Expanding My Earring Horizons

I am a big-time creature of habit when it comes to jewelry. Almost every single day I wear hoop earrings, my wedding rings, and that’s-it-the-end. Occasionally I’ll wear a bracelet, but I usually end up taking it off after a couple of hours because it bugs me when I type. I like necklaces, but unfortunately I’m not gifted in the area of knowing which necklaces and shirts look best together.

So hoop earrings and wedding rings it is. Day after day after day.

For the last four or five years, I’ve favored one particular pair of hoops. I found them at a shop in Homewood (Homewood is a community here in Birmingham, and you should definitely go shopping there if you’re ever in town), and they were $7. SEVEN AMERICAN DOLLARS. I bet I’ve bought them at least five different times (to replace lost or broken earrings), and the last time they were EIGHT American dollars. So obviously they are very fancy.

But I love them. And they go with everything.

I just can’t say enough good things about them. Their self-esteem must be through the roof.

But a few weeks ago, I was sitting in Panera, minding my own business except for the fact that I was doing some full-on, full-out people watching, and I spotted a pair of earrings that captivated me right away. I thought about using the Google to see if I could locate a similar pair online, but then I decided to walk up to the counter all casual-like and ask the girl who was wearing said earrings if she remembered where she bought them.

I’m pretty sure that approaching strangers to ask where they purchased their accessories means that I’ve officially turned in to Martha. FOR YEARS we have given her a hard time about stopping someone in Target to ask where they got their umbrella or striking up a conversation in the check-out line to ask if someone’s scarf might be available in turquoise or making a beeline for a stranger in the Belk shoe department to ask if they’ve ever run across a version of the shoe they’re wearing in a slightly flatter heel but with more of a pointed toe, A POINTED TOE!

Well, apparently I learned from the best, because before you could say, “SIMMER DOWN, MARTHA,” I was on my feet and walking up to the counter and telling a darlin’ 20-something girl how much I loved her earrings and BY THE WAY, did she happen to know where I could find a similar pair?

The girl knew her stuff, and within all of a minute she told me that she’d found them at Engraving by Carol in Mobile, they had a website, and I should definitely check them out.

I’m pretty sure that I found the website and ordered the earrings before that cute girl had even fixed herself some coffee.

The earrings arrived last week, and I think they’re so cute. They’re a nice change-o-pace from the hoops, and as an added bonus, they’re monogrammed – which is every Southern girl’s love language.

So that’s about all that’s going on around here. I’ve (mostly) worn the same pair of earrings for over four years. Then I bought some new earrings that are a huge step-out for me because they’re not hoops. Clearly I am wild, crazy, and living on the accessories edge.

Do you ever get in a jewelry rut, too?

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  1. Yes. I’ve been wearing the same pair of earrings nearly every day for a good few years. And they’re a cheap, faux-gold pair as I lost my beloved real gold pair at a museum in Seattle about three years ago. So now I wear this dumb pair that requires no thought and I have no emotional attachment to them because really, who can handle the loss of a beloved pair of earrings? Apparently not me.

  2. You want to talk about a jewelry rut…

    I wear my wedding ring. That’s it. I don’t even have my ears pierced. I want to get them pierced, but where does an adult even go to do such a thing? I feel a little silly walking into Claire’s to have it done at the age of THIRTY! I am allergic to nickel to boot which makes jewelry even more complicated.

    • Me too! Allergic to most metals plus jewely draws attention to bad features: dangling earrings? Emphasize a too-long neck. Big earrings: emphasize a too small head. Necklaces? Ok every once in a while. Bracelets? If only I didn’t have old lady arms. Sigh.

  3. Phoebe says:

    For years I just wore diamond studs and my wedding rings. The last few years, after a friend had one of those Premiere Jewelry parties, I have discovered “fashion jewelry”! Now I wear all sorts of different earrings and sometimes a bracelet, too! Love the monogrammed earrings, by the way. They are darling.

  4. I love this AND those earrings! I’m the exact same way– my daily accessories include two rings (one from the boy, one from the parents) and my pearl earrings. As much as I wish that I could throw on fun, kicky accessories like big chunky necklaces and ginormous cocktail rings, I inevitably look as though I’m playing dress up.

