I almost never wore jewelry when I was in high school. Sure, I wore earrings but I never wore necklaces or rings. I did wear the occasional bracelet but I was born in the 90s so of course I did. But let’s back up. Why am I writing this? Well, I started wearing more jewelry as part of my great post-grad glow up and it’s interesting to go from someone who seldom accessorized to someone who loves necklaces and rings. But that wasn’t quick; it was slow, painful and involved many many lost opportunities to be even more fashionable than I was as a fledgling.
Let’s recap: in high school I had a controlling aunt who policed my image aggressively. There was absolutely an ideal I had to fit and while I don’t fault her for not letting me leave the house as I wished as a young person, that doesn’t mean that controlling nature was always handled n the best way. I dressed mostly preppy through most of high school and into college: lots of Old Navy v-necks, jeans and my one rebellious items were my black Chuck Taylors. I had my ears pierced as a teen somewhat against my will (another aunt was getting married and to be part of the wedding, I needed earrings) and I did love my earrings as a teenager. Because of hubris and an apparent lack of pain sensation, I ended up with three piercing holes in my ears and that was perfect. I could wear a pair of hoops and a stud that matched whatever color I was wearing (probably purple or black). I never wore a lot of necklaces back then for mostly two reasons: first is that I had and still have eczema and sensitive skin and that I did and still have more chest than my frame should allow. To the first point, the costume jewelry I wanted to wear reacted very poorly with my sensitive skin. Why did I want to wear mostly gaudy costume jewelry? I was a goth (still am a goth) and that meant vampire chokers, bat earrings and bracelets with broken heart pendants.
My first job at the local goth barn (Hot Topic) meant more jewelry but it never really went beyond earrings and the off bracelet. Which brings us to the second point: I am a small and chesty thing and most necklaces I tried to wear ended up being eaten by my cleavage. That is something entirely preventable but it really soured me on the whole thing as I had a weird relationship with my chest that has continued on into my adult life. I didn’t like wearing a piece of jewelry that drew attention to a part of me that as far as I was concerned already drew too much attention.
This weird relationship with accessories stayed the same through most of high school and almost all of college except for when I began cosplaying more in earnest. Costumes meant jewelry sometimes and I continued to make costumes, I continued to wear the pieces that mattered to that character. And that’s an odd thing to consider sometimes. At times, an earring, bracelet, necklace or similar can be the difference between an okay costume and really hitting the nail on the head and knocking an outfit out of the park.
Office jobs were really what got me to wear jewelry. There’s something about wearing earrings regularly that just make you look like you’re more of an adult. Even if I’m wearing skinny jeans, ballet flats from Payless, a t-shirt that may or may not have been a gift; you look just a little better with earrings.
It was not until recently with my full acceptance of goth into my heart that I found my one true love: cameos. I’m at my core a moody Victorian poet so I love me a cameo. And after purchasing a cameo from a woman who sells them out of a trunk and claims to bless each and every single one, a long-lasting love affair began. But cameos don’t always come on chains: I had to make my own necklaces and thus, a match made in glorious Hell.
I love it now when I get a compliment on a cameo. I like building outfits around my necklaces now. I like being able to show off a part of myself in the things I wear, which brings us to another aspect of my personal style: rings.
I am not proud of many parts of my body but I do think I have nice hands. Delicate fingers, soft hands and small palms mean that rings look good on me. The problem is that I am right-handed so wearing a ring on my right affects how I hold a pen so I tend to wear my rings on my left. I am not married but it’s a good way to be fashionable while also scaring off unworthy men.
This ties back into the otaku part of me that is a constant undercurrent of my existence: decoden. Decoden is a artform that has an emphasis on cute, mini and kawaii items and I especially love decoden rings. I love being able to have a little tray full of cake or a tiny donut on my finger: I may be a brat prince but I am a fashionable brat prince. I pick up a few rings at any convention I go to and I am happy to add to my collection of decoden rings.
My relationship with jewelry has changed over the years. I’ve never been big on bracelets but I’ve worn more necklaces in the past few months than I have in nearly my entire existence. What prompted this change? I’m not sure. Maybe I am simply getting older. Maybe I am more fashionable than I was. Maybe it’s just part of growing up and changing? Will things always be like this? Who knows. Will I continue to enjoy all of my cameos and rings? You bet your butt I will.