelite and lucite)

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