Do the English, Europeans and Scandinavians find bling vulgar?

(147 Posts)
bunnymother Mon 10-Feb-14 13:44:09

Here's a nice, tasteful question for you... grin

I saw the other thread asking about the value of people's wedding, engagement and eternity rings, and it got me thinking that quite often I notice big diamonds on American and, to a lesser extent, Australian women, but not so much on English, European and Scandinavian women. The people I am thinking of are all high earners (or married to), so its not to do with money. I am assuming its to do with taste/preference?

Hmm bling isn't really my bag - I've got a beautiful engagment ring which is rather large (3ct purple sapphire wih two 0.5ct diamonds either side) but that and my wedding ring are my only 'proper' jewellery really. I like my jewellery to be quite quirky, and to me proper gemstone jewellery tends to be rather staid and classic. Maybe when I grow up...

Snog Fri 14-Feb-14 18:03:08

I dislike "real" ie expensive jewellery and hate wearing rings or bracelets or earrings. I do like fun ie inexpensive necklaces and watches.
I never like how expensive jewellery looks on other women either and no matter how rich I was I wouldnt wear it! I am english.

SnowBells Wed 12-Feb-14 23:07:44

Hmmm… not sure whether all Swedes are THAT modest. Loads of pics on Facebook of Swedish girls occupying the higher echelons (aristocrats) who all seem to be very tanned, blonde and so very, very New York-ish.

Beaverfeaver Wed 12-Feb-14 21:41:19

The only person I know with a large stone for their engagement ring is American.

SELondonSwede Wed 12-Feb-14 21:30:34

I am Swedish and yes I suppose that there is a cultural element that think that too much bling is somewhat vulgar too showy and should most certainly not be used as a symbol of love.

My beautiful husband to be proposed with a stunning 0.7c ring which to alot of people in london(let alone americans) would say is a very modest ring. In sweden my plain, esquisite solitair is seen as vulgar...

bunnymother Wed 12-Feb-14 16:39:54

Here is an interesting article on the popularity of the Richemont group's luxury goods and why: brontecapital.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/richemont-waiting-for-bullet.html (basically, transportable wealth. But it's conspicuous, so be careful)

LittleBearPad Wed 12-Feb-14 16:16:32

Yes but mulberry is trying to take itself upmarket and has significantly raised its prices. It hasn't worked as Mulberry isn't prada, Chanel or lv. If they dropped their prices below £1000 they'd do better. I don't think it's symptomatic of designer labels being over.

maggiemight Wed 12-Feb-14 15:38:06

The Mulberry share price for anyone who's interested
uk.finance.yahoo.com/q?s=mul&ql=1
I think the bling fashion is over, I was in London last week and everyone looks like they sleep rough on the street - everyone in black with beany hats and stubble (not the women) but def no bling.

In fact bling looked out of date.

Snowdown Wed 12-Feb-14 09:34:46

I can't imagine the Scandinavians being blingy about anything - their style is so pared back, so classic....so very dull, I wouldn't think it's about class, it's about being conservative....not drawing attention to oneself..it would be social suicide to express oneself in a manner different to everyone else, it's suffocating!

LynetteScavo Tue 11-Feb-14 23:53:24

The diamond in my own engagement ring is very small. I could have had a bigger one, but I felt it was big/expensive enough.

A few years later, DH was earning much more money, and I always really liked that the diamond was so small, as it reminded me I didn't marry him just for his money I married him because I knew he had potential

I have a relative who married an American, and the stone in the ring he bought her is MASSIVE. I'm trying to figure out if it is a low quality diamond, or diamoniqe or what ever. I'm not sure how he could have afforded such a MASSIVE rock. She's not a bling type of person, but this was obviously an appropriate engagement ring where she comes from.

SnowBells Tue 11-Feb-14 23:43:33

RocknRollNerd

That has changed with the generations in Germany...

bunnymother Tue 11-Feb-14 21:56:36

Petra Ecclestone, Tamara's sister, doesn't seem to seek approval like Tamara does, and in an interview said she thought everyone would live like her if they could. [whispers : "I'd marry someone different to either of their DH's though]

I think it's healthy to question why we make the judgments we do.

bunnymother Tue 11-Feb-14 21:53:04

Ecclestone is the racing heiress and Beckwith is the property heiress.

