Nautical-Style Jewelry: A Preppy Summer Classic

striped shirt with nautical theme and deck shoes
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As the last lazy days of summer unfold, The New York Times is reporting that vacationing preppies are favoring striped T’s and vintage Izod shirts, topsiders or espadrilles, and nautical-style jewelry. From the island enclaves of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard to the impossibly chic Ibiza off the coast of Spain, wherever the pretty, young, summer people gather you’ll find jewelry styles that not-so-subtly say “Anchors Aweigh.”

The designer Kiel James Patrick, known as KJP for short, celebrates the perfect New England summer with his wildly popular sailors’ bracelets. These colorful rope or hemp styles, fastened with his signature anchor hardware, are popping up from Newport to Palm Beach, and beyond.

KJP pearls with gold-tone anchor clasp
These KJP pearls with their gold-tone anchor clasp work just as well under a striped Oxford shirt as they do with a Lilly Pulitzer summer shift.

“It’s kind of what I want New England to be: it’s a New England fantasy,” Mr. Patrick told The New York Times, explaining the brand’s aesthetic. “To me, it’s classic American elegance.”

More than 120,000 people follow the KJP brand Instagram feed, and Mr. Patrick and his fiancée/business partner Sarah Vickers are mobbed by fans at trunk shows. So many KJP followers showed up to buy their bracelets at
an event in Cambridge, Mass. last fall, the platform
that held the sales team broke down!

Miansai rope and hook bracelet
Miansai is another popular brand specializing in the nautical jewelry obsession. Their bracelets with trademarked curved fishing-hook hardware are in demand.

Another nautical-style jewelry look that has caught on this summer is a simple strand of pearls with a gold-tone anchor clasp. KJP makes this necklace for an affordable $55, available on their website. Or, for an authentic “old money” look, you can scour or for a vintage anchor brooch to attach to your grandmother’s good pearls.

Anchor brooch
Red sky at morning, sailors take warning: Estate jewels with a marine motif can be pricey,
but worth the investment.
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Before summer’s end, try anchoring your jewelry wardrobe with a nautical-themed bracelet, necklace or pin. The look may have been recently adopted by the preppy crowd, but it’s a classic jewelry motif that will never go out of style.

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