It’s hardly a stretch to make the argument that last year’s biggest overarching jewelry trend was the Instagram-famous coin necklace, endorsed by countless influencers, style editors and street style stars alike. It makes sense that this classic jewelry style went remarkably viral, as coin necklaces offer the utmost versatility, thanks to their infinitely stackable appeal (the coin and nameplate duo have remained a popular layering combo)—punctuated, of course, by their inherently vintage charm. This spring, though, there’s a new influencer-approved jewelry trend on the block: seashell jewelry.
Not only are gilded seashell-shaped designs cropping up as adornments on necklaces, but the resort-ready motif is also a dominant embellishment for rings, statement earrings and hair accessories this season. Even ’90s-era puka shells are coming back to life in modernized jewelry styles that—don’t worry—aren’t exact replicas of the throwback styles beloved by teenage surfers of decades’ past.
Before you begin to cringe at this beachy trend’s somewhat startling resurrection, know that today’s puka-imbued jewelry has been revised with polished updates that prevent the designs from looking like an artifact of ’90s ska culture—or some overpriced souvenir purchased at the hotel gift shop during your childhood family vacation. And, if you still need further proof that the unlikely style’s return to fashion is, in fact, a thing, look to none other than Gigi Hadid, who was spotted sporting a puka choker during Paris Fashion Week.
Of course, if you can’t even entertain the idea of bringing back the vacation-inspired chokers of your youth, there are plenty of other shell-designed iterations of this under-the-sea trend that feel a bit more refined. Traditional conch shell designs, spiraling shark eyes, and sophisticated sand dollars with opalescent finishes feel more sophisticated (and office-appropriate) than kitsch or novel.
And let’s be clear about one thing: last year’s coin necklaces are a timeless, ultra-wearable jewelry piece, so we’re certainly not writing them off as a thing of the past. But if you’ve grown tired of the endlessly ubiquitous coin trend, opt for one of these fresh, under-the-sea (and summer-ready) alternatives, instead.
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