I wear very little jewelry from day to day, but a well-chosen piece or two goes a long way toward helping a look feel polished. Most of my jewelry is inherited or somehow otherwise sentimental. As in a lot of families, pearls are our favored college graduation gift. I remember many authorized and unauthorized try-ons of my mom’s gradation pearls growing up and still remember the moment when I got my own. I also treasure a Tiffany necklace my parents gave me when I turned twenty-five and of course my wedding set, which belonged to my husband’s grandmother.

Mostly, I prefer small, simple jewelry and don’t generally wear statement pieces. Two of my great-grandmothers and a great-great aunt left me their jewelry collections. I tend to pick and choose from these pieces because a lot of larger jewelry was popular in the mid-twentieth century. Even though it’s not all my usual style, I love having it to remind me of them. They were a stylish and well-traveled bunch! One of my great-grandmothers tucked tiny slips of paper with all of her things that indicate the country where she purchased the item, a touch that really makes her things special to take off the shelf.

Also, I just discovered a way to wear these pieces more often. For those who may not know, sixty and seventy years ago, ladies simply did not pierce their ears (the horror! the vulgarity!). Therefore, a lot of vintage jewelry collections include only clip-on earrings, which are horribly uncomfortable or slip off easily. You can actually buy a kit from Amazon* to convert clip-ons to vulgar pierced earrings, and it’s very easy to do!

Jewelry is the one thing I almost never buy, but I have been branching out a bit lately. Like with clothes, I don’t really like the fast fashion version of jewelry or anything showy. A couple places I’ve found affordable and quality pieces lately are: Julie Vos, Patsy Kane and Posh Preppies*. Mostly I’ve bought earrings because I do wear them almost every day and even I occasionally like to mix up my pearl stud routine.

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