Love It, Couldn’t Wear It

I recently joined TikTok to see what all the fuss is about (as if I needed one more social-media platform to consume whatever little remaining appetite I have for more screen time). I was pleasantly surprised to find not a mere time waster, but an all-you-can-eat buffet of funny, thought-provoking, heart-warming, and even, at times, rather educational content (shout-out to @ohheyitskelseyrae for the stellar parenting tips!). I haven’t created any videos yet. For now, I’m happy to remain a connoisseur of the Tiks (Toks?), and to share the best of them at an annoying frequency with friends and family.

One of my favorite viral trends in recent weeks involves people showing off cute outfits they couldn’t wear because of the pandemic, while an audio track of a high-pitched voice with a Spanish accent (originally spoken by a creepy cat with superimposed human lips and eyes) repeats “I love it, couldn’t wear it,” with each changing outfit. If you’re not familiar, the way TikTok works is that you can re-purpose other people’s audio for use with your own videos. People have incorporated this crazy cat audio into videos of themselves, their children, and even their pets rocking over-the-top outfits.

Here’s the original:

@lorenapages

I ❤️ what everyone did with my previous AUDIO so I made another one 🤗 can’t wait to see 👏 #catmom #funnyaudio #funnypets #fyp #loveitcouldntwearit

♬ original sound – Lorena Pages

…And here’s a cute kid getting in on the fun:

…And here’s a wiener dog named Wilson serving lots of looks:


The sentiment of the #loveitcouldntwearit trend hits close to home for me. It’s frustrating that I have nowhere to wear all the fantastic jewelry I’ve purchased over the past year because, frankly, I never change out of sweatpants, nor do I ever leave my house for anything other than mundane errands. Sure, I can wear the stuff at home, but what fun is that? As many women will likely agree, we really dress for other women, and besides my mom, I’m not seeing many of those these days.

So, I’ve decided to use this forum to share some of the things I love that I couldn’t wear [out of the house] this year. This includes new jewelry and the fancy clothes I keep buying for unknown reasons (especially considering that, even when I do return to the office, we have a casual dress code…).


First up, we’ve got chunky gold hoops and a lovely faux emerald choker, both from Etsy. The choker is now sold out, but here’s a similar option. (I was inspired to get this necklace by my fave Italian fashion influencer, Chiara Ferragni, who has a similar one shown here.) The bright animal print sweater helps me channel my caged-lion-at-the-zoo energy.

Love it, couldn’t wear it.


Next, we have vintage faux pearl studs from Etsy (similar here and here), sparkly glasses from Zenni, and a purple and pink tweed headband from J. Crew (now available on Poshmark here). So preppy, so chic, so wasted on the hermit life.

Love it, couldn’t wear it.


For my punk-glam look, I’m showcasing beautiful mini chandelier earrings from Nadri and a rhinestone-studded sweatshirt that is basically jewelry in and of itself.

Love it, couldn’t wear it.


Moving along, for the lady-who-lunches-somewhere-other-than-her-kitchen-island look, we have a John Hardy yellow gold dome cocktail ring from Poshmark (similar here and here), Georgian hoop charms from designer Shan Adams, and simple yellow gold huggie hoops from Zoe Lev.

Love it, couldn’t wear it.


Next up is an edgy Kalessi necklace from Vanessa Mooney and sparkly swirl earrings of indeterminate brand that I bought from a local boutique during one of my rare in-person shopping stops this summer (similar styles here and here).

Love it, couldn’t wear it.


And in closing, this “Goldie” ring with mystic quartz from Joy Dravecky, juxtaposed with a sterling silver druzy statement ring from Etsy, and three yellow gold stacking bracelets that I actually do wear out of the house because they tuck nicely under a sweatshirt sleeve (see paperclip chain, bead, herringbone).

Love it, couldn’t wear it (all together).


If my pandemic buying habits stick, I’m destined to come out of quarantine looking fancier than I ever was before. Sure, sweatsuits have their charm, but nothing makes you feel more “together” than slapping on some lipstick and sparkly jewelry. Until that glorious day when this nightmare is truly over, I’ll just be over here, at home, makeup-less and disheveled, but so so comfortable.

Confessions

The final post of 2020!!!

Now that this craptastic year is almost dunzo (don’t let the door hit you on the way out!), I feel compelled to lay bare my jewelry sins of the past twelve months so I can start the new year with a fresh, clean conscience. In no particular order of egregiousness, I confess that:

1. I created a second Gmail account so I could receive the “first-time subscriber” discounts from my favorite brands a second time (it’s not my fault they don’t cross check their lists for duplicate names and addresses!).

2. After binging Selling Sunset on Netflix, I bought a super sparkly, somewhat tacky heart pendant just like the diamond one villainess Christine Quinn wore in almost every episode and still haven’t worn it out of the house once (PS: Christine was my favorite!).

3. I purchased an antique sapphire and diamond ring from an Etsy shop in the U.K., paid extra to have it resized, and paid even more for expedited shipping, only to discover I didn’t really like it when it arrived. So I sold it, at a small loss, through Facebook Marketplace (note: this is the ring at the heart of my earlier diamond detector story):

Image may contain: ring

4. Speaking of Etsy, the company froze my account at the beginning of the year for unknown reasons, though I suppose it was because they suspected fraudulent activity due to heavy traffic (it was all me!). So, I used my new Gmail account to create a secondary profile, and we’re back in business.

5. When a women located in another state was struggling to place an order for one of my rings on Facebook Marketplace and couldn’t figure out how to process her payment, I blocked her so I could sell the ring to a different woman in Chicago who offered a higher price.

6. I bought this custom necklace from BaubleBar and waited over a month for it to ship. The day I received it, I accidentally dropped it in the washing machine before running an extra hot, extra soapy cycle. The clasp is now completely tarnished, but everything else seems to have survived (the “E” sort of looked like a “B” even before the washing):

7. If you’ve been keeping up with this blog, you know I unwittingly sold a woman a fake gold ring.

8. A few weeks into the pandemic, I started showering and getting dressed for the next day at night, because my kids always wake up first and, once they’re up, there’s no time or ability to do anything for myself. So, I now regularly sleep in my outfit–and full jewelry–for the next day. Don’t knock it until you try it!

9. More than a few times, I blogged during work conference calls. (SM, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry!)

10. I purchased a ring from a woman on Facebook (yes, I do occasionally buy as well as sell on the Marketplace). She eagerly shipped it to me that same day, but failed to put the ring in any sort of protective box or padding. Instead, she just dropped it in an envelope and sent it off. Who could have guessed it (!), but the ring arrived severely misshapen. Using two sets of pliers and my countertop for leverage, I carefully bent the ring back into shape. I must say, it looked pretty good! But I didn’t feel the same about it, knowing the trauma it had endured. So, I sold it on Facebook Marketplace to someone else:

No description available.

11. Throughout this pandemic, shopping for and buying jewelry has become therapeutic for me, probably to an unhealthy degree. I spend a lot of time mindlessly browsing jewelry websites, adding things to my cart to get that momentary shopping high, then forget about them as I quickly move on to the next thrilling find. I suspect many of us have developed coping mechanisms to get through this year. It’ll be interesting to see what habits stick once this craziness is over. I, for one, seriously need to work on reducing my screen time in 2021…


To end on an uplifting note, I wish everyone health, happiness, prosperity, and love in the new year. May your 2021 be exponentially better than 2020! We’re so close to being through this nightmare – don’t give up now!

Ring Redesign Part II: The Consultation

(If you missed the first installment of this series, catch up here: Part I.)

I met with Andre Lukawski on a beautiful, warm day in September to discuss my ring redesign. Andre’s workshop is located on the lower level of a three flat where he lives upstairs, on the northwest side of Chicago. He was waiting for me on his front porch when I arrived. I was so excited, it felt like I sprinted from my car to greet him.

I didn’t know what to expect as we made our way downstairs to Andre’s lair. I’ve never seen a jewelry workshop before—only jewelry store showrooms and the front counter of a jewelry repair shop. 

Upon seeing his workshop, my mind was blown by the scale of his operation. The wood-paneled room featured four separate workstations equipped with grinders, and buffers, and vices, and magnifying glasses, and all kinds of hand tools. In a smaller room off the main space (an erstwhile kitchen) sat an assortment of glass jars and vats of chemicals with tubing and wires coming out of them. It had the look of fully stocked high school science lab, and stirred within me giddiness at the prospect of all the jewelry alchemy that must happen within its walls:

Andre and I stationed ourselves at his large work table and, while maintaining proper distance with masks on, began to chat about my project. I had a clear vision of what I wanted my rings to look like, but didn’t appreciate beforehand just how many decisions were required to shape the design. Did I want the band to taper toward the stone or stay uniform in width? Did I want 14k or 18k yellow gold? How tall and wide should the bands be? What design did I want for the basket where the diamond would sit? As I contemplated the various options for each design element, Andre pulled out picture catalogs and sample rings from his behemoth safe to provide greater clarity for my choices. He made rough sketches and measurements as we talked, and paused throughout our conversation to pensively consider the design as it came to fruition in his mind. 

One of my concerns was whether I could save my original engagement ring setting, perhaps to gift to my kids someday. Andre had the wonderful idea that we could set a gemstone where the diamond had been. I’m planning to do that as a special gift for Sloane, maybe on her 16th birthday or as a high school graduation present.

Once we had worked through all the minutiae, Andre explained that he would convey the design to a CAD drawer, who would prepare renderings of my rings for my approval before making them. 


More to come about the renderings and the final product in Part III, the last installment in this series: The Final Reveal.