Accessories With History

Accessories are my favorite part of getting dressed. I love the power they have to make an outfit sing or to stand on their own as the statement piece. Sometimes I wear pieces with sentiment attached that don’t add much impact to my outfit, but they make a statement to me.

I was going through some old photo’s and realized how often I reach for pieces with history to them.

Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life wearing accessories with history

I wear these earrings a lot. My Mom bought them for herself when we went on my first trip to Ireland during college. She collected jewelry the way some people collect pottery. They were souvenirs for her and mementos from fun times.

Sadly she passed away before she could travel to many places on her bucket list so I intentionally wear them when I travel. I feel as though I am taking her with me when I’m visiting places I know she would have loved to see.

Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life in Montana with her daughter

I wore them to Iceland for my 60th birthday last year and to Montana for my 61rst birthday this year. I’ve also worn them to visit the Baltics, Hawaii, Italy, the Grand Canyon, etc.

I also inherited this charm necklace from her. Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life charm necklace

She and I each started our own charm bracelets on a trip to Alaska over 30 years ago. We would both add unique charms from our travels which is what make charm bracelets so personal. My mom finally decided the charm bracelet was awkward and caught on things so she had many of her charms attached to this necklace.

Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life wearing charm necklace


I think of her when I wear it because we were together when she bought many of them. We were in London together when she bought the Big Ben. She bought the Sombrero charm during our trip to Mexico. We were skiing together in Squaw Valley when she bought the Ski charm. I was visiting her in New Mexico when she bought the Roadrunner charm. As I think about it now, she had a lot more charms than this so I find it interesting that she kept so many that had a history with me.

This necklace has powerful memories for me…more than I realized until I wrote this post. I seldom wear my own charm bracelet now because it catches on things so I’m going to add my most precious charms to her necklace and make it all the more special.

Many of my accessories hold memories of people, places and times I hold dear.

How about you?

Do you have special pieces with powerful memories?

Thanks for reading and have a great day!



This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.


  1. October 10, 2017 / 6:17 pm

    Accessories make an outfit come alive, let you change up your look without buying new clothes, and show off some of your personality. Accessories with a history? Even more so! A touching post Jennifer – thank you!


    • October 11, 2017 / 9:39 am

      They do make things come alive, Deborah. Such a great way to describe it!

  2. Julie
    October 9, 2017 / 11:56 pm

    That photo with your grandson warms my heart.Best wishes from Australia.

  3. October 8, 2017 / 9:18 pm

    Oh yes. I have earrings and rings that remind me of my mother. I wear them at special occasions that she would love to attend. They give me some solace knowing she is with me. But then again I feel the same way using her old wooden spoon when cooking or one of her pans.

    • October 8, 2017 / 9:50 pm

      You’re blessed to have your mother’s spoons and pots! My Mom wasn’t known for her great cooking but I do have her silverware which reminds me of her.

  4. October 8, 2017 / 9:18 pm

    I have a charm bracelet stored away from over 30 years ago. Most of the charms are also souvenirs of places we visited in the early years of our marriage. I’d never thought of putting them on a necklace. What a great idea!

    • October 8, 2017 / 9:48 pm

      It makes them so much easier to wear!

  5. Kathy
    October 8, 2017 / 5:32 pm

    Love the idea of putting the charms on a necklace. I have charms with memories I love every time I wear it. However, I have the same issue with it catching on everything. Tomorro I think I’ll stop by the jewelry store.

    • October 8, 2017 / 7:34 pm

      Yay Kathy! Let’s me know how it goes!

  6. Elizabeth Tierney
    October 8, 2017 / 3:38 pm

    My mother never bought ‘investment’ jewelry and her original wedding band was stolen. However she had a lot of costume jewelry, including two small gold frog brooches with rhinestone eyes that I took when she passed away. Whenever I wear them (which is frequently) I get tons of compliments, which she would have loved. I also have her beautiful charm bracelet that’s probably 60 years old. Sadly, she had the charms taken off and they were lost. Still, I love wearing the bracelet.
    Thanks for the happy memories!

