Glitter: Black and white diamonds

What could be more chic than the high contrast of black and white diamonds? “Black diamonds???” you say. Oh, yes, indeed! Diamonds come in all colors of the rainbow!

Naturally-colored diamonds with intense colors are referred to as “fancy” colors. Modern technology has made it possible to color diamonds through irradiation, making even the most rare colors more accessible. 

Black diamonds are rapidly rising on the scale of desirability due to their distinctive appearance. There's nothing quite like them on the market today.

Truly black gemstones usually fall into the semi-precious category. Choices are limited to the ubiquitous onyx and the practically worthless marcasite.

The unique jet black diamond gleam is a stunning study in opposites when partnered with their glittering white counterparts. These gorgeous stackable rings are worthy of blowing an entire paycheck. And it’s fun to see how many diamond bands a girl can stack on to one finger. One is fun, but two together is better. Since these gorgeous rings were expertly designed to nest together, wearing three at once is not out of the question. The only question is, which little black dress to wear with them!

Each ring is crafted in 14K white gold and contains .28 carats of fine white diamonds with slightly visible characteristics and .41 carats of black diamonds.

Treat yourself: Stack Band, $376.99 each, MySolitaire.com, (866) 697-6548

—Judy Ann Olsen

Fabulous finds under $50

Have fun with these Femme Metale solid cast sterling silver stacking rings accented with recessed repeating patterns of hearts, stars or crosses, which are oxidized for high contrast.

Treat yourself: Femme Metale stacking rings, $32 each, FemmeMetale.net,
(951) 279-9737

Judy Ann Olsen is a noted jewelry expert specializing in diamonds and couture. A graduate of the Gemological Institute of America, Judy Ann is an accomplished metalsmith whose work has been recognized by the Platinum Guild International. She offers jewelry consultation for private clients.
Website: JudyAnnOlsen.com
: JudyAnnOlsen[at]msn.com



Goods: The big cover-up

There's no denying it now—there's a chill in the autumn air that makes skimpy skirts and spaghetti-strap tanks an invitation to colds and flu. Or at least some serious teeth chattering.

But who looks forward to being stuck in drab jeans and trousers for whole cold weather season? That's, like, months!

Luckily, you don't have to pack up your favorite skirts and short-sleeved shirts just yet. That's because limb-warming accessories are on the rise again—from toasty leg and arm warmers to cool socks and stockings. Now you can enjoy your favorite flirty fashions while staying as warm as Mom would want.

Here are our favorites of the fall and winter cover-ups:

Leg candy

The easiest stand-in for a tired pair of pants is a set of tights and leggings. Wear them with urbane city shorts, shift dresses and skirts of all shapes and hem lengths for a toasty fashion transformation you can really stretch your legs in.

Dark wool tights from Levante give frilled or printed dresses and skirts a sophisticated feel, while heavier layered looks are lifted by an acid blast of color from Trasparenze Esmeralda Footless Over-the-Knee Leggings or We Love Colors Footless Tights in an impressive array of 45 shades.

Prepare for your wild child hormone-charged days (or nights) with cool reptile or paisley printed Opaque Tights from catwalk favorite StockinGirl. Featuring chic high-fashion names like Black Versace and Cavalli Tiger, they are reinforced in the toe and can be matched to a pair of equally spunky thick socks.

The ultimate leg accessory, though, is a clever take on the turn of the 20th century men’s footwearthe spat. UK designer Elizabeth Melinek has created Strumpets, a collection of finely crafted ankle, knee and calf "boots". With a variety of colors and sweet trimmings, these purse-sized add-ons instantly turn a single pair of pumps or flats into flashy footwear. Melinek’s creations are stocked in 15-20 stores from New York to Portland, or can be ordered directly from her studio in London and even customized to a personalized style.

Treat yourself: Levante Wool Tights, $18.25, MyTights.com; Trasparenze Esmeralda Footless Over-the-Knee Leggings, $14.99, MyTights.com; We Love Colors Footless Tights, $15, WeLoveColors.com; Prints for Opaque Tights, $22.99, StockinGirl.com; Strumpets by Elizabeth Melinek, from £99 a pair, email for US stock listings or order from info@strumpets.co.uk, elizabethmelinek.co.uk, +44 (0)20 7739 0031

Sock it to me

Still concerned about a wintry chill on your stems in spite of the tights? Mix and match leggings, tights, warmers and socks for pumped up heat and a fun leggy statement. This season is all a-buzz over the classic luxury of thick socks and leg warmers, particularly when layered with colorful tights, peeking out the crest of knee-high equestrian boots or over the top of straight jeans. Indulge in some ultra soft 24-inch Leg Warmers for a retro kick, or the extra long Merino Wool Ribbed Knit Socks that rocked the BCBG Max Azria and Moschino fall runways.  

Treat yourself: 24-inch Leg Warmers, $11.99, StockinGirl.com; Merino Wool Ribbed Knit Socks, $22.99, StockinGirl.com

Armed and dangerous

Stay warm and look coolthe arm warmer is back. These cheeky companions keep ¾ sleeve shirts in the game, are perfect for layering over long sleeves and can be matched with sleeveless vests to fend off nasty Mr. Frost if he gets a little too frisky. Goosebumps are on the run from We Love Colors’ Striped Arm Warmers in a whopping 45 colors of funky stripes as well as black, and über-soft lambswool and angora Colorblock Arm Warmers exclusive to Urban Outfitters. 

Treat yourself: We Love Colors Striped Arm Warmers, $9, WeLoveColors.com; Colorblock Arm Warmers from Urban Outfitters, $18, UrbanOutfitters.com

—Kiera Tara O'Brien


Tools of the trade

Every mechanic needs a wrench and every writer needs a pen. Gals in hose are no exception. Fill your toolkit with some specially designed gear for dealing with delicates. Levante Foot Petals keep stockinged feet from slipping in shoes when on the run. Back in the bedroom, Le Bourget Hosiery Gloves prevent annoying nail snags and rips, while the StockinGirl Black Velvet Hosiery Bag with multiple compartments is a tasteful way to keep your sheers safe and organized inside messy sock drawers (or on the road).

Treat yourself: Levante Foot Petals, $7.49, MyTights.com; Le Bourget Hosiery Gloves, $9.49, MyTights.com; Signature StockinGirl Black Velvet Hosiery Bag, $9, StockinGirl.com

This month, one lucky Four Weeks subscriber will win a
pair of fuchsia zebra stripe tights from We Love Colors!

See a full list of this month's giveaways here.

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