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It’s true—people were smaller in days gone by. That’s why so many women today find it hard to incorporate vintage clothes into their wardrobe. For those of you who love vintage, don’t despair. You can still enjoy vintage touches with accessories.

The best place to start is your Mother’s jewelry box. If your Mom is as generous as mine, you’ll find some lovely sentimental pieces that will bring you inspiration every time you look at them.

I like to group pieces like these together. Here I’m wearing two 1950s ID bracelets and a old watch. For years I’ve worn these as shields on days I have to deal with someone surly or do something that frightens me. When I look down at my wrist, I am reminded of people who loved and protected me when I needed it most. The silver ID bracelet was a gift from my father to my mother while they were dating. I adore the cute little picture of Dad inside. My mother’s name is engraved on top. My father’s (Bob) is underneath.

The gold ID bracelet is not engraved and it’s missing two rhinestones on the heart-shaped embellishment. It was in a box of jewelry given to me by my Aunt Alvernia when I was in elementary school. I imagine she culled it due to the missing rhinestones, but I have kept it and worn it all these years. Today it’s a reminder of all the affection and love invested in me as a child by other adults.

The watch is a vintage Gotham that my mother received from her parents when she graduated from high school. I’m certain that my grandparents sacrificed a great deal for her to have it. For years it was tucked away in my Mom’s jewelry drawer. When I graduated from high school, she took it to a jeweler and had it reworked with a new band as my graduation present. You have to love the symmetry behind a gift like this. It no longer keeps time, but that’s beside the point. I’d be devastated to lose these pieces even though they have absolutely no commercial value.

Fortunately, you don’t need tokens of love to be reminded of all the people who’ve invested in you. If you want a little boost, make a little time to offer thanks for the love you’ve received from parents, mentors, and other elders who care for you.  You’ll feel good all over. And, of course, you can always pay it forward by making a loving commitment to some young person in your life.

What’s your favorite piece of sentimental jewelry? Who does it remind you of? Do you have any jewelry that you wear as armor? Share it in the comment section below!

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.