    • October 8, 2017 / 7:33 pm

      The value of those special pieces isn’t monetary Elizabeth. It’s how rich it feels in our hearts. You’re blessed to have what you do from her. Thanks for sharing!

  7. October 8, 2017 / 3:27 pm

    I love collecting accessories and friends have told me that everything I have has a story behind it! But, I like that …and it makes the pieces so special. I love the picture of you and your grandson…so cute!

    • October 8, 2017 / 7:31 pm

      I hope you’re feeling better!!!

  8. Buffalo_Gal
    October 8, 2017 / 2:20 pm

    The necklace is lovely. Perfect for those of us who do not like all the “noise” a bracelet with lots of hanging bits makes. I am charmed by the idea of you taking your mom “with” you as you travel. As a mother, I would be so pleased to be so valued after I pass.

    • October 8, 2017 / 7:29 pm

      I agree! My charm bracelets are very noisy. I hope I leave cherished memories as well xx

  9. Paula
    October 8, 2017 / 2:05 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. It touched my heart and caused me to think of my Mom a little extra today. She passed away in 1989 when I was 37. I am now 65 and still miss her. I know exactly how you feel. Thank you.

    • October 8, 2017 / 7:28 pm

      Thank you for being here Paula! Hugs

  10. Donna Albritton
    October 8, 2017 / 1:06 pm

    Love the idea, and all your postings, as you have such a splendid way of doing things! Always look forward to your great and tasteful photos too❣️

    • October 8, 2017 / 7:27 pm

      Thank you Donna. That’s so kind.

  11. October 8, 2017 / 10:16 am

    I have a gorgeous heirloom gold charm bracelet that I, too, never wear since it always catches on things – I really like the necklace idea and will look into that for myself.
    Another lovely idea from you – merci!

    • October 8, 2017 / 7:27 pm

      My pleasure Anne. It was my Moms idea and I love sharing it with you all.

  12. Wendy
    October 8, 2017 / 10:08 am

    I think your mother and you have started a trend – because the idea of putting charms on a necklace is BRILLIANT! I am going to pull out my charm bracelet and do the same thing!

    I also buy jewellry when I travel, sometimes costume, and sometimes works of art. I hadn’t realized that even the costume jewelry takes me back to the place and time that I bought it. So – I no longer have “too much” jewelry, I have a unique collection!

    Thanks Jennifer!

    • October 8, 2017 / 7:25 pm

      Beautiful way to look at it Wendy!! A collection. I completely agree with you. Costume can hold just as precious a memory.

  13. Victoria
    October 8, 2017 / 9:49 am

    Oh Jennifer, today is my Mothers birthday and my wedding anniversary! October 8.
    I was lucky to have 6 gold bangles and beautiful gold earrings from Indonesia. She gave them to me when I turned 18. I’m now 61 and I wear them all the time to remind me of my loving Mother. Bring back memories .

    • October 8, 2017 / 7:23 pm

      Happy Anniversary Victoria!! Rich memories are so precious. Thanks for sharing with us.

  14. Linda
    October 8, 2017 / 9:48 am

    I also collect jewelry when I travel. I also have my mother’s jewelry, which I often wear to feel her with me. We had a family reunion yesterday, and I wore a bracelet she bought probably 50 years ago from a home jewelry show. I was amazed at how many people came up to me and commented on the bracelet, so I told them why I was wearing it. I wanted her there with me.

    • October 8, 2017 / 7:22 pm

      That’s beautiful Linda! These pieces have such rich memories. That’s why I wear my Moms things too!!

