Fab Collab: The Ageless Appeal of Pearls at Fifty-Plus

Pearl Necklace worn by 4 generations-the 40's through the 70's.

This week, Sherry from Petite Over 40 is joining us in a Fab Collab. The goal of this alliance is for each generation to take a chosen style item, give a personalized story from their life regarding that item and then style it in today’s life! 

The Pearl Necklace Styled by Jodie

Sherry (the 40’s generation) told her story here.  We continue with Jodie’s (the 50’s generation) story presented below:

This pearl necklace was gifted to me after my dear friend passed away.

Her name was Bethany and I think about her daily. As I remember it, her mother gave me the necklace at the funeral. My recall about that actual time is fuzzy because (like many) I was in deep grief. But my recollection is that her mom, Pam, gave the necklace  to me and said she wanted me to have it because it was a special necklace of Bethany’s.

Bethany and I had been neighbors and somewhat friends until my divorce. After my divorce, she contacted me and asked if we could stay in touch. I felt extremely blessed that she wanted this (because as some of you know, when you get divorced, you have to split up friends, too…and I always thought that Bethany & her husband were more my ex’s friends).

A couple years later she was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. She fought a hard battle for over 2-3 years. During this time, she was in search of a job and I hired her to be my office manager at my dental practice. It was a match made in heaven, since I needed her expertise and she needed a job with flexibility to allow her to continue with her medical care.

It’s heart wrenching to watch a loved one fight cancer…everyone will agree with me on that. When her journey first started I found a card for her that spoke to me with the message “believe.” That was my link to her through her illness—anything that said “believe” I would get for her as a remembrance that mental attitude is important and I was behind her all the way. To this day, I “believe” she is still with me in much that I do. I learned so much from her in work, life and friendship.

So I wear her necklace often—remembering such a special person and fun times.

Here’s one of my favorite pictures of the two of us. It had to be before she had started chemo since she still had her hair.

Pearl Necklace worn by 4 generations-the 40's through the 70's.

Below is a picture of Bethany wearing the necklace (it’s hard to see against her skin, but trust me–it’s there). We were out to dinner with my dental office staff, celebrating Christmas. It goes to show that she really wore the necklace for special occasions. Bethany’s the 4th one from the left—I’m the 2nd one from the left!

Pearl Necklace worn by 4 generations-the 40's through the 70's.

I really do wear this necklace around…not just for a dressy occasion, but I wear it for everyday life! I think I’ve learned that there is no sense “saving” those special items for what we consider “special” occasions. If you have it, you might as well wear it.

Pearl Necklace worn by 4 generations-the 40's through the 70's.

50’s Outfit: Thus I styled it for this post with my jeans and a hand knit sweater! I especially like wearing it with color underneath it so you can see it better than having it right against my skin. Most of the time I layer it with other necklaces, but I wanted it to stand out for this picture!

Jeans: Express-thrifted (similar here)~~Chambray Top: Halogen (similar here)~~Sweater: I knitted it (similar here)~~Shoes: Missguided (similar here)~~Necklace: (similar here)~~Earrings: (similar here)~~Bracelet: JTV –I won it! (here)

I really appreciate all your comments and support! Linking with Turning Heads, Trend Spin, On Trend Tuesdays, Tuesday fashion party, Wedensday Showcase, a little R & RGood Hues-day. Style Me Wedensday, Fresh Fashion Forum, Senior Salon, WIWW, oh, hey girl, Trendy Wednesday, The Mummy Chronicles, Brilliant Blog posts, & Confident Tuesday

Since you probably have a traditional pearl necklace, I looked for interestingly designed ones so you could imagine wearing them for any occasion:

  • Kathleen McDermott

    I’m very sorry for the loss of your dear friend. What a beautiful girl she was. It is nice to have her necklace as a memento and it is the kind of necklace you can wear all the time. Can be combined so nicely with other necklaces. I love to wear jewelry from loved ones who are no longer with me. Pearls are particularly special as I find their luster so ethereal.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      It is amazing that a certain piece can bring back so many memories. We used to have her kitty (he died about 5 years ago) and it was a constant reminder of Bethany! And as sad as it is, it’s also the best reminder that life is too short to waste it!!
      I love that you are enjoying the blog, Kathleen!
      I was over at my mom’s today and she was just basking in your wonderful comments!

  • Maria Parenti-Baldey

    That’s lovely socialising with friends and wearing something special. Yes I agree: if you have it wear it and enjoy.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks for the lovely comment Maria!!
      Happy Wednesday!

  • What a truly special necklace!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Andrea!! It does have such wonderful meaning to me!

  • What a touching story. Articles with love and meaning truly are liking carrying a piece of that person’s spirit around with you.


