UK: VITAL SIGNS - Tone down the brightwork.

UK: VITAL SIGNS - Tone down the brightwork. - When the Queen pins on a large brooch she's clearly going off to work, but on practically any other woman today a large brooch says: 'I don't work and my role model is Margaret Dumont'. When Keith Richards sh

by PETER YORK.

When the Queen pins on a large brooch she's clearly going off to work, but on practically any other woman today a large brooch says: 'I don't work and my role model is Margaret Dumont'. When Keith Richards shoves several hundredweight of silver on his hands and wrists he's off to work too, but in a corporate or professional environment it'd say: 'unemployable Stonehenge/Glastonbury traveller type'.

Jewellery's really difficult at work. It can say some very odd things about men and women. For women, it can send a variety of inappropriate messages such as secretary-bird (various H Samuel nine-carat gold slivers hung about her). It can say 'Sloane, I'm-not-really-working-here', it can say 'office-Geisha'. Any which way, it's difficult.

I always remember a CEO's PA at a FTSE company who was terrifically correct, almost prim, but whose personal life you speculated on because she wore an ankle chain. An ankle chain! It says slave girl or 1950s Shepherd's Market. That ankle chain totally diverted all comers from businesslike thoughts.

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