Jewelry - The Growing Trend In Expressive Fashion

Cheap hip hop jewelry may seem like a contradiction in terms but it should come as no surprise that in their zeal to follow the hip hop style, regular people with down home budgets spend big money on cheap hip hop jewelry. By cheap I mean inexpensive materials and workmanship used to make the larger than life hip hop jewelry pieces that won't break the bank. You could call them reproductions in a manner of speaking but this market is so large that there are many unique hip hop jewelry items with novel style that are created in non-precious materials using glue as a setting material instead of metal prongs. Although technically not real hip hop jewelry the pieces are still hip hop jewelry that is wearable and made to look and feel quite similar to the real thing. The choice of metal is the first step in creating hip hop jewelry on the cheap.


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The most popular inexpensive metal used for cheap hip hop jewelry is sterling silver with a rhodium plate of a couple of microns to give it the pure white look. White gold goes through a similar process to turn it from a dingy yellow to gleaming white so rhodium plated silver looks just like white gold all things considered. The only thing that silver lacks is the heft of it's precious brethren karat white gold and platinum. Sterling silver may also be plated with yellow gold to make it look like gold. This metal is called vermeil and even though the gold layer is not more than 5 microns thick it still has that lustrous buttery yellow look like real yellow gold. Other metals used to make cheap hip hop jewelry include stainless steel, pewter, and other base metals. These alloys take well to polishing and buffing with a finished look very close to white and yellow gold. The other element that gives cheap iced out jewelry its visceral look is in the choice of stones used to mimic the "blinginess" of diamonds.

The most common material used to give the look of diamond is cubic zirconia. Cubic zirconia has been in commercial production since 1976. Because of its low cost, durability, and likeness to diamond it remains the crystal of choice when jewelry calls for a diamond look without the diamond price. It is also much harder than most minerals. Current commercial production yields crystals that are pure white in color and virtually flawless making cubic zirconia a very good substitute for diamonds in cheap iced out jewelry. At commercial wholesale costs ranging from a dollar to several dollars a carat it is simply a matter of choosing the quality needed as there are varying qualities available depending on the manufacturer. The way these stones are set also matters to the overall look of the piece.

Of course it would not make sense to pay lots of money to master diamond pave setters to set a dollar a carat cubic zirconias into silver or some other base metal. It makes far more sense to have this manufacturing done in Thailand, China or India where this work can be done at a fraction of the price in the US. Also, this type of setting work does not involve meticulous reworking of the stone seats and the manual bending of each prong over a stone. More often glue is used to hold the stones in and prongs are given a cursory once over just to get them in position. Painstaking labor cannot be used to fashion a piece that will sell for from twenty dollars to a couple hundred dollars.

So this is how hip hop jewelry can be made for your everyman at a selling price that is easy on the budget but with a look that can be quite close to the real thing. Materials and workmanship are the two main contributors to hip hop jewelry costs. By using materials such as sterling silver and cubic zirconia in lieu of precious metals and stones, low priced blinged out jewelry becomes not only possible but can be quite fabulous looking in its own right. The use of inexpensive Asian labor and inexpensive fabrication, setting, and finishing processes allow jewelers to sell amazing looking hip hop jewelry at a bargain price. Cheap hip hop jewelry allows for everyone to have the rap star look of triumph without the deep sacrifice of thousands of dollars.

How to Use Sharp Color Contrast in Men's Fashion

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One way to make a dramatic fashion statement is to wear colors that are sharply contrasting. Don't be afraid to express yourself in colors. Colors that contrast are pleasing to the eye if done tastefully. Start with solid colors so as not to create conflicting patterns, such as having a dark pair of pants worn with a bright blue solid color polo shirt. If your pants are solid black your shirt can be almost any color and look great, even the wilder shades such as lime green or pink. Avoid having your shirt and pants in the same exact bright color as that looks more like a clown costume than an exciting fashion statement.

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You can wear black on black though if you are going for a classic look, then accessorize with a bright color. Black and white make excellent color contrasts as well. There is no need to be limited in your choices.

A great look can be made of tan chinos and a navy blue dress shirt. The same can be said for a bright yellow shirt worn with dark gray pants. Another fun casual look is wearing a purple shirt with new blue jeans offset with a white belt. One great way to catch attention is to wear a suit that is the same color for the jacket and pants of say light blue, or gray, and wear a bright solid color t-shirt with it. This juxtaposition of the dressy suit with the bright casual t-shirt demonstrates a bit of flair, showing that you could dress up if you wanted to, but instead you choose not to. A super look is wearing all black (pants and shirt) with a bright red vest over it. Dark browns work well with gold and we always have room for more combinations that are expressed as two darker tones such as dark grey with emerald green or black with deep burgundy.

For more formal dress we like the look of the grey suit, dark blue tie, and bright colored shirt. Politicians favor the dark suit, white shirt and dark red tie which is a strong powerful look. The idea is to think of the solid darker color as the pallet to put the splash of bright color on. It works will with accessories when the dark suit is worn with a bright pocket square. The change up of color is pleasing to the eye.

Try to experiment with color combinations that you are not normally wearing. Lay out your clothes and play mix and match to see how many interesting combinations that you can come up with. If your wardrobe is rather drab it will become apparent and that means it is time to go shopping for some colorful things to spice it up a bit. According to the contrast color wheel, there are certain colors that are designated as primary and that have a complimentary color. These are the color combinations that are the most different in terms of the color spectrum. They are red with green, yellow with purple, and blue with orange. You can choose high contrast or you can also soften the shades with pastels for a smoother look. Either way the contrast of colors can be used in a fun way to create a great look.

Article By Hendrik Pohl
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