    • Jodie Filogomo

      Your comment is so poetic, Suzanne. That’s so it though—wearing her necklace is like carrying her spirit around with me (thanks for putting it into words for me)

  • I love pearls. My husband gave me a pearl necklace as his wedding present to me. It’s so special. 🙂


    • Jodie Filogomo

      What a great gift (and just like my mom’s story that’ll be out tomorrow!!). Do you know what gave him that idea? It’s such a nice (almost old-fashioned) gift—I only say that because of my mom’s experience! Of course, you’ll treasure it so much because of that!

      • I’m not sure what inspired him- I will have to ask! I love it though!!!

  • I love pearls. I wore them at my wedding and whenever I can I wear them. They are ageless and really “feminise” an outfit.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      You’re so right—they do take something simple & add some elegance! Thanks for reading!!

  • Jodie, thank you for sharing. I feel that as we share, we touch more hearts, and create new memories. New adventures. Spin-offs, if you will. Such as the beautiful memory of Bethany leading to this ensemble of beautiful women, each with their own string of pearls and story to share xoxo

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Wow, Sheela…your writing is like poetry in itself! Thank you for such nice words!

  • Aw such a touching story…and the necklace is gorgeous!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Tara!!

  • It sounds like Bethany became a true friend in every sense of the word. I like the idea of how you would gift her “believe” items to keep her spirits up and though she is no longer her knowing she is with you is comforting. I also agree with your philosophy on using “special items” vs. saving them for special occasions. Weaving this heartwarming and poignant story into what you are wearing makes it that much more enjoyable. <3

    • Jodie Filogomo

      It is amazing how many of our items have some kind of story behind them. Thanks for such a nice sentiment, Stephanae!

  • Such a sad and touching story…thank you for sharing it. I have my mom’s pearls that she wore on her wedding day.
    Just an observation…everyone in your dental office has a beautiful smile! 🙂
    Cute outfit…love your shoes!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      The good smile is almost a prerequisite of working in a dental office—if you don’t have one, then you get one via the dentist!! (it’s the old adage, would you want to go to a hairdresser with bad hair?)
      I wonder why it’s always the pearls that get passed down to the daughters—where are the diamonds…ha ha!
      Next time you wear the pearls, point them out—I’d love to see them!

  • Bernadette Laganella

    Thanks for sharing this story and I am a very definite believer an the ageless appeal of pearls. The more you wear them, the more beautiful they become.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks for reading Bernadette!!

  • I’m so sorry about your friend — what a beautiful young woman. It is very special that her mom gave you that necklace; you obviously very special to Bethany. And as for pearls, I agree — wear them everyday! Especially when they remind of someone so dear!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Wendy. I’m thankful for her friendship even though it was cut short. Thanks to you for reading.

  • Jodie this is so sad. I watched one of my best friends go too, I was asked to be at her side till the end and I was. It’s hard isn’t it?
    Laurie x

    • Jodie Filogomo

      It was so tough—even though you knew it was going to happen. Ever since this time, my husband and I preach that we need to enjoy every day (easier to say than do).
      I’m sorry you had to go through it too Laurie.

  • Amy D. Christensen

    Lovely story! This collaboration is great! Storytelling is such an important part of who we are and of remembering those who have gone before us…family and friends. I have a single pearl necklace much like the one you have on. Thank you for sharing the pictures too, of your friend and yourself. Good memories, I am sure. – Amy –

    • Jodie Filogomo

      You’re right about storytelling, but writing is not my forte—but it’s the hard things that make us stretch and learn, right? Thanks for being so positive Amy!

  • It is always so hard to lose people we care about and that was very sweet of Bethany’s mother to give you the necklace. I appreciate that you wear it often and don’t just save it for a special occasion.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Lydia—they say that time heals and it really does make us forget—that’s why I love to wear it regularly—so not to forget!

  • Jodie, what a heartfelt tribute to your beautiful friend.
    And, what a wonderful photo of the two of you! Real laughter captured there.
    I smiled at the group photo…every girl in their little black dress!

    I never save things for “best”. Life is too short. Wear, enjoy and live.
    You never know what is around the corner.
    You look beautiful here….it might be my favourite look of yours !?
    A handmade jumper is always a wonderful thing and this one is gorgeous!
    The jeans and those red Ghillies are the perfect partners.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Your comment really warmed my heart Samantha!
      I must admit, I’m not used to baring all in my posts, so it was a little nerve wracking.
      I noticed that too about all the LBDs—you’d never catch me in mine for that kind of event nowadays!! Change is good!
      Thanks for being such a great supporter!

  • Laura

    Pieces with incredible memories behind them are my favorite to wear. This was a touching tribute to your friend and I love how it looks on you! Your shoes are fabulous!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      It is amazing how memories make certain items more special to us. I only wish I knew more about this necklace—I even asked her mom, but she didn’t remember! Thanks for the kind words, Laura!!