Well, we can’t all be 6-foot tall without heels, look ravishing in our zillion-dollar size zero custom designer gown, and play dress-up with some borrowed jewels that we could hock to put our kids through 35 semesters of college. At least not every day. So I love looking at the fancy designer jewelry worn on the Oscars red carpet each year–and then figuring out how to get the looks for less.
This year it was all about necklaces. Big, fun, statement necklaces. And hey, I like big fun statement necklaces. Coincidence? I think not.
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Splurge: Zoë Saldana wearing a Neil Lane $1 million diamond collar necklace
Steal: Simple Crystal Leaf Necklace by Ben-Amun Bridal, $220, Charm and Chain.
Ah, the woman who makes the rest of us postpartum mamas think, “more training sessions, fewer Pop-Tarts.” Whatever your own belly looks like these days, who would even notice with a gorgeous faux diamond necklace like this stunning choker. The antique silver plating and Swarovski crystals impart
Splurge: Cate Blanchett wearing a Tiffany Blue Book turquoise necklace
Steal: Moon & Lola multi-strand turquoise necklace, $285, Neiman-Marcus
At first Cate’s simple stunner of a necklace looks fairly basic, then you look closely and realize how intricate the beadwork is, which accounts for the 90210 price. Plus oof, that pale blue color is just exquisite. You can comb Etsy for lots of multi-strand turquoise necklaces, or check out the department stores for something like this pretty necklace from Moon & Lola. And thanks Cate, for helping bring back turquoise which looks amazing on everyone in any season.
Splurge: Viola Davis wearing a Van Cleef Arpels diamond and pearl necklace
Steal: Faux pearl bib necklace, $34, Lola Fashion Boutique
Viola Davis had one of my favorite looks of the night, and while she didn’t drip head-to-toe in pearls like Lupita Nyong’o, she did wear a bib necklace so beautifully. This one will never be mistaken for real pearls, but it still makes quite the statement. Really fun costume piece at a super price.
Related: Trend alert: 7 modern ways to wear pearls
Splurge: Jessica Chastain wearing a Piaget diamond choker
Steal: Nadri Crystal Collar, $221 (on sale), Nordstrom
The simplicity of Jessica Chastain’s diamond choker with that black dress is absolutely jaw-dropping…as is the price tag. (Don’t ask, basically.) What’s special about it is a really classic choker length that on closer inspection has more going on than you’d think. That’s what I like about this collar from Nadri; too the double stone detail looks like a leaf, that gets ever so slightly bigger as it rises up past your collarbone. Sexy, right?
Splurge: Scarlett Johansson wearing a Swarovski Crystal embroidered collar
Steal: Amrita Singh beaded West Broadway Necklace, $30, Amrita Singh
Count Scarlett Johansson among the new moms on the red carpet who have us envying their confidence, their glow, and their personal trainers. Some fashion critics thought her ear cuff was the star of her accessory wardrobe, but I couldn’t stop staring at her necklace. This version is no magical woven sheath of glistening crystals for sure. But for $30 you can get a similar effect with pretty green beads. And hey, unlike Scarlett’s baubles, you can even wear it with jeans. And not worry about losing it. Or getting groped by John Travolta on camera. (See? Your life is pretty awesome.)
Splurge: Margot Robbie wearing a Van Cleef & Arpels diamond and sapphire pendant
Steal: Gold tassel and navy cats eye pendant, $80, Kendra Scott
Tassels are so in, we have a whole selection of them for you coming up this week. And they’re so in, that Margot Robbie wore a tassel style pendant that had been commissioned for the Dutchess of Windsor in 1938, featuring 150 diamonds and a mere 300 sapphires. No wonder it was nearly impossible to find anything even close for you online. Should you not have a spare $1.5 million lying around to buy the original, consider this Kendra Scott pendant a (way, way) more modest alternative. It’s not nearly the same, but it’s really elegant and on trend, and delivers the same gold with a hint of cobalt effect. Now, if I only looked like Margot Robbie from the neck up — and down — too. Next lifetime, perhaps.
[top photo: getty via people]