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Best Tips to Accessorize the Latinx Way

This Is How I Represent My Culture Through My Aretes and Accessories

Rule number one of dressing up like a member of the Latinx community: representing your culture is accessorizing everything! Going to the corner store for some bread? Don't forget your earrings. Your neck looking a little bare in that dress? Add a necklace, and you'll be good to go.

Are you really Latinx if you don't have a massive collection of earrings, necklaces, and rings? This might be cliché and stereotypical, but be truthful, how many pairs of hoop earrings do you own? I currently own more than 10 pairs, and I used to own more but I wore them so much that they needed to retire from the job.

I can't begin to count the number of times my mamá would pull out her long necklace of pearls or her massive pendants whenever I had to dress like a jíbara for school. I was always one of the most decked out girls who rocked her mom's necklaces and a massive, plastic flower in my head. She would not hesitate to pull out these massive rings that she had bought a week before at Marshalls to wear with my graduation dress. I used most of my mom's jewelry up until I graduated from my master's program. She gave me an orange pendant, matching earrings, and rings to wear with my gray dress – and to be honest, they were too out there for them. Still, I knew that jewelry and accessorizing was one of my mom's passions, and there was no better way for me to thank her for her support than by wearing what she purposefully brought for me to wear.

Growing up, I recognized the privilege I had because I never lacked anything material. It was pretty comical, looking back, the fact that my mom would purchase new jewelry constantly. Her favorite things were rings, and they had to be massive. The bigger and the sparklier, the better. For some time, she was obsessed with Tous, and she would buy me all these teddy bear pendants that I recognized were her love language. At another time, she purchased a lot of John Hardy jewelry that her friends were selling to make some extra cash. She would pay her friend a certain amount of money each week before rocking her latest piece. She now has boxes upon boxes of stunning vintage pieces from her early 20s and stunning ones that she preserves close to her heart.

For every decade that my parents spent together, my dad would enlist my help to get her a brand new ring that she would wear as her wedding ring. She was my inspiration when it came to growing my very extensive collection of earrings. Even my dad, while I was growing up, would wear this gold chain around his neck. Every piece of jewelry that my parents have gifted me, I've kept safe in its box, as wearing a necklace they gave me for Christmas 2015 means they're a little closer to my heart when I wear it.

I currently have a drawer full of jewelry — mainly stunning studs and dangly ones — while also keeping on my nightstand two boxes full of more earrings. For me, no outfit was complete without a massive pair of earrings that either showed off the outfit or would completely overshadow it. For my 28th birthday, I wore these enormous earrings with an orange fringe at the bottom, and, of course, they were the staple piece of my birthday outfit. There was a phase in my life when the only thing I wore was stud earrings. I had a massive collection of Kate Spade studs, and it was all I wore until I rediscovered hoops. Gold, rose gold, silver, big and small. I needed to have a wide variety of hoops to fit every single outfit I could come up with. But despite my various phases when it came to accessorizing, I picked out the things that made me feel comfortable and feel true to myself.

These days, I stick to my gold hoops, which I'll usually switch around for either a special occasion or trade for a dangly piece. I'll add a couple of dainty gold rings and a thin gold chain around my neck — the pendants usually have to be small as well.

If you want to know how to accessorize like a Latinx, this is my advice:

  • Wear what makes you feel represented, proud, identified, and yourself.
  • Don't be ashamed to wear that hand-carved piece you bought when visiting a foreign Latinx country, and don't be afraid to wear your country's flag on your ears or a necklace, because trust me, you'll inspire someone else to do it, too.
  • Find your staple piece: it could be anything from a chain with a rosary attached to it, or your initial to a ring your parents gave you that one birthday, or a chain your uncle bought because he thought of you when he saw it.
  • The jewelry I wear represents my family and friends, and wearing it makes me feel closer to them, even in the distance.

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