Updated Post: Updating My Basic Jewelry

And now, with pictures! Sorry for the technical snafu yesterday and thanks to those who pointed it out.

I am a wear-the-same-basic-jewelry-every-day kinda gal. Sometimes I throw in a statement necklace or swap in a more casual bracelet, but most days you’ll catch me wearing a metallic cuff bracelet, my wedding/engagement rings, and gold stud earrings.  Today I’ll tell you about updating my bracelet after it sustained damage, and adding a ring (whoa!).

Up until recently, this vintage cuff was my bracelet:

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It was my grandma’s and I loved wearing it. It reminded me of her and had a style you just don’t see anymore. Paired with relatively simple outfits, it really popped.

But costume jewelry from the 60s isn’t made of Teflon. After several years of wearing it almost every day, it cracked.

I still wore it for awhile, since the crack wasn’t super noticeable. But it kept catching on things, and I realized that if I ever wanted to get it fixed I should probably stop wearing it to prevent further damage. So onto my dresser top it went, where I could still see it every day and smile at the memory of my grandma:IMG_1852

In the meantime, I had a serious case of NAB. (Go Fug Yourself readers will recognize this acronym as “Needs a Bracelet.”) I knew I wanted a cuff; they don’t flop around like bangles or cut off you circulation like elastic bracelets and they’re not infernally hard to put on like regular ol’ clasp bracelets are. Unsurprisingly, the last bracelet I had worn to death was a cuff as well; they just feel elegant and “me.”

So I started searching the jewelry counter at the Goodwill. I found a few bangles in good color schemes (off white and gold) and a silver cuff I really liked, but no gold cuffs. After several weeks of keeping my eyes peeled, I stopped into the Thriftique and lo and behold, this baby was waiting for me:

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At first I was worried it would feel a little too bold – it was a much yellower gold than my previous bracelet, more in your face. But it was much narrower than my last cuff, and I loved the beaten texture. I reminded myself that Grandma’s cuff took some time to move from giving me an “I AM WEARING COSTUME JEWELRY” feeling to being my signature statement piece, and then I gave it some time.

Now it feels like a natural part of my wardrobe and fits with seemingly everything (and doesn’t get caught on sleeves like my last one did).WP_20170614_09_34_20_Pro (1)

The stamp on it says Monet, which is a J.C. Penney brand; quality-wise it’s not going to be around forever, but when it “dies” (as my spouse likes to say) I can thrift a new one that will have its own character, or go back to wearing my grandma’s repaired cuff.

 

I have a whole collection of rings, mostly my mom’s vintage stuff and a few sentimental pieces from junior high/high school when I was an avid ring wearer. But I rarely pull them out, mostly because my bracelet is hogging the attention in the hand/wrist department and I don’t want to compete. I was looking through them for some reason a few weeks ago, though, and was struck by how the color and bold style of this one matched my recently acquired cuff replacement:

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It was my mom’s original wedding ring (she has since moved on to something with diamonds). It’s a Möbius strip, which I think makes for great symbolism. I absolutely LOVE how simple and yet unexpected the design is; in my head this is a top-tier style-blogger level of finger jewelry, though quite a bit chunkier than what’s popular in that set.

When she got married her fingers must have been TINY; it doesn’t fit on my ring finger, so I wear it on my pinky which I think gives it more panache anyway:

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It’s a tiny bit loose; I have to be careful when I get my hands wet. I’ll probably take it to a jeweler to size it down.  Any recommendations?

 

So there you go; secondhand jewelry all the way. I hope you enjoyed the update and would love to know what treasures you sport every day!

 

Vintage Bracelet Makeover

Last Saturday I finally got to visit Chalice Thrift at the First Christian Church in Decatur. (Church nerd note: they’re Disciples of Christ, which is the cousin to my denomination, and they do really rad justice and service work with the proceeds from the thrift store.)

They’ve been closed the last 3 times I’ve been by, so I was thrilled to have a look inside.  Plus they had Danish butter cookies and lemonade for all, and Danish butter cookies are the way to my heart (especially the kind with crystallized sugar on top).

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Victory is mine.

They also grow blackberries which made my child happy (well, that and the cookies. And their lovely clean bathroom they let her use):

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Inside the shop was set up like a boutique, with different rooms for women’s, men’s, kids, housewares, books (a veritable library!), etc.:

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I wanted to get back to park time* with my family, so I made a pretty quick sweep. (*Atlantans with small people should check out the Decatur Toy Park. Sponsored by this same church, it’s basically a fenced-in park filled with larger-sized toys, particularly wheeled ones, donated for all to use. There are also swings, small slides, and a mini free library, and it’s across the street from the thrift store. It’s also just down the block from Dancing Goats if your toddler woke you up earlier than nature intended and you need some coffee. Win-win.)

During my sweep, this vintage earring/bracelet combo immediately caught my eye:

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I’ve long been a fan of vintage costume jewelry for the sheer chutzpah it brings to an outfit. My grandma had a lot of great pieces I’ve enjoyed wearing over the years, although I’ve scaled back from wearing complete earring/necklace matching sets in the same outfit.

