30 December 2006

I'm no good at accessorizing

I'm a predictable girl. When I leave my apartment each morning, weekday or weekend, I have the same 4 accessories: my daybag, a pair of stud earrings (usually pearls but sometimes opals or garnets), my yellow gold and spinel ring on my left middle finger, and my 7 yellow gold bangles on my right wrist. Maaaybe a headband, too, but I'm going to limit this post to jewelry.

I don't really consider my bangles so much accessories as I do pieces of my identity. I've worn them since I was a child - 1 each year from ages 11 to 18 - and they are literally stuck with me forever, just like my Mom's are with her, and my Oma's are with her. Sometimes, when I'm going into my second half-hour of waiting for a female pat-down at airport security, I wonder what life would be like not being a permanent metal detector setter-offer. But even then, sitting in a plastic chair, shoeless, and watching my plane take off without me, I still wouldn't pry them off. I like the jingle they make when I type, and they remind me of the jingle my Mom's make when she writes out her grocery lists.

But back to the topic of accessories.

I don't know why, but in this style genre, I'm a consistently risk adverse minimalist. In truth, I think it's because I'm not very good at it, and I'm afraid to look foolish in front of those who know better.

More than clothing, jewelry is a true testament of one's taste. For my taste at least. Because I don't like to wear jewelry that isn't real, I don't have a lot of it. Sure, there are a couple of outrageous faux vintage cocktail rings in my jewelry box, but those are recent additions -- byproducts of my very fashionable, very accessory-savvy friend's influence.

But just because I didn't take part in 2006's big back-to-nature accessory trend, doesn't mean I didn't appreciate Nicole Richie's Bonnie Basham turquoise horn camp necklace ($160 at shopintuition.com) or gawk jealously over my aforementioned friend's fabulous gold leaf pendant. I adore those pieces on other people, just not on me.

But really, the primary reason why I'm so jewelry-spare is that I love the clothes I wear, especially my dresses, so very much. When I wear something I'm in love with - like that ivory knit mini I found in the East Village - I don't want anything to take away from its impact. Take the red evening gown Julia Roberts wore to the opera in Pretty Woman. The dress on its own was stunning, but once Richard Gere presented her with the diamond and ruby necklace and earrings set, it was even more so, right?

Even at 9 years old, I didn't think so. To me, even then, nothing was more beautiful in my mind than a woman with bare shoulders and a naked neck. I also thought how Vivian-esque it would have been for her to decline the jewels because she thought the dress was enough. It would have added another dimension to her character. It would have shown us she had innate good taste. But whatever, she wore them, she looked perfect, and he came back for her in the end. Someday, I hope we'll all have the opportunity to rescue the one we love right back.

But I digress.

The short of it is, I am not your girl for accessory advice. Not yet, anyway. But like I learned to spell the longest word in the English language in Mr. Shubel's 4th grade class, perhaps accessory proficiency is something I too can achieve through hard work fueled by the desire to be better than everyone around me.
So, in addition to achieving a Jessica Biel backside, I'm adding "taking more accessory risks" to my list of superficial New Year's resolutions.
Who am I kidding, that's the only list I make.

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Anonymous said...

Vivian-esque? Who is Vivian?


Johanna said...

Vivian is Julia Roberts' character in Pretty Woman.