TheJumped Tue 11-Feb-14 21:49:37

Do I mean Tamara Beckwith? The racing heiress. I think I'm confusing her with someone confused

TheJumped Tue 11-Feb-14 21:48:10

Thanks, I just don't want to be responsible for any ensuing bunfight as I do tend to get irate about this stuff! I want to make people question why it is that they make negative judgements about other people's style, particularly when it involves large amounts of money. I find it very interesting but also maddening when judginess in this area isn't challenged or even recognised as such. A lot of people deny that they are classist but words like 'vulgar' aren't judging anything other than the class of the person. Eg Tamara Beckwith. If I had her money I'd live exactly the way she does grin and I think Kim Kardashian looks great most of the time.

Thejumped, I think you had an interesting point.

Really anyone at all can wear jewellery. And if you consider very popular current pieces (ie: the Tiffany necklace/bracelet set that was inhumanly popular in the 90's, or links of London sweetie bracelets for the last 10 years) the general opinion of them seems to vary wildly depending on who is wearing them.

So if a girl from Hollyoaks wears one in a magazine it is 'common' and ubiquitous whereas if,say, Helena bonhom carter wore one it would be 'interesting' or covetable.

I'm not sure what it says about the human race on the whole but it is an interesting thought

bunnymother Tue 11-Feb-14 21:25:07

TheJumped - do keep posting if you fancy: the thread will hopefully keep going and evolving - it's not derailing it to introduce a new point.

RocknRollNerd Tue 11-Feb-14 21:19:11

Not sure if it's changed with the younger generation but Germans tend to buy a ring for the engagement and then swap it onto the other hand when they get married, typically that ring is more wedding band style than engagement ring. They thought my engagement ring (a very small sapphire with even smaller diamond either side) was very flash when it really wasn't (we were poor students) especially compared to the Tiffany solitaire bling you see a lot of now. I lost count of the number of times I had to explain that when we got married I would get a plain gold band to wear with the engagement ring.

LinusDKD Tue 11-Feb-14 20:52:28

Hey TheJumped it has been an interesting debate so apologies if my previous post was a bit harsh. smile

TeamWill Tue 11-Feb-14 20:47:33

I wear a Victorian rose gold wedding band, don't have an engagement ring.

My mortgage is paid off though grin

TheJumped Tue 11-Feb-14 20:42:27

Cross post Linus grin

So also sexuality and weight come into it, you're right.

We all just want to look rich, young and thin, I guess. And effortlessly so.

It's just the classist thing is a particular bugbear of mine since the Chanel bags thread, when it became really nasty. I'll leave it now and lurk as it's been a really interesting debate and I don't want to derail.

TheJumped Tue 11-Feb-14 20:39:07

I agree totally with you bunny - I'm also an ex-high earning SAHM and don't agonise over my right to spend our family money!

But it's related to where money comes from I think, in terms of new money / old money, and judging other women on whether they deserve to wear expensive things. Not just 'I don't like that piece of jewellery' or 'that bag isn't worth what she would have paid' but more class based, more personal criticism somehow, not just of her outfit but her entire personality, and the old/new money thing reminds people they cannot hide their true selves, very anti social mobility as you have said. Maybe I'm on a bit of a tangent blush

LinusDKD Tue 11-Feb-14 20:36:05

X-post bunnymother

LinusDKD Tue 11-Feb-14 20:34:34

I don't agree TheJumped.

Granted, the Duchess of Windsor married a royal but she was from a fairly ordinary American family and most her jewels were bought by her husband(s), not inherited.

I chose Marilyn Monroe as the antithesis of the dark-haired, very thin,conservatively dressed Duches of Windsor.

A Blonde Bombshell dripping in Cartier jewelry is a totally different look than a woman dressed in a black skirt and jacket wearing the same jewels.

I was thinking about their image and look. You choose to make it about class.

bunnymother Tue 11-Feb-14 20:33:01

Well, the Duchess was quite severe looking and wore very restrained clothes, so perhaps her physical appearance was more suited to such extreme jewellery. Whereas MM was quite overtly sexual looking, so perhaps the jewellery would get lost amongst that ie what to look at first?

I'd not really considered your point re SAHM expenditure. I am SAHM, but was previously well paid [cringe], and I think the deal with some of the higher paid jobs is that they are so demanding that the high earner needs the household / family support their partner provides in order to do that job. Therefore, it's a joint effort and the income is happily split between the two.

The thread has been humming along without any great discord or personal attacks, so I hope it can continue to do so - it's fascinating reading.

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