Pearls have been harvested and treasured for centuries. Ever since that first fisherman discovered the iridescent beauty inside the shell of an oyster, each generation has found its own way of wearing pearls.
This week, Jodie and her crew from JTouchofStyle.com have been kind enough to join me in a Fab Collab to demonstrate how four decades of women carry on this centuries-old tradition. You’ll not only get to see how we wear our pearls, you’ll get a peek into our personal histories and hear a little about our connection to these precious gemstones.
Throughout this week, I’ll link back from my blog and social media to each of Jodie’s posts. I recommend also subscribing to her blog so as never to miss out on a moment of the fun.
The Value of a Pearl Necklace
In order to understand the value of my pearls, we first need to go back to Oklahoma just a few years before it became a state in 1907. My great-grandmother was just a toddler. She and her family moved to that territory from Missouri in a covered wagon with hopes of making a better life for themselves by farming the land.
To my knowledge, the greatest success they had was in the love their family members had for one another and the support they offered each other. They never saw riches of the material sort, not even after my great-grandmother married (at 15 years old!) and started a family of her own. Her husband died when he was in his 40s and she lived out the next 50-plus years on her own. Needless to say, she was not rolling in dough.
So, you can imagine my mother’s surprise when my great-grandmother gifted her with the pearl necklace shown below. It is real and none of us know how old it is. We don’t know if it was a family heirloom passed down from one generation to another or if our grandmother saved her pennies for the day when she could buy this special gift for my mom.
My mother tells me that she only wore the necklace rarely because she was afraid she would break it or damage it somehow. The irony is that I have had the necklace for years not knowing that it was real, not knowing that it was a gift from my great-grandmother, not realizing how truly valuable it is to our family. It’s not that I’ve banged it up, but had I known more about its history, I would have cared for it as more than just costume jewelry.
Styling a Family Heirloom
As much as I would love to tell you that I’m in love with the outfit I paired my necklace with, the truth is, I’m not. This project is about me pushing my boundaries to find my signature style. This week, I’m giving you a look that I put together when nothing else seemed to work. It is a fall-back on the way I have dressed in the past — jeans, black jacket, cream-colored tee.
In spite of it being a fall-back option, I will say that I like how the jacket provides a frame for the necklace. That was what was most important to me. Other tops I tried swallowed up or blended in with the pearls. The color of the top, along with the scoop of the neckline, echoes the color and scoop of the necklace. The black jacket sets it all off.
What I Learned
This Fab Collab has taught me more than I ever expected when Jodie and I first started talking about working together. Not only did I learn the history of a special necklace I have in my jewelry box, I learned the next steps I need to take with this blog. I need to start pushing my boundaries more, trying things that have, in the past, made me feel uncomfortable (like lace!), and seeing just how far I can go away from the sea of black, gray, brown, and blue currently in my closet.
Coming up in April, my blog’s theme will be April in Paris — A whole month inspired by the iconic fashions of Paris, complete with colors, patterns, and all things “girlie.” Even lace. (ACK!)
Also, Jodie and her crew will be back in July! We had so much fun doing this collaboration, we’ve got more in store for the future!
Shop this Look:
Pearl Necklace (gift): Similar | Zenobia blazer (thrifted): Similar, Similar on ThredUp in 2P | Eileen Fisher cream-colored silk tee | J.Crew Matchstick Dark Wash Jeans (thrifted): Similar, Exact on ThredUp in 25S | Salvatore Ferragamo shoes (thrifted): Similar