Here is just a sampling of some of my most favorite accessories of late. There are many more to come so please check back for updates. If you have an accessory that you love or would love me to write about or review, please contact me and tell me more. I’m all ear(ring)s!
I scarf. Yes scarfing is a verb. In general, I’m against converting nouns into verbs unless completely necessary and in this case, it is. I scarf almost all year long. I scarf indoors and wear the scarves for most of the day. It’s not so much because I feel bad about my neck like one of my most favorite writers, the late Nora Ephron, but more because they keep me warm, they feel so cozy, and I believe they complete almost any outfit. The difference between an indoor scarf and an outdoor scarf is that the former is not too thick, not at all weather proof and definitely not itchy. Indoor scarves can be worn… yep, indoors and can be paired up with a blouse, a sweater or even with a t-shirt in the spring or summer.
My friend Kara turned me on to the indoor scarf when she gave me my first one from Anthropologie years ago for my 35th birthday. Kara incidentally also turned me on to my husband when she introduced us over 20 years ago so I owe her for a lot more than just her fashion tips. The original indoor Kara Anthro scarf is part of my regular rotation, and Kara continues to be an excellent scarf advisor as well as a wonderful friend. We seem to find cute indoor scarves wherever we go whether at a small boutique in Northern California we discovered while visiting for a friend’s wedding or at the gift shop in the Poconos resort we go to every year with our families. Kara selected a beautiful indoor scarf for me recently at the Columbus Circle Holiday Market in New York City. We loved meeting Pema who founded Lungta, the amazing scarf company. He was so knowledgeable, warm (no pun intended) and so very helpful. I later found out that his scarves are sold year round at The Chelsea Market. I may be wearing this new indoor scarf a bit too much these days but I sometimes do that with a newly purchased excellent find. It’s a sign of a good fit, kind of like Kara and me.
My love of funky, interesting, and often hand crafted earrings goes way back – back to the time before my mother allowed me to have pierced ears. All I could do was admire the earrings on my mother’s cool older sister, my Aunt Jo, from afar. Aunt Jo was the first person and only adult I knew who had Guess jeans and she always pulled her hair back in an interesting accessory so I could see her cool dangly (and sometimes purposefully mismatched) earrings. Aunt Jo became much more than just a fashion icon to me when my mother became sick and died. She became a stepmother of sorts, and for that reason I was so very sad when I had to let go of her when she moved from Pennsylvania to Savannah well over a decade ago.
Her move was in many ways good for both of us as it forced me to crawl out from under her shadow and build my own big girl grown up life. Aunt Jo too built her own life in Savannah where she became a bit of a fashion icon down there. We developed new bonds shopping for accessories together in her adopted hometown on my visits over the years. Aunt Jo turned me onto ShopSCAD, a retail gallery that carries items designed and made by SCAD (Savannah College of Arts and Design) students and graduates. Every time I go there, I feel like I am walking into a museum – a museum where I can actually buy things. Everyone at ShopSCAD knows Aunt Jo by name (which is Joanne by the way) and they are so engaging and fun to talk to. Some of my most favorite earrings that I am wearing a lot these days are from the store’s earring collection. I’m not sure I’ve ever bought a pair of earrings for myself there because Aunt Jo always beats me to it. She also manages to send me some really unique pieces from the store on my birthday or sometimes “just because.” I like to think it’s “just because” she is still a fashion icon and a really good person.
I love a covered wrist. This probably goes back to the nine summers I spent at camp in Maine when I came home every August with my wrists covered in friendship bracelets. Each twisted, knotted or braided bracelet represented a friend, a funny story or an adventure. Things really haven’t changed much since then. The wrap bracelets, although purchased in stores and not made in a campy arts and crafts space, are still about a relationship, a story or…yep a memory.
My awesome husband (who incidentally does not like it when I write about him) gave me my first Chan Luu wrap bracelet for my birthday nearly a decade ago. At the time, I declared it was his best present ever giving him major props for knowing who Chan Luu was and for selecting it all on his own. I think he may have surpassed himself since then in the gift-giving department as he is on a winning streak of sorts. I still wear the beaded and leather wrap bracelet even though a few of the beads have fallen out from too much wear and tear. I like to pair it with another single strand Chan Luu piece that Aunt Jo gave me.
My father also jumped on the wrap bracelet bandwagon when he got me a really special Hermes leather one in orange no less for my 40th birthday. I love it so much because it’s beautiful and special but especially because my father thought to get it for me. My mother was the shopper, the caretaker, the nurturer… the mom in the family. After she died I knew that no one could ever replace her. No one has, but my dad and I have developed a whole new relationship since she died. It’s one I never wanted, never imagined but am glad to have – sort of like the bracelet he gave me.
I’ve been carrying my gray suede fringe bag almost every day since I bought it almost four months ago. I didn’t need a new fall bag per se but that didn’t exclude me from purchasing this one from The Velvet Slipper one of my favorite local boutiques where I’m a bit of a regular. I’ve always been drawn to fringe. I loved my fringe red poncho that I wore too much as a child, and I welcomed the opportunity to sport a white fringe pleather jacket when I dressed up as Sloane Peterson (Ferris Bueller’s girlfriend) for Halloween a couple years ago. I even once dressed up my daughter in fringe as Pocahontas for Halloween a long time ago back before I know that was not so politically correct. I still feed bad about that.
I was so proud of my new suede fringe back that I showed it off to my friend Nancy over lunch one day. She quickly busted out a very similar and equally cute bag from underneath the lunch table. Nancy, it seemed, had purchased her new fall bag at Target for almost half the price of mine. Rather than feel deflated by this news (I always love a good deal), I instead felt proud of my friend Nancy who is obviously much smarter than I am for finding a bag like this at that price. Nancy, like Kara, is also a great shopping companion and a wonderful friend. She is always willing to learn new things – a quality I so love in just about anyone. She even learned how to play mahjongg (yes mahjongg!) with me to help raise money for a nonprofit organization that I care about a lot. Our bag twinning is still a source of amusement for both of us as are so many other things.