Are Those From Claire’s? No, Paris!

My really good friend Lauren has really good taste in everything. She knows what works and what doesn’t, and she for sure abides by the Coco Chanel school of thought in that one should remove one accessory before heading out for the day. Her taste served her well on her many buying trips throughout her career in fashion and the arts, and it was on one such buying trip that she brought back for me a pair of earrings that I wear a lot – possibly too much.

Lauren purchased these tiny blue-jeweled flower studs (along with a few other pairs for our other friends from college) in a shop on The Rue Du Pont Louis Philippe in Paris well over a decade ago. If I could somehow instantly transport myself to another place right now it may just be to that shop on that street in Paris. I’d welcome the chance to check out all of the beautiful items created by the many local designers and artists.

When I wear them, I think of Lauren and our friendship and Paris. That’s not what everyone thinks though. Not long ago a woman who I barely know asked me if my sparkly blue studs were from Claire’s.  She thought she had seen another pair like them when shopping for earrings for her young daughter’s newly pierced ears.

I felt a bit deflated. No they are not from Claire’s where I recently purchased the cheeseburger and french fries earrings for my daughter. They are from Paris where women wear chic scarves and even chicer tailored jackets as they dine on pomme frites and steak tartare.

“A friend gave them to me,” I said with a smile, and then I caught myself in my rather snobbish thinking. I managed to check myself and laugh at myself too thinking about how my mother would have loved this story. She prided herself on being the anti-snob and on never buying anything with a designer’s name boldly printed on it.

“Why would I want to have someone else’s name on my bag?” she used to say. She also used to encourage me to wear my grandmother’s antique gold fringe earrings out and about with jeans every day.

“People will probably think they are fake,” she would say to me. “And what do you care what people think anyway? Wear them because you love them.”

She was right. And now when I wear the blue sparkly earrings I also think of her. And I think of Claire’s and how it’s kind of great that my Parisian artisanal earrings could be mistaken for those from a chain store in a mall. And let me say for the record that I really like Claire’s. I have bought a ton of earrings for my daughter there and I have even borrowed a pair or two on occasion (not the cheeseburger and french fries one) but more ones like these.

The real truth is that I love the earrings because I love Lauren, and I love that she thought to get them for me a long time ago. It doesn’t matter where the earrings came from. It never did. It just took me some time to figure that out.