My friend Dawn also works in IT. We both have had badges to wear at work, and we both attend conferences, where you also wear badges. Mostly the badges are on fiber-lanyards, and whether you’re at a jeans-and-t-shirt SF con, or IT conference, you look like a dork. And if you’re wearing business wear, a lanyard pretty much destroys your professional look. Dawn, a beader, has come up with a nifty alternative: beaded badge lanyards. Dawn hand-makes and custom designs necklaces using a variety of natural precious and semi-precious stones, glass, crystal, and metal beads. The necklaces can be easily, and quickly transformed into badge lanyards, and then back to a necklace again. You can even purchase (or commission) matching bracelets and earrings. What’s cool is that there are a number of different lanyard-and-badge-holder styles, including one with a retractor for swipe cards. She makes eye-glass chains too.
Do go look at Dawn’s Etsy store, and her Flickr pages. There’s something for every taste, style, and budget, and it’s not too soon for your holiday shopping.