My Love Affair With Accessories

People who know me now usually associate me with my chunky and attention-grabbing accessories. But they would be probably surprised to learn that I am actually a late bloomer and that my love affair with accessories only began two or three years ago.
Mind you, I have always loved chandelier earrings. That part has always been with me but other than  my ears, I have never thought of prettifying any other part of me, mostly because I hate clutter on me and because I’m allergic to most of the accessories being sold on the market. I would buy the occasional necklaces or bracelets, but I would never really wear them.
My oldest chandelier earrings – the leftmost pairs on the 2nd tier; given by my friends Leah and Noreen on my birthday eight years ago. The most overused pair nowadays – the snowflakes and owl earrings on the bottom row, both from Accessorize.

I don’t know what specific event triggered or convinced me to start piling on my bangles, or invest heavily on big cocktail rings, but I can trace most of my purchases around the time UK brand Accessorized set up shop on our shores. I mean, everything there is so pretty! Hint: get me anything there and I will be very grateful this Christmas; but then, I think I’ve already bought most of their new items so you run the risk of buying something I already have. I have never been able to exit that store without a trinket tucked safely under my arm.

My current favorite rings – mostly from Accessorize and Aldo; connector rings from Mia Casa and Market Market. In case you haven’t noticed, I love flowers, especially roses. There are three in the picture – in diff. colors.

Since then, a lot of shops dedicated solely to accessories have been sprouting up in malls – there’s French brand Parfois, but I don’t really find anything special there, and you have The Ramp and SM Accessories, which recently revamped their line up and have been churning out some pretty decent designs lately –  and online (Mia Casa and Yhansy are my top picks). And of course, you have the bazaars.
I’m no guru but let me share with you my tips in buying accessories:
  • First, decide on what you want to do with it AFTER. Do you want it to be a sort of investment, something you see yourself using one, two or five years later? Or are you just buying to follow a trend? This will determine where you should look for. I have noticed that I have LOTS of rings from bazaars and tiangges which only cost me Php150-Php200 each, but they all only survive up to five outings before they get broken. On the other hand, my rings which cost upward of Php500 are still very much alive even after overusing them. Quality doesn’t have to mean expensive but there are instances when the pricier ones are indeed better.
  • For rings, look for sizes that match your ring finger (or whichever finger you’re looking to wear it on; I usually wear mine on my point finger). There are many adjustable rings in the market but they often break easily, not to mention they look cheap and bite on your fingers.
  • Look for accessories which have soldered parts. Again, be on the lookout for items that look like they were just glued together or are not soldered thickly together. I have the unfortunate luck of buying rings which are not very sturdy, and they end up getting torn off my fingers and I am just left with the circlet.
  • If you are allergic, look for hypoallergenic certifications (usually found on the tags). However, this would also limit you to the higher end shops since most bazaars and online stores offer accessories made from cheaper material. But this is not something you would want to risk – I have very sensitive skin (emphasis on VERY) and i once bought earrings which made my ears itch and I ended up with lots of “sugat.” And then some bracelets can also give you swollen, itchy skin, if it stays in contact with your skin for a prolonged time.
  • Invest in an accessories cabinet or case and if possible, in individual plastic cases or pouches. This will prevent them from rubbing and scratching each other and from accumulating dirt.
Box from Regalong Pambahay; the two slots on the upper left have watch pillows but I use it to store my faux pearl necklaces. This box contains my recent purchase and those that I tend to overuse. My other accessories (mostly those that are too chunky too fit) are kept in another box I got from Kamiseta (back when they would give out cute boxes when you buy something)
Bangles from various shops and tiangges here and abroad

Jewelry and watches are kept in a watch box. My precious and semi-precious stones and gold jewelry are ironically, kept in a pink box from Silverworks.

As for rules in what to wear, I don’t think there are any – just make sure they do not overpower you or fight for attention with your entire appearance. Accessories should complement your clothes, make you look more polished and enhance your overall aura, not distract from it. Also, consider where you are going; it would look quite out of place to wear a gold snake coil around your arms if you’re headed for the office, wouldn’t it?
Main thing is, have fun with your accessorizing and don’t take yourself too seriously.

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