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Angel or Fairy
How to Tell the Difference
By Sue A. Richardson
The fashion industry sometimes takes creative license when making fairy and angel motifs. You don't want to think you're buying one, only to find later that you're wearing just the opposite! Here are four ways to tell at a glance exactly what you're seeing when shopping for jewelry and fashions.
The design you're looking at is sure to have wings, and you can use those to determine which creature you're seeing. Angels have bird-like wings, which may be indicated by feathers or overall shape. Fairies have insect wings, usually indicated by color, transparency, or shape. A quick way to remember this is to envision a peace dove and a butterfly.
Clothing is helpful in distinguishing between the two options. Angels are usually depicted wearing flowing gowns or robes, often with sashes. Fairies are often dressed in clothing reminiscent of flowers, with petaled borders and soft colors. Jewelry items often depict the two in the nude. Chubby cherubs are easy to recognize, while adult angels may simply wear a sash or be positioned with their leg hiding their sex. Nude fairies often strike a flirtatious nymph-like pose.
As a rule, female angels' hair is attractively and neatly styled regardless of length. Males either have wavy, well-groomed hair or slightly longer curly hair. Fairies usually have carefree flowing hair, perhaps even tousled. Children and males may sport a short and casual "pixie" cut.
If a headdress is present, you can probably be sure of what you're seeing. Everyone knows that angels have halos, though lack of one certainly doesn't indicate that the motif isn't an angel. A fairy's headdress will likely be woven from flowers into a casual open ring placed upon their head.
Bear in mind that exceptions to these rules do apply. For example, you may be looking at a Garden Angel that's been designed with a whimsical halo of flowers, wearing a country dress and having a casual hairdo. But her wings will be the giveaway that assures you she's an angel.
Remember these four tips and you're sure to select exactly the creature you're looking for in the marketplace!
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