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The art of choosing beaded jewelry or any other kinds of jewelry is to remember that your jewelry arrives visually before you do. When you put something on, check the whole body view, as someone else would see you. It may be a lovely piece, but if it is not right foe you, or if it does not substantially add to the overall effect, leave it at home. Graduated pearls or beaded jewelry are not the best choice for narrow shoulders or a full bust line because they draw the eye to the center. Bigger-scale beads of uniform size are the best choice.

In the 60s Courreges shocked and bemused the fashion world with helmets, plastic disc chain mail, and PVC tunics. This was the avant-garde side of the swinging generation, but their mothers were meanwhile carving out their own fashion agenda. These were ladies decked in colorful Pucci and covered in Ken Lane's latest creations. Much of this type of jewelry had strong influences from ethnic origins, from India, Africa, and South America, and one of the style imports was beaded jewelry - beads, strand upon strand of them. The 1960s was in fact the first time that beads had been used on this scale since Edwardian times.

Almost every major manufacturer produced line after line of beaded jewelry. But where the United States had taken the lead in jewelry design since the 1930s, this was once again the forte of European designers, especially the Italians. In the creative hands if such designers, beaded jewelry flourished: the adorned the front of the neck and also the back, becoming something more than just a neck adornment. Beaded jewelry became far more than just a bauble: it began to have a life of its own, and in the plural they became sculpture.

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