Sunday, April 6, 2014

Good Measure: Incorporating Heirlooms into Your Everyday Wardrobe

I love jewelry. This should not come as too much of a surprise, but to be specific, I have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with gemstones and diamonds. It all started with the sciences and my days as a child spending hours in the rock and gemstone room at the Museum of Natural History in New York City. The color, cut, shine, and geometry really spoke to me and does to this day. What can I say, I love shiny things! I am lucky enough to be a part of a long line of women who have felt similarly and over the years I have been the recipient of some big and beautiful gemstone rings.

To be honest it took me a long time to feel comfortable working my family heirlooms into my everyday wear. I usually dress pretty casually when in the studio and when I am off duty, I like to dress up, but was always concerned about making too much of a statement. As I have gotten older I have cared a lot less! The jewelry I have collected is the story of the women in my family. It is important to me and that is enough to wear it out and about as I choose.

My favorite way to wear my rings is to stack them. I love all the color, the combination of metals, and different cuts of the stones. They always start a conversation and I adore sharing the story of who the ring belonged to and when it was passed along to me. I have a few rings that belonged to my Great Great Grandmother!

I have collected a few tips below on some of the things I have learned along the way about caring for and wearing heirlooms. However you wear them, please wear them!  They do no good being hidden away. If you are at a loss for how to work them into your wardrobe, drop a comment below, I'm happy to help you out!

1. Know what you are looking at. I always recommend having heirlooms appraised. This has little to do with monetary value and everything to do with understanding the metals, stones, gears, etc. of the piece. Some items that appear gold might be gold plate, platinum, etc. These differences matter in terms of care, longevity, and value for insurance. 

2. Be brave. Just because an heirloom might not be your style, don't be afraid to take it out for a test run. If it has deep meaning to you but seems foreign to your look, give it a go for a few months. Try it out with a variety of looks from casual to formal. If it still doesn't float your boat, tuck it away in your safe deposit box for a year. If you haven't thought about it or thought of passing it on to another family member, consider giving it to a friend or selling it. 

3. Record the story. When you receive an heirloom make sure to ask the story behind it. Who did it belong to? When did they acquire it? Was it a gift? Keep the details in a notebook or on the cloud so you can pass the story on to the next recipient someday. 

How do you wear your favorite heirlooms? Post a photo on Instagram with #GoodMeasure to share your story.



Original photography, art direction + styling for Zelma Rose by Lisa Anderson Shaffer

1 comment:

  1. I love this! Sparkle is the best! That aquamarine one is gorg!