So I wasn’t sure what I would do with this set, particularly since I prefer cuff bracelets to linked ones. But I couldn’t resist the palm frond motif or the golden color, halfway between taupe and caramel, that would go with so much of my wardrobe. It felt like a fresh, subtle take on the palm frond trend that’s been going strong the last year or two:

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Mmm, that vintage patina…

I bought it without a plan and wondered if I’d basically just donated $4 to Chalice Thrift (not a bad thing, but I like to spend thrift money on things I’ll actually, you know, wear.)

Later that day it occurred to me that I could make this bracelet into a necklace by removing the clasp on one side and attaching chain to both ends.  A quick perusal of my miscellaneous jewelry-making bits confirmed that I didn’t have enough chain (or the right color) for what I had in mind.

So it was time for a trip to the Goodwill to hunt for parts. (We also took the opportunity to teach our daughter how to wisely spend her birthday money; $8 goes a long way in the kids’ section of a thrift store. I’m proud to say that after playing with a bunch of cheap toys she bought one book and kept the rest of her moolah for another day/charity donation.)

In the jewelry section I found this number:

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(My friend pointed out that I could’ve gone to Michael’s and maybe spent less buying new chain, but I’d rather buy secondhand and experience the thrill of the hunt. Plus this was only $4 and I’m getting a lot of other beads/jewelry bits out of it, including some to make earrings for this same friend. Win-win again!)

Using jewelry pliers I took out the chain sections, including the short braided section (on the left middle in the photo above), and left the lobster claw clasp where it was.  I attached the braided chain to one side of the single chain, then took two of the necklace’s jump rings (small metal circles used to connect chain to beads/hang pendants) and used them to attach the chain pieces to the bars at either end of the former bracelet. You can see the jump rings and the braided chain section up close here:

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I like how the braided part adds a little asymmetrical interest.

This shot gives a better sense of where the necklace falls – I can adjust the length from almost choker down to this “bib” size simply by attaching the lobster claw to any of the chain links:

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Here’s another few shots of my new necklace in action from Instagram – when I make “new” jewelry I’m excited about, I tend to wear the heck out of it:

A post shared by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

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What do y’all think of my $8 vintage bracelet makeover?  Have you Atlantans ever visited Chalice Thrift?  Scroll down to comment!

What I Wore: Office Sick Day

Yesterday I had a head cold from Hades. (I still have it, but now it’s from, say, Hoboken.)

I spent a good 15 minutes in bed trying decide whether to go to work or stay home.

But yesterday was my boss’ first day back after 4 weeks out of town. And a new program year is breathing down our necks. And I had 3 meetings scheduled. And someone had to drive the kiddo to daycare regardless.

So I went to work, but in the most comfortable work-appropriate clothing possible, which I had most fortuitously thrifted over the weekend due to my inability to say no to comfortable dresses and stripes (and this shade of blue!):

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Continue reading “What I Wore: Office Sick Day”

What I Wore: Changing Temps

We’re having warmer weather here in the ATL but the mornings can still be cool.  Add to that a sometimes-chilly office or church space and you gotta figure out how to transition across a variety of temps in one outfit.

Yesterday my solution was to wear warm but unlined pants on bottom and 2 light-ish layers on top.

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It’s what I like to call my “excited to preach” face.  Ignore the random crumpled garment on the road…not mine. Continue reading “What I Wore: Changing Temps”

Jewelry with a Purpose

A few weeks ago I wrote about retail companies with a conscience—places where your dollars go to a good cause as well as towards a beautiful bauble.  I mentioned Starfish Project and that I planned on supporting them in the near future.

Well, the future has arrived:

IMG_3201 IMG_3199Please excuse the banana my child wiped on my lower lapel two seconds before this picture was taken.

 

Isn’t it lovely?  It’s their Avery necklace and although it comes in a variety of colors, mine showed up a lovely purple.   I’d been wanting a long necklace to go with my winter capsule that was a little more lively than the thin-skim-milk bluish-white and blue of this necklace. (Seriously, I love the dangles I added on, but the large pendant disc colors are kind of sad in person.)

I perused Starfish Project’s selections, made by women who are rebuilding their lives after being caught up in human/sex trafficking, and this big ol’ hunk of crystalline rock caught my eye.  Equal parts chic and funky, right up my alley.

My friend and consultant in all things natural healing reminded me that amethyst is the stone of self-love, so some kind of meta double points there since that’s what Starfish Project is all about.

 

What do you think of my selection?  Does anything on their site catch your eye?  If you mostly stay away from retail, are you more likely to buy something from a company with a social mission?

Scroll down to comment!

 

 

PS I have yet to take on any kind of partnership, sponsorship, ads, or other $$ deals through this blog, so this necklace was not a gift from the company.  Disclaimer-y language and all that.

Friday ReBlog: Closet Creep & Uniforms

I am sad to share with you that La Duchesse over at Passage des Perles is going from more-or-less regular, twice-weekly postings to just the occasional gem (ha, ha) due to a recent return to part-time work. Congrats to her, tears for us! But I love the way she has always shaped her blog around her life, not the other way around (for example the Passage always closed during Xmas and summer holidays). Lovely and chic, in practice and in taste.

Check out two of the past month’s postings here, and dip into the archives for lots of other goodies, particularly if you love jewelry and pearls.

Closet Creep – Why? (either a lament or a legit question, depending on your tone)

Has the Time Come for the Self-Styled “Work Uniform”?  (Chime in below if you have thoughts!)

 

Happy weekend, Thrifters!