gifts they'll want in a pandemic

This $70 Necklace Makes Me Feel Like a Fancy Lady Who Lunches (at Home)

Photo-Illustration: retailer

At a certain point during quarantine, I started putting on all my jewelry just for the thrill of it. I certainly wasn’t going anywhere, but I needed something to break up the monotony of days spent at home. Around the same time, I noticed a lot of women — on Instagram, on work Zoom calls, on socially distanced visits with friends — doing the same, with many sporting artfully layered necklaces of all lengths and styles, from plain chains to ones with dangly charms. Those necklaces were almost always gold, but one style in particular kept catching my eye: flat, herringbone chains, which I spotted on one of my cool Brooklyn mom friends and on two fitness influencers, all of whom made them look effortless.

Because I’m lazy when it comes to getting dressed, I have never been one to accessorize beyond wearing my wedding rings and the occasional earrings to prevent my piercings from closing up. But after testing a few pieces from Mejuri earlier this year, I realized that fine jewelry doesn’t have to be a whole thing (or that expensive), so I felt confident that I could find a herringbone-chain necklace similar to the ones I kept seeing for not too much money. Because I didn’t want to spend big bucks, I knew I’d have to look for something gold plated, as opposed to solid gold. To start my search, I returned to Mejuri, but, at $150, its vermeil (a.k.a. gold-plated sterling silver) version was still too pricey for me. After a little more Googling, I ended up at Adina’s Jewels, a then-new-to-me company with a sizable Instagram following. (My colleague Hilary Reid has since written about it as a cool-person-approved place to buy gold-plated jewelry.)

The brand’s collection includes several herringbone pieces, including bracelets, anklets, chokers, and necklaces that, importantly, come in different lengths and widths. The vermeil herringbone necklace, which is four millimeters wide, stood out. Also available in sterling silver and 14-karat gold, it comes in lengths as short as 12 inches and as long as 24 inches. After taking a tape measure to my neck, I settled on the 15.75-inch length, which seemed an ideal in-between for wearing solo or layered with other necklaces. At $70, its price felt right to me for a vermeil piece that is supposedly made in Italy. Still, while the price felt right, part of me wondered if it was too good to be true.

Judging by the state in which the necklace arrived, however, you’d think I had dropped hundreds of dollars on a far finer piece of jewelry. It was neatly coiled in a protective plastic baggie and came with a cloth storage pouch, both of which were packaged in a box tied with ribbon, making the whole thing feel even more special. In person, it’s prettier and shinier than in the retailer’s photos; the necklace is delicate, slinky, and snakelike in the most alluring way. I’ve basically had it on ever since I got it — the length makes it perfect for wearing over a mock turtleneck (even if that’s a fashion no-no), or under a button-up shirt with the top button open, or even with a plain old T-shirt. It basically gives any WFH outfit a touch of much-needed elegance, and, these days, I don’t think I’m the only lady (or person) who is craving that.

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I Feel Like a Lady Who Lunches (at Home) in This Necklace