Grandma’s Stash: Why Those Vintage Jewelry Styles Are So Appealing

I recently pinned a bunch of jewelry: layered gold necklaces of the vintage variety. Lockets, medallions, delicate little chains…. These things look special, unique, personal…until you realize that every influencer in the U.S. and Europe is wearing them.

My theory

What caused this look to suddenly take off? I have a theory: this world we’re living in can feel like a shitshow. While we used to fantasize about what the future would look like – and our style often reflected that – the future, which was always unpredictable in reality, now is much more obviously hazy. We are more aware than ever that there are no guarantees about tomorrow.

Whoa. That got depressing quickly. Sorry. I’m not a pessimist, so don’t let that deter you from reading further. There is much to look forward to if you know where to look (I usually look at my dog).

Look at my dog. Don’t you feel better?

But back to the jewelry and my theory. You know what is predictable? The past. How reassuring is that? Design and styles reflecting times that in actuality were likely extremely challenging and possibly dark (Wartime? Make that definitely.) that most of us didn’t exist in are still comforting to us because those times are neatly boxed up and knowable.

These vintage-inspired styles also happen to be easy to wear and feminine, and they feel personal because the wearer can layer individual pieces in her own unique way. And one thing I’m trying to do as I explore my own style is make a trend my own instead of completely mimicking what I see others do.

After pinning a bunch of favorites, I remembered that I was fortunate to be in possession of some jewelry that had belonged to my grandmothers. I dug around my jewelry box and discovered the pieces pictured above. Yes, these are actual vintage pieces. Take a look through your own belongings because while you might have once passed over something for being too old-fashioned or dated, you might treasure and wear it now for the very same reason.

To bring these pieces into the present, I’m mixing them with a somewhat contemporary initial necklace that manages to not feel out of place with the others.

18k gold-plated Pop Up Initial Necklace // Oak & Luna, $65

Resources: Where to find pieces to make the vintage jewelry look your own

Oak and Luna is great for reasonably priced, personalized jewelry.

Wanderlust + Co, ALV Jewels and Child of Wild all have items with a vintage-y feel.

And I love the ring selection over on Local Eclectic, which will make you look like you pilfered a princess’s gilded jewelry chest (in a good way).

Have you tried this trend? DM me your photo or share your Instagram account with other readers below so we can see!

What tangent do you take from this? Is there a style that you once avoided but now love? Tell me about it in the comments!

Note: Looking for my tangent from a reader’s comment? That’ll be coming in a couple days!

Robyn Kern is the Tangentier. A long-time writer based in Los Angeles with a degree in screenwriting and an interest in mindfulness, many tangents led her here: a place where people can come to find and share inspiration, dwell in each others' passions, and learn how to surround themselves with what they love on the daily.

One Comment

  • Meryl Lidsky Kern

    While I usually reach for frequently selected pieces of jewelry, I took a bracelet with an elephant charm ( a gift from my sister) and attached it to an interesting necklace . Loved the look!

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