  5. Ooh, pretty! I do love a monogram! And about that rut, yes, I live there. Wedding rings and diamond stud earrings every single day. Except on some Sundays when I get super fancy and pull out the pearl earrings and necklace. I’m sure my jeweler grandfather is just so proud.

  6. Do you think the self-esteem of the hoop earrings is going to plummet with the new earrings in town? ;)

  7. Becky in 'Bama says:

    This ‘older’ person has three different pairs of loops: plain silver, fancy “Brighton” pair, and plain gold loops; add a wedding ring set and I’m done. I’ve tried necklaces but they draw too much attention to my wrinkled chest/neck area. I will confess to liking bracelets, but secretarial work can demand a ‘bracelet-less’ arm. I agree with Katie: large jewely pieces look great on other people, but on me I feel like I’m playing dress-up. It’s all good. (Plus, I’m just plain cheap and would rather spend my money on other things.)

  8. I’m learning how to accessorize. It was a skill I wish I’d picked up in high school, though–along with learning to like running and applying time management skills.

  9. Ooh, I love those!!

  10. Your monogram is beautiful! Please tell me your middle name is Sue! Sophie Sue. Sophie Sue! Love!

  11. My hairstyle (such that it is) completely covers up any kind of cute and kicky earrings. I can stick my hair behind my ears, but that kind of puts a kink in the whole hair fashion thing. And talk about a rut. We recently determined while looking at old school photos in preparation for a reunion, that I basically have the same exact haircut that I had in 4th grade.
    So I am clearly an icon in several areas.

  12. Another good site to visit is Tonya Barlow’s. They are redoing their site right now but it should be up on the 5th it says. She has tons of the wood monogrammed ones, etc. I have a pair I bought a few years ago that I wear at least 3 or 4 times a week. I don’t have a clue about how to accessorize. I have a 5 year old that does it way better than me. I just choose not to wear Disney Princesses bracelets.

  13. Scarlett says:

    That shop is right around the corner from my house. As in turn left out of my neighborhood and it is right there! We bought all groomsmen and bridesmaid’s gifts there. I love that shop!

  14. I continue my belief that we are related. (a). You are Southern. (Okay, so fine. I only dream of being Southern. But a girl has to have dreams, right?) (b). Your passionate pursuit of yet need for family support in all things arts and crafts. (c). Cheese. Dips. <— I need not say more. (d). Earring sameness and necklace-shirt pairing issues.

    Love the earrings!

    And… I have politely asked (chased down) about 58 women in the 3 years I've lived in CT in order to inquire about their hairdressers. I still can't find one I like, but Martha would be proud.

  15. TaraK says:

    Wedding band. Not even the one with the diamonds that my husband bought because I am not exactly the same size as I was 13 years and 4 pregnancies ago. I wear my grandmother’s band.

    Sometimes I’ll go all crazy and wear a bracelet also.

  16. I too wear very little jewelry. But I have discovered a jewel (no pun intended) at the Banana Republic Outlet a mere 5 minutes from my house. Many times they have 40% off jewelry, and then you get lucky with an additional 30% off sale. I have bought SEVERAL pieces in the last year or so. And I ALWAYS get compliments on the jewelry from there. No piece that I have bought has been over $10! Love it!

    P.S. Just so you know, I am typing this while wearing my plain ole silver hoop earrings, watch, and wedding ring. That’s it! :)

  17. I actually got the pearl Lisa Leonard hoops you posted about awhile ago. I feel in love and forwarded the link to my hubby. He actually ordered them for our anniversary. So I guess you picked out my new earrings :).

  18. Leanne says:

    Rut?? Yes!! Watch and wedding bands, both of which do not come off. (except the watch when I swim or shower, which I suppose is every day, but you get the idea). I love Lisa Leonard too and have a bracelet and two necklaces from her. I must say that my aging neck/shoulders/upper back are starting to scream back at me with the weight of almost anything on them. This has rendered some of my lovely pieces of jewellery almost unuseable :( . Strange thing though….I have thought about those earring of yours on a recent trip to the U.S. (I live in Vancouver) and considered trying to hunt them down (….was it Steinmart?….I tried to recall from your previous post….). Perhaps I have been coveting them slightly, but as you said, they seem so very versatile! Does said store have a website where one could purchase them? (if it is Steinmart, they don’t, I tried….).
    Sincerely, coveting cheap yet versatile hoop earrings from the great Northwest.

