Ever since the age of 12 I’ve been obsessed with Star Wars and eagerly trying to incorporate the galaxy far, far away into every aspect of my life — especially my wardrobe. There was just something so appealing about trying to show off my love of Star Wars in everything I wore, from hoodies to dresses to accessories.
Over the years that desire has grown as I have and now I am constantly looking for more adult ways to express my Star Wars style. It’s become easier as more retailers have started to sell Star Wars clothes for women, but when it comes to jewelry, it’s hard to find licensed Star Wars products beyond a necklace charm or a pair of earrings. Character jewelry too often still looks too much like costume jewelry, and high-end designer options are basically non-existent.
That’s why I was happy to see fangirl fashion retailer Her Universe tackle the gaping hole of Star Wars jewelry with a line last year inspired by R2-D2 called the “My Hero Collection.” What made me even happier, though, was seeing the company continue to expand their options with another jewelry line in December inspired by classic villain Darth Vader.
Just like the previous collection, this one was also designed at The Sparkle Factory in Los Angeles, made in the United States, and promised affordable, high-end pieces. As someone who has a mostly black wardrobe — can you really ever go wrong with wearing black? — I was much more excited by this Darth Vader collection than the “Hero” one. After all, who wouldn’t want to stylishly show off their dark side? The only pieces in the line that made me hesitate were the larger, statement items. I’ve always been hesitant to give statement jewelry a shot, but the more I looked at this collection, the more I couldn’t resist the idea of trying it out.
So when Her Universe sent me the entire collection (full disclosure: I received the set for free from Her Universe) I decided I would give it a shot and see whether the line delivered on its upscale promise, and if I could make the larger pieces work.
The set arrived packaged in separate purple bags. The line contains a total of six products, five of which include Darth Vader’s iconic helmeted visage: a Darth Vader mod ring, two Darth Vader necklaces, a Darth Vader pendant bracelet, a pair of Darth Vader stud earrings, and a pair of Imperial symbol stud earrings.
The smaller of the necklaces worked well with my standard cardigan over a tank top look. I love graphic tees and tanks, so in the winter I continue wearing them by throwing a blazer or cardigan over them for a layered look. Paired with jeans or a skirt, the necklace worked for both casual and dressier occasions.
The smaller pendant size made it difficult for some people to see that it was a Darth Vader necklace — and I discovered some people struggled with the black-on-black detailing on every item — but I liked the subtlety of it. Plus when someone asked about the pendant I was able to strike up a conversation about Star Wars, which I clearly always love talking about.
I was worried about wearing the larger statement necklace, but I discovered it also worked well. The Swarovski crystals around the pendant make it an especially nice addition when you’re going somewhere slightly fancier, though. The crystals are difficult to see since they’re also black and blend in with the black hematite of the necklace, but they add just enough sparkle. Anything else would look too bright and probably overwhelm the piece.
The necklace worked with a variety of options. It falls nicely on a low neckline, like my tank top, but also stood out well against a solid-color higher neckline. I didn’t feel weird wearing the larger piece either way, which was a surprise to me.
Both of the necklaces appeared to be good quality, too. They are nickel free and my skin didn’t turn a different color like what sometimes happens with costume jewelry. The times I wore them I didn’t see any change in color of the product over time either. The finish didn’t scratch, though that’s not surprising for necklaces since they’re less likely to bump into anything.
I discovered the same high quality on the ring, which was also nickel free as well as hypoallergenic and adjustable. I have small fingers so the ring began to slide when I first put it on, but I was able to adjust it easily. Since I don’t usually wear statement rings, it took some time to get used to its size, but after awhile I forgot I was wearing such a big piece. While the outside of the band started to get scratched after a few days of wearing it, the forward facing Vader never did. Since that’s the important, visible part I didn’t mind the interior light marks.
The bracelet, however, earned a few scratches not just on the back of the pendant, but on the front, too. Sure, I can be pretty clumsy, but I didn’t bump into things constantly while wearing it so I was disappointed to see the scratches show up. Luckily they’re not too noticeable unless you get close.
The style of the bracelet with its small pendant looked elegant and was a bit more subtle, like the smaller necklace. The bracelet is adjustable, but even when using the last official link it was a bit big for my small wrists and slid around, leaving the Imperial symbol on the edge of the chain dangling quite a bit. After wearing it for a while, though, I became used to it and it didn’t get in the way as I worked and went out.
I was worried wearing both the ring and bracelet together might be too much Vader, but I discovered you can never have too much of the Sith Lord. After trying them out with jeans and a skirt, I actually liked wearing them at the same time. I didn’t think it was too much to wear them on the same hand, though for a more casual look I think separating them is the way to go.
To test out the earrings, I needed a little help. I don’t have pierced ears anymore — a long story involving keloids resulted in my piercings closing — so to test the two pairs of stud earrings in this set I recruited my mother. She’s hipper than I am, with three piercings in each ear, and so she rocked both sets of earrings for a day. She said the plastic backings made them slightly difficult to get on and off, but over the course of an eight-hour day they were comfortable for her to wear.
They are big and did feel slightly heavy as she wore them, so if she wore them again she said she’d go for wearing just one pair instead of wearing both at the same time. The quality of the nickel free and hypoallergenic earrings must be quite good because my mom tends to have reactions to costume jewelry and anything other than gold and sterling silver, but with these black hematite earrings she was fine.
I then tested them from the clip-on perspective. I use clip-ease converters — you can find on Amazon.com — to wear the majority of my earrings. I was happy to discover both of these studs worked with my converters. At the end of testing both, I liked the Imperial logo earrings much more. The silver in that pair made them stand out and be easily seen against my dark hair while the black Vader earrings were harder to see.
Looking over the line as a whole, there’s really something for every Sith-loving person here. Each piece can work with casual outfits and with more dressy attire. You can be bold with the statement pieces or go subtler with the smaller pendants. They can be worn separately or even combined together.
I was, frankly, not expecting to like pairing so many bold accessories together, but in the end I have to recommend wearing the ring and bracelet together especially. It was such a fun combo! I felt like I could throw Force lightning out of my fingertips! Hell, I even really loved wearing those two pieces with the Imperial stud earrings and the large statement necklace.
It looks like Her Universe did a great job with this second line, and I think it’s worth the price for anyone who has been looking for an upscale licensed geeky collection. I can see myself wearing these throughout the year both casually and to formal events. Whether going shopping, going to comic-con, or completing your journey to the dark side, it’s great to see that this collection can work with anything. Hopefully we’ll see more jewelry lines like this from Her Universe soon.