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Gadget fashion--Jasmine's Tech Do's & Don'ts

Get schooled by CNET editor Jasmine France. This week: styling up your tech.

Jasmine's Tech Dos and Don'ts

One of the glorious things about living in such a technologically advanced era is that we've reached a point where gadgets have become so ubiquitous that manufacturers are constantly striving to make them appealing to the individual eye. Clearly, getting your gear in line with your own personal style is key, but finding that happy balance between totally blah and way over-the-top is also important.

When taking the fashion approach to technology, mobile gadgets naturally spring to mind first. Namely because these are the items you have on your person all the time. Of course, style is important in the home as well, but we'll address that down the road and with a slightly different angle. For now, here are some tips on adding some personal flare to your totable devices.

First off, let's talk music tech, because (let's face it) it's what I know best. Not everyone has a standalone MP3 player these days, but surely many people use headphones on a daily basis--DON'T be afraid to pick up a pair that goes beyond the standard black, white, and gray. The red of these JVC Marshmallows can add just a pop of color to a mostly black, gray, and denim wardrobe. If you're truly devoted to black, check out the new Diddybeats, which are understated but still undeniably stylish.


However, unless you're a teenager--or the type of sports fan who forgoes all fashion in favor of supporting the team--DO steer clear of intense, overly patterned models such as these Skullcandy Icon Soft 'phones or the Red Sox Beats. But, hey, just to prove that I'm not the Skullcandy-hater that I so blatantly am, I fully endorse the look of the company's new Roc Nation Aviator. Just look at that contrast stitching and metal wire band. One word: hot. Still, remember to give any headphones a listen before purchase, and DON'T buy a set that sounds lousy just because it looks good.

While you're at it, why not style up that cell phone? DON'T shy away from adding some personal flare to your mobile device. It doesn't have to be much; I know most people tend to like a pretty basic look here. I'm not really a fan of phone jewelry, but I have to admit this rubber ducky is kind of cute (even better: make your own out of devil ducky pencil toppers). In the scheme of things, it's just a tiny charm, so if it represents you, go for it. Just DON'T overdo it.

It almost looks like a real book now. Gelaskins/Caia Koopman

If you're feeling adventurous, DO turn your cell phone--or laptop or tablet--into a mobile piece of art with a skin. I'm a fan of Gelaskins. The company commissions work from many up-and-coming artists, offers hundreds of prints, and is compatible with dozens of devices including the HTC Droid, the Palm Pre, the Kindle, and the iPad. The designs range from the ethereal and flowery to the bizarre and austere. (Oh, and I've used them and Gelaskins don't leave a residue--always a plus.)

Well, this is a topic I could go on and on about, so I think I'll quit before I get too carried away. But it would be remiss of me to leave you without this final tip on rhinestone-adorned gadgets: DON'T! Never, ever...no, no, no! Whew, glad I got that off my chest.

Last week: Talk tech to technophobes