Welcome to Who What Wear UK's first-ever Wellness Week. With that back-to-school feeling in the air, we thought what better time to hit reset on the health and happiness of yourself and your wardrobe? From uplifting outfits to savvy ways to update your look to the psychology of our purchasing habits to the pyjamas that will help you get some extra z's, check back all week for a daily boost of style success.
The ancient Egyptians didn’t just invent hieroglyphics and bathing rituals involving donkey milk. They’re also said to be one of the first civilisations to wear crystals, using stones like lapis lazuli, malachite and turquoise as talismans for their healing powers and protection against disease.
Five thousand years may have passed, but it seems crystals are back in fashion. The style set certainly has plenty of crystal carriers. Victoria Beckham keeps black tourmaline, known for its protective properties, backstage at shows, and model Miranda Kerr told The Cut that she’s always found herself drawn to rose quartz: “I have a small heart-shaped one I put in my bra. It’s known to encourage love (like self-love) in your life and open the heart chakra.”
A growing number of jewellers are putting crystals and stones at the centre of their designs, sometimes literally. Brooklyn-based Pamela Love has brass cuffs where the focal point is an orb of lapis (around £336). Olivia Creber’s latest collection is called Beyond Crystal Planes: “It was inspired by my heritage—both the rusty Australian outback and the coastal cliffs of the Sussex Downs. Crystals are native to both locations, and when they sit on the skin, they reflect the light,” she explains. She has gold vermeil hoops hanging with stalactites of pink tourmaline (£482) and bracelets studded with raw chunks of amethyst (£735).
Tyler Psarras is the marketing and communications director of Browns and something of an expert in the field of crystals and chakras (the seven different centres of energy in the body). She discovered amethyst and rose quartz in her teenage years—after a childhood spent combing beaches, gardens and forests for what her mother called “magic stones”—and now carries crystals in the pockets of her jeans or wears them as pendants.
“Crystals have helped me connect to myself rather than something external,” she says. “Too often we give our power away to others or something outside of ourselves.” If the sceptic inside you can’t help but smirk, think of using crystals as a form of mindfulness. They’re essentially about quieting your thoughts and becoming more self-aware. As Psarras puts it, “Exercising the mind is just as important as exercising the body.” Now seems like a good time to practice open-mindedness if anything as National Wellness Week is approaching from 10 to 16 September. Interested Londoners should try popping into Covent Garden’s Buddha on a Bicycle, a little boutique crammed with crystals and Buddhas that also offers yoga, meditation and healing sessions. You can also browse an encyclopedia of crystals on London Fossils and Crystals’ website and read up about their properties before buying online.
“It could very well be that the crystal chooses you based on the subtle energies you are putting out there,” says Psarras. She describes her meditation as “a constant switch up of crystals”: pyrite for energy in the morning, blue lace agate when she has a work presentation as it encourages the right words to come out, malachite for its sense of calm when travelling and a combination of amethyst, scolecite, pink opal and lepidolite under her pillow to unwind. Branch on the Park’s crystal healing bracelets are brilliant if slipping a stone in your bra feels a little too new age (from £25). London-based Soulbands offers handmade wire bracelets that come threaded with shards of citrine, hematite, carnelian, lapis lazuli, you name it. Prices are from £8.
You need to engage your brain a little more than just clipping a bracelet on, however. “It’s important to be conscious of them,” says Psarras. “Be aware of your breath, close your eyes and tune into the presence of your crystal. Coming back to that space of stillness several times a day for one or two minutes is all you really need.”
Click through the gallery for more pretty crystal pieces that will have you saying “chakra” before you know it.