  19. Lynnetta says:

    I used to have a gold pair kinda like those that I bought at LaBiche Jewelry in Meridian. I loved them!

  20. I have this pair of “gold” hoop earrings that I bought at Target that I wear all the time. The good thing is that the gold is slightly worn off to a nice silver color so they can really swing either way as gold or silver hoops depending on what other cheap jewelry I feel like wearing. The other good news is that I think no one will steal them even if we do get burglarized.

  21. Love those! They weren’t what I was imagining when you started your story, but honestly, they’re gorgeous.

  22. Same here. Wedding rings, a ring on the right hand, watch, small silver hoop earrings. If I’m feeling particularly sassy, I’ll wear medium-sized hoops.

    You know me…I’ve always lived on the edge.

  23. Margaret says:

    i have a pair of little gold hoops that I wear almost every day. I always feel
    “dressed” when I put them in. I also have been known to buy things right off people in eating establishments, to the embarrasment of my child.

  24. AnnaM says:

    I clearly remember when you last replaced the beaded hoop earrings. I was so anxious to get a pair I combed the internet for an hour or so looking for what I thought you described. I wear the same silver hoops every day myself. I think the multi-colored beads would be an upgrade for sure. Does that mean I need to plan a vacation around buying those earrings? That might just cross the line into “earring stalker”.

    Love your blog. Thank you for the much needed chuckles.

  25. i don’t feel dresses without my hoop earrings – I love yours.

  26. I must know the shop in Homewood that has $8 earrings– do tell! (Meanwhile, I’ll search the comments to see if you’ve already told.

  27. You know all those women with shoe addictions? Yeah, that’s not me…..I have an earring addiction – 6 new pair last week! Kohl’s you’re killing me! Earrings 50% off PLUS my 30% off coupon – I averaged $5/pair! Can’t buy shoes for $5 a pair!

  28. Thank you for the compliments on the wooden earrings you bought from us! They DID turn out pretty.
    Mgr Engraving By Carol

  29. saw this on Pinterest, in case anyone doubts a Southern girl’s love of initials:

    My sheets are monogrammed, so is my silverware and pretty much everything else I own. My rule is, if it’s not moving — monogram it!” – Reese Witherspoon

    p.s. the earrings are stunning!

  30. Jeanie says:

    I had pierced ears years ago but quickly discovered that I could only wear 14k gold earrings. Rather than go broke, I let my ears grow closed. Since then I’ve discovered that I can also wear sterling silver. I wear a gold flower-shaped pinkie ring with a diamond, another gold filigree ring with a smaller diamond on my left hand, and my mother’s white gold/diamond wedding band on my right hand. My daughter bought me a paw print sterling necklace for my birthday that I haven’t removed in four days. I have bought myself several fancy but reasonably priced pieces of jewelry over the last six months or so but am afraid to wear any of it for fear of an allergic reaction.

  31. Jennifer says:

    Love, love them. I still occasionally break out my gold monogrammed earrings from the ’90s;) They’ll make the perfect Mother’s Day Gift…for me:)))

  32. Oh, I love these initial earrings!! I remember in the early ninetys it was all the rage to have an initial ring and those gold initial earrings! These are awesome, though!

  33. Love them!!!!
    In the jewelry dept. Check out my daughters blog and web store that’s linked
    http://Www.charmedbychoice.com. She has an interesting story and is committed to
    giving back

  34. I am speaking out for the jewelry wearers. We are out here. I sleep in four bracelets, they never come off. Three sterling silver, James Avery, and one a diamond add a link my hubby got me for a wedding gift in 1977 (I have yet to add a link!). Upon getting dressed every day I add three MORE bracelets, two James Avery & one a goldtone ID bracelet my hubby bought for me in high school (circa 1975). I usually wear at least one, sometimes more necklaces, but never earrings. Haven’t worn earrings in about 25 years!! Gotta be minimalist in some area!!