The stylish grandma: Tribal bib necklace


My great-grandma Hazel was always — I repeat, ALWAYS — dressed to the nines.

Her handbags rotated along with the shoes on her feet. Her hair was always perfectly coiffed, even if it was 6 a.m. and the only sign of movement was the bacon crackling in the cast-iron skillet.

At her old make-up vanity, she’d apply a little color to enhance her porcelain skin. Her wardrobe was impeccable. She had suits and blouses in every color of the rainbow. She had enough accessories — belts, scarves and costume jewelry — to make Carrie Bradshaw swoon.
Grandma Hazel was a pretty, pretty lady, enhanced by her smile and her unassuming sense of humor. She never raised her voice, and was polite in all company. A fun fact about my sweet, graceful grandma, is that she never missed exclamationpointMonday Night Football. She sat quietly in her chair, hands crossed in a ladylike manner. Every now and then she’d snicker at something Al Michaels said, or she’d giggle at a silly commercial. She rooted hard (yet quietly) for those neanderthal-like men in tights. But make no mistake — grandma Hazel was a lady, through and through.

When she passed away a decade ago, I was heartbroken. Part of me likes to think that in a strange way, I sort of channel her. {Now that I really think about it, she was the original Fancy Buffalo, just a *little*(ha!) more refined.}

Since my great-grandmother had a few stylish daughters of her own — my grandma Peggy and her sisters — I wasn’t bequeathed any of her jewelry or fancy high heels. But last month, I scored one of those coveted necklaces (grandma Peggy decided she couldn’t wear it anymore, because, “It draws too much attention to my neck,” she said). I was giddy as I accepted it. Much to her dismay, I was supremely excited that my grandmother was insecure about her self-described “chicken neck.”

I immediately wore the gold bib-style piece for the first time with a deep purple wrap dress, and a million people asked me where I bought it. Even though it is just vintage costume jewelry, probably gold-plated metal, I still took great pleasure in saying it was a precious family heirloom. As I proudly pranced around and showed it off, I couldn’t help but feel as close as ever to my great-grandma’s memory.

Plus, it is just a killer piece.

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