Plaid dress – thrifted
White button down – J.Crew
Tights – TJMaxx
Boots – Banana Republic
Belt – Gap Outlet
Pearl earrings – graduation gift from parents
Bangles and necklace – thrift and consignment shops
At the risk of sounding like a one trick pony, here I am again making use of a bright and bold necklace to brighten up an outfit. I found this bright orange necklace at my local consignment store when I went in to sell some old clothes and quickly traded in my store credit for it. And for the patterned orange bangle pictured below. As much as I love jewelry that has sentimental value, that comes from a special friend or family member, or that was purchased for a meaningful event, I also love the quick fix of a good thrift store buy. Want a bright bauble necklace or a brooch to add something new to your wardrobe? Want something kitschy or vintage looking? I love my local Goodwill or my consignment store for that quick and inexpensive fix when I’m itching for something new.
Like A, and like many of you have noted, I prefer keeping my big ticket item to a minimum. If I wear long, dangly earrings, I tend to forgo a necklace. Similarly, you can see that with all of my statement necklace outfits that I’ve been posting lately, I keep my earrings to small and simple studs. I also tend to wear either a bracelet or rings but not both on one hand. I love the “more is more” look on others but have a hard time pulling it off myself. So I stick to the “pick one” as my standard practice.
And if I may get side-tracked slightly here, I loved how a couple of readers noted that they felt ‘naked’ without earrings and always wore some no matter what. I had to laugh reading that because I feel the same way. I wear studs everyday and I sleep wearing them as well. I only remove a pair to switch it out for another. I recently thought about why that is and I realized that I’ve never seen myself without earrings.
My parents got my ears pierced when I was still a baby (probably less than two years old) as is customary for Romanian girls. It’s a cultural norm in Romania for little girls to get their ears pierced and wear little gold earrings from infancy on. I am guessing that it has to do with another Romanian custom, which is to keep both boys’ and girls’ hair very short and androgynous for the majority of their childhood. As children are gendered through clothing and symbols, before maturity hits and their bodies begin to signal gender more, it comes as no surprise that one symbol – earrings – had to be enforced to compensate for the lack of another gendering signal – hair. It seems to me that in the American culture, hair is used much more as a signal for gender with children than jewelry.
Anyway, having grown up with “boy short” hair until around middle school but having always had earrings for as far back as I can remember, I feel perfectly fine wearing my hair pulled back or short (which is how it’s often been until early grad school) while I feel strangely naked and “lacking” without any earrings in.
I’d be curious to hear if you’ve observed this phenomenon within your culture or others. I think the question of jewelry as a gendering object is a fascinating one in itself but even more so when it comes to children, who are much more gender ambiguous in appearance than adults. S.