Call it the Carrie Bradshaw effect, but ever since the ever so chic Sarah Jessica Parker wore a ‘Carrie’ necklace on Sex In The City, letter necklaces and alphabet charms have been ‘in’ and only continuing to circulate the fashion scene.
This year Spanish fashion house Balenciaga flaunted ‘name necklaces’ on the Paris Spring/Summer 2019 runway while Chanel made ‘lego logo’ alphabet charm earrings iconic. While we’re all about setting our own trends at Francesca HQ, it’s safe to say that the letter look is in.
Whether it’s in monogram metals, alphabet initials or whole words, letters strung onto jewellery (be it a necklace, earrings or bracelet) is not only chic and on-trend but allows a personalised element; so whether you want a thoughtful gift for a friend or to spice up your own look adding the alphabet is where it’s at.
But how do you possibly pick a word, phrase, or letter combo? With 26 letters in the English alphabet alone, the choices are endless. To choose the perfect personalised letter piece, we’ve created a style guide for every occasion.
the letter look guidebook:
for a family member:
Be it your sister, brother, mother or father, take a moment to think of what they personally represent to you. As close loved ones, the options for a personalised letter necklace or bracelet are endless. You may have a family nickname for them, an in-house joke, a shortened name (Ma, Pa, Sis, Bro etc) or use an abbreviation of their name. Take the time to really visualise them and what your relationship with them is like and then choose the letters that best create that personalised name, initials or acronym.
Once you have selected the letters, do some research and identify their style. Is your mum more a fine gold necklace kind of a gal, whereas your younger sister is more into stacked charm bracelets? If it’s a male family member, maybe they would wear a letter on a long chain with a dog tag and monogrammed letter? Or a small charm on a leather bracelet? Remember, the key element here is what the letters symbolise - that is the personal factor that they will really value.
for a friend:
Firstly, let’s talk style. Is your girlfriend super sassy and all about power pants and stiletto heels? Or is she a big dreamer who’d rather be barefoot in a bikini and rocking boho prints? Catch up with her for a coffee or stalk her Instagram feed until you have a great idea of what her ‘look’ is and then use that as a foundation for her personalised piece. Choose a letter charm or word and uniquely tailor it to suit her. For a power player, perhaps go for a long signature necklace and add another charm that will boost her confident look. For a bohemian gal, maybe string their letter to a unique birthstone bracelet to boost their colourful style or on a necklace featuring their zodiac charm to elevate their spiritual nature.
for a child:
For a bambino in your life, look at what the cutie loves best and reflect on what they mean to you. Are they a ‘girly girl’ who loves pink, fairies and dolls or are they all about sophisticated style and already imagining life ‘all grown up’ cooking meals in their pretend kitchen? Letter wise, a classic choice for a child is their first initial. For example if they are called Bella go with a ‘B,’ if you call them ‘sweet pea’ maybe ‘SP’ or perhaps they have a nickname for themselves or a persona, in which case pick the letter that suits that - i.e. ‘Rockstar’ could be the letter ‘R.’
The main thing to consider is - what will make them feel special and loved? Children really value thoughtfulness so using a special phrase or initials that reflects your relationship will be sure to strengthen the bond you have with them and make them feel loved and special and like they have a part of you with them at all times.
In terms of the piece you string the charm too, we recommend either going a bright and colourful bracelet or a short fine silver or gold necklace chain (depending on their age - i.e. if it’s safe for them to wear).
for a colleague, acquaintance or thank you gift:
Have a certain someone you need to buy a thoughtful gift for but aren’t super close to know what they would really like? Personalised letter pieces are a perfect fit for this. If they are a colleague, do they have a persona in the office such as - ‘the joker,’ ‘the storyteller,’ ‘the loudmouth,’ the ‘mum,’ etc? Perhaps that will inspire a word or letter that fits this to a T? Or of they are an acquaintance perhaps a classic first or last letter initial charm will do the trick nicely? In that case you can choose a simple silver or gold chain or bracelet and it’s safe to say you won’t go wrong.
If it’s a thank you gift for someone who has really helped you in a meaningful way, perhaps start with their initial (first or last name) and personalise the jewellery piece with an extra charm based on the situation where they helped you. For example, if they are a yoga teacher who has brought calm into your life, you could attach a lotus or drishti charm to their letter piece.
Or if they are a friend of a friend who hosted you for a weekend (in say Tasmania), you could gift them a Origin bracelet or necklace symbolising their hometown and then attach their first letter initial to make a truly thoughtful, personalised gift.