chicjungle1Happy Trendsetter Thursday! We recently featured our Trendsetter Chic Jungle* for a great post she wrote on a surprising and affordable beauty product. A true bargain hunter, she knows how to stay stylish on a recession-friendly budget. Here she shares helpful tips on how to modernize heirlooms.*

A few weekends ago a friend of mine, Carolina, and I were perusing all of the treasures at the THREAD show and we stopped at an exhibit to take a look.  The gentleman helping us was admiring a necklace that Carolina was wearing and commented on how much he liked it.  She explained that she had used her great grandfather’s water polo medals to create a super funky and really cute necklace with them. That’s when I realized that the term ‘heirloom’ was filed away in my mind under ‘old’, ‘expensive’ and ‘boring’. Heirlooms always have a special place in your wardrobe and definitely don’t have to be drab.


Heirlooms are defined as “something of special value handed on from one generation to another”. This can be anything from your mother’s earrings to your great grandfather’s water polo medals. Here’s a few ways to modernize what you already have:

  • If you have a really great pendant that has been passed down from generation to generation, put it on a long chain or a fun colored ribbon.
  • Your great Auntie’s scarf can be turned into a headband, a tie around your waist for a belt, or tie around the strap of your purse.
  • Your grandmother’s wedding band can be worn and stacked with other fun and modern rings.
  • Take that beautiful family brooch and pin it to that fedora you’ve been waiting to wear.
  • Or get creative like Carolina and turn something unexpected into a really great piece!

In addition to incorporating heirlooms into your wardrobe, why not buy some pieces that will become heirlooms themselves?  They have to start somewhere, right? I found a beautiful 3 carat blue topaz ring at the farmer’s market a few summers ago.  Currently it is set in silver, and I will someday reset it in a gold setting and pass it along to my children. The diamond earrings that my daddy gave to me Christmas ’02 will definitely belong to generations to come.  My grandmother’s and my mother’s wedding bands (which incidentally are the exact same size and also fit my ring finger) will hopefully someday adorn my little girl’s hand too.

So bust out your heirlooms and spice up your wardrobe. And next time you’re out shopping, or online checking out Shop It To Me, do it with heirlooms in mind.