Beaded Bracelets and the Art of Aging (Un)Gracefully

Today contributing editor