  15. Allison
    October 8, 2017 / 9:45 am

    The charm necklace is such a lovely idea! My beloved late aunt gifted me with a marvellous 18K gold antique charm bracelet at a time when we were experiencing some financial issues. She told me to sell it as it had no family ties ( she was a bit of a magpie and often gifted her self pretty things!) well I never did sell it and many of the charms may have meant something to a long ago owner but not me. When the time came to reset my wedding diamonds ( I had developed an allergy to white gold, the nickel) I took the bracelet to the jeweller and asked him what I would get for the charms…the reset/design for the new piece would have been 5,000.00 but with the value of gold having sky rocketed it cost 600.00!! My aunt was a devoted wife and was rarely seen without her wedding ring….I see her involvement in all of this. Yes, I think of her when I wear my elegant yellow gold ring on my left hand but that awesome gold rope bracelet sits on my right wrist..divested of all its carpal tunnel inducing gold charms save three. My son’s baby ring, a 19th century seed Pearl heart and an old watch fob.
    One large amethyst and gold charm is now worn as a pendant.
    I plan on giving the diamond and ruby ring my husband gave me on the birth of our oldest son to his partner when their son is born a month from now. I hope she will pass on to future generations.

    • October 8, 2017 / 7:20 pm

      That’s a beautiful story Allison. Thank you for sharing it with us. Things worked out as they should. What rich memories you have of all this!!

  16. marlene alves
    October 8, 2017 / 9:09 am

    This post is memorable, Jennifer…not only the lovely idea of purchasing jewelry to remember travels, but the attachment it has to your mother & memories!

    It also reminds me of a wonderful book I just finished at 3am today; Frances Mayes’ (author of Under the Tuscan Sun” ) memoir “Under Magnolia”…growing up in the South. However, why I recommend it is how her life became travel & writing; things her mother wanted to do, but did not get the chance. Love her writing, honesty & experiences.

    • October 8, 2017 / 1:57 pm

      Thanks for the recommendation Marlene! It sounds like a book I would love!!

  17. October 8, 2017 / 8:15 am

    This was a fun post. I like the charm necklace. Sweet.

  18. Roxanne
    October 8, 2017 / 8:09 am

    What a wonderful story and such a sentimental necklace! My most precious pieces are a gold bracelet that belonged to my grandmother and her engagement ring. She was born in the 1800s outside Charleston, SC and earned the money for the bracelet by picking cotton when she was 12. My grandparents were married in 1913, and I wear her ring every day. Your eyes look gorgeous in that last photo!!

    • October 8, 2017 / 1:55 pm

      Those sound beyond priceless Roxanne! What an amazing history they have. Thank you.

  19. Melodee Currier
    October 8, 2017 / 7:52 am

    Your charm necklace is so meaningful! I, too, have a charm necklace (g0ld) which I created 25 years ago from charms that I had and charms from my mother’s charm bracelet (mostly interactive charms, i.e. a birthday cake with candles that come up out of the cake). I rarely wear it, but think I will start to now that I’ve read your inspirational post. I got the idea to create it from a charm necklace I saw on a woman in a museum in Stratford, Canada.

    • October 8, 2017 / 1:54 pm

      Yours sounds amazing Melodee! It’s a very clever idea. Wear it and enjoy!!!

  20. October 8, 2017 / 7:41 am

    I like this necklace idea! I’m 77 and would like to do my bracelet charms (from 60 years) onto a necklace so they can be seen better and not so bulky on a bracelet. Now, where to find a long sturdy necklace? Any suggestions?

    I always enjoy your blog posts. Even tho I’m 77 I still love to be stylish, and I still get compliments!


    • October 8, 2017 / 10:54 am

      Of course you love to be stylish Katherine! Great style is ageless. I would check Inexpensive jewelry shops or department stores, in the men’s case. They’re beefier.

  21. Paula Moreshead
    October 8, 2017 / 7:16 am

    What a lovely post and idea. I seldom weat bracelets because I find they get in the way of doing things. I love the way they look, but they just don’t make me as happy as necklaces. My mother who passed away last year and loved bracelets, had several charm bracelets that my sister and I could enjoy as necklaces. I often wear pieces of jewelry that belonged to her, and I like thinking of how happy she would be knowing that I enjoying them.


