Fantasy Dressing: Three necklaces

Until recently, I had not spent much time accessorizing my pajamas. But I have had a revelation.

Last winter my sister and I inherited a cache of costume jewelry that was like a snapshot of the 1970s-80s-90s. Our adored relative, the most stylish person ever, had left us a trove of little boxes and bags. We carefully laid everything out in a sunny spot on trays from kitchen: piles of watches, ropes of pearls and turquoise, orphan earrings, mysterious hordes from the old Henri Bendel in New York, statement pieces with no brand or the biggest brand, sparklers too sparkly to possibly be real. We were overwhelmed.

I have since learned, from studying the internet, that costume jewelry from late 20th century is big business. When Karl Lagerfeld conjoined Chanel trademarks with hip hop chains in the late 90s, he created pieces that are now selling in the four figures. Would I wear Chanel dog tags? No. Would I part with them, considering their source? Never.

What to do. Months have gone by, and I finally realized that the way to possess beloved old and gaudy jewely is to wear it for fun. To me that means combining it with Jane’s Vanity loungewear and elegant lingerie. For example:

The Rock and Crystal choker: mottled orange crystal beads offset a rather pre-Columbian medallion made of polished blue rocks. It weighs a ton. I bought a length of linen cord and ran it through the clasps so that it now hangs low into the cleavage. Not an office look. But, for a summer evening, I have a passport to go anywhere when I combine this necklace with my Elise Anderegg silver slip and a caftan.

The Little Sparkly Necklaces: Are they real? I don’t know. But, because they are so tiny, I sometimes just I put them in my pocket when I need a little spiritual support. I can also wrap them around my wrist in the evening and watch old movies in my Olivia Von Halle silk pajamas.

The Chanel Charm Necklace: A giant charm bracelet that sits on one’s clavicle is the perfect way to jazz up a loungewear look. Just add slippers and a glass of champagne. Eat your heart out 1st Dibs!

I’ve become very enthusiastic about dressing up in the evening. It slows the pace, adds a bit of ceremony, and has the advantage of being slightly outrageous (when properly done). Thank you to Jane and Emily for inspiring my new look!

-Kate L

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