Plain Jane

I’ve never really been into jewellery – costume or real. When new friends see my collection for the first time they are bewildered by the modesty of it. My grandfather made a large wooden jewellery box for me when I was very young. I don’t know if it was meant to house the collection of an adult woman but I haven’t outgrown it in the quarter-century that I’ve owned it. It sits proudly on a shelf in the walk-in closet I share with my husband, a small, up-side-down wooden ‘W’ carefully nailed to the front, not yet half-filled. Most of the pieces it contains are roughly the same age as the box itself.

I was a tom-boy growing up and inherited a nickle (and stainless steel) allergy that has snaked its way through the female line of my family for as long as anyone can remember so I’ve only purchased two or three pieces for myself over the course of my life, the rest were gifts. I can wear gold jewellery, but only have a few pieces – family heirlooms and gifts from my husband mostly – to my name. It seems overpriced anyway, at least in the on-brand, mall chain-stores, and I’ve always worried about the ethics of how it is produced. Etsy has some truly beautiful fine jewellery, but at this point, I kind of like my uncommonly accessory-light style.

Plain Jane \\ Sophster-Toaster Plain Jane \\ Sophster-Toaster Plain Jane \\ Sophster-Toaster

It sure makes travelling easier. I’ve never lost an earring in a hotel bathroom or scratched a ring while stacking wood. I don’t have a travel jewellery case, I don’t worry about wear to hide my valuables when I take them off and I’ve never used a hotel safe – is there a fee for using one? I don’t even know.

Plain Jane \\ Sophster-Toaster Plain Jane \\ Sophster-Toaster

My simple white gold wedding band is the only jewellery I wear most days.

Top ModCloth (old)
Skirt Sophster-Toaster
Shoes Payless
Bag Bently (similar)
Binoculars family heirloom

Plain Jane \\ Sophster-Toaster

I look at a woman perfectly pulling off a statement necklace with envy and intrigue, but every time I try to wear an adult amount of accessories, I just think it looks weird and wrong on me. My mom says my tastes are simple and boring but I love the look of bare skin.

Paper Anniversary

My husband and I are approaching our paper anniversary this weekend and I, for one, am very excited. Throughout our decade long courtship, we would get each other what ever little gift caught our fancy to commemorate the day we started dating until the tedious strangeness of shopping without each other and the difficulty of keeping the gift a secret got the better of us and we just stopped buying gifts. We didn’t stop acknowledging the day, but around year six, it started feeling odd and immature to celebrate a day neither of us could fully remember, and which bore little significance to our lives. It wasn’t like we were celebrating a thoughtful commitment, we were celebrating the day that he ask me a “rhetorical question” and I said something like, “yeah, sure.” This is why I was very excited to start the anniversary counter back to zero when we got married. I continue to be excited for being able to choose a meaningful gift based on tradition instead of a useless gift based on my panicked ideas the day I realize our anniversary is tomorrow. I am determined to stick to the traditional gifts due at every marriage milestone, not only because I think it will be fun, but also because I get teary eyed thinking about exchanging gold with my beloved husband 49 years from now. Continue reading

Female Adornment and Image in Ancient Rome

In ancient Rome, there was but one aspect of a woman’s life that she had almost complete dominion over: how she decorated and adorned her body. Although she did, in most cases, require a man to provide articles of adornment and servants to do her hair and make-up, the Romans believed that it was a man’s responsibly to ensure his female family members’ appearances were consistent with his rank.[1] Roman women used jewellery, clothing, hairstyle and make-up to project their wealth, power, influence, rank in the community and status as an adult woman, as well as, to control their public image and how they were perceived. In essence, women used adornment to have control over their own bodies. This essay will explore how women used each category of adornment to display their wealth, rank, status and image, and how doing so was significant to their life as it gave them an opportunity to have power in their relationships, influence in their community and control their bodies in a world where nearly every part of their life was governed by a man. Continue reading