    • October 8, 2017 / 10:18 am

      It’s a great way to enjoy them. I know my Mom would be happy to know I’m wearing her pieces. You you ask your sisters about changing them.

  22. Laurel
    October 8, 2017 / 7:06 am

    I do. Several pieces of my late sister’s jewelry are still with me and remind of her whenever I see or wear them. And what a great idea re: the charm necklace. My charm bracelet also catches on everything and I love the idea of adding them to a necklace.

    • October 8, 2017 / 8:51 am

      We are so lucky to have these momentos. Men don’t have these sort of things.

  23. Dianne
    October 8, 2017 / 6:53 am

    Sooo special. Love things with history,especially when its personal and special that reminds you of all the wonderful places you and your mom visited…

  24. Wendy
    October 8, 2017 / 6:43 am

    This made me smile because I too, like to buy unique pieces of jewelry when I travel. They are easy to pack and you can find some really unique things. I was in Africa this summer and brought back 2 beautiful statement necklaces that people love when I wear them. I actually bought a real Masi beaded necklace from a village in Tanzania….not to wear but I had it framed. It is gorgeous and such a unique piece hanging on my wall. Such beautiful memories when I put pieces on and like you, I now realize that most of my favourite pieces have come from somewhere else in the world.

    • October 8, 2017 / 8:49 am

      What a clever idea to frame one!! Real artwork. I think they’re the best kind of souvenirs. T-shirts fade, pottery clutters but jewelry is perfect.

  25. Sharon
    October 8, 2017 / 6:34 am

    Jennifer, what a great idea to do a charm necklace! I began collecting charms as a teenager, then while traveling as a flight attendant. My problem is that some are gold and some are silver. I am wondering if I could successfully combine them for a necklace. What do you think? Thanks.

    • October 8, 2017 / 7:21 am

      I do have a gold one too but I’m not sure how they would look together. If the necklace portion combined gold and silver or white gold it might be more successful.
      Try laying them together, stretched out and see how you like it. If the charms are of similar size and bulkiness, they may work together.

  26. Elaine Luman
    October 8, 2017 / 5:57 am

    It’s so wonderful that you have those things with sentiments of your mom.

    • October 8, 2017 / 7:17 am

      I do feel blessed Diane. Towards the end of her life she began selling pieces to offset her finances but these wouldn’t have brought in much, so were luckily spared. I’m so lucky.

  27. Diana
    October 8, 2017 / 5:52 am

    This is a great idea! I love your posts and that black plaid looks so good on you.

  28. Konda
    October 8, 2017 / 5:28 am

    What a great idea of using a necklace for showcasing charms. I also have a charm bracelet which started on my 15th birthday and, well, now I’m 67. Yikes. Definitely some memories on it.
    My Mother had a set of pearls she wore often that Dad brought home from Japan when he was in the service. I feel close to her when I wear them. I love your blog, Jennifer!

    • October 8, 2017 / 7:15 am

      You must have some fabulous memories in that bracelet! Lucky you. Those pearls sound priceless. You can’t out a price on that. Thanks for reading Konda. I’m so happy you’re here!

  29. Nola Rice
    October 8, 2017 / 4:47 am

    I too collect jewelry when I travel. I am very blessed to have pieces from my mom (still alive), grandma and great grandma and I do feel wearing their things brings them with me. When my son married I wore grandma’s earrings and grandpa’s ring which was set with great grandma’s diamond. Thanks for reminding me.

    • October 8, 2017 / 7:11 am

      You are blessed Nola! I miss my Mom so much. I treasure the things I have from her, my Granny and my great Granny.

  30. Lynn
    October 8, 2017 / 4:42 am

    That is a great idea. Love it.

  31. Margot
    October 8, 2017 / 4:40 am

    Love this!

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