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:


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.


The Beauty Room

When I first moved in with my husband ten years ago, my one condition was that we get a two-bedroom apartment so I could have a spare room that was completely my own. He agreed. Our second bedroom became a personal haven for me that I decorated with ultra-femme art and soft, pastel finishes. My husband dubbed it “the beauty room.” It was where I displayed my jewelry, applied my makeup, and found sanctuary from the world. Since then, I’ve had two different incarnations of the beauty room, but the name has stuck around.

My last beauty room was in the space that is now my daughter’s nursery. Once I found out I was pregnant with her, I knew I was going to be evicted and had to come up with an alternate location. But when you live in a small home like we do, there isn’t much unused square footage to work with. So, to create my new (and current) beauty room, we finished what used to be an unheated, enclosed sun porch off our bedroom by painting and installing new flooring, shutters, heating and A/C, and lighting. Here is my beauty room as it appears today (it might be my favorite of them all):

The need for a beauty room is apparently a hereditary condition. My mom has what she always called a “dressing room” in her home, though it’s hardly bigger than a small closet. Her dressing room houses a vanity, a treasure trove of jewelry, a collection of vintage fashion prints, and a curio cabinet full of personal souvenirs. As a kid, this room held so much wonder for me. I remember sitting on the floor, watching my mom dab perfume on her wrists and riffle through her jewelry to find the perfect piece to wear on a night out (in reality, I was probably wrapped around her leg crying and begging her not to go). I still find new marvels every time I set foot in this magical little enclave. Undoubtedly my mom’s dressing room influenced my desire to have a similar space of my own.

The funny thing about having a beauty room intended to be my private sanctuary is that everyone else in my household gravitates toward it, too. My husband does his hair in there because he says the lighting is better and I have good products. My three-year-old son sits at my vanity and applies my makeup like face paint. My twenty-month-old daughter likes to open all my drawers and strew my jewelry across the floor. So much for a room of my own!

Do you have a beauty room, or even just a beauty space, of your own? Tell me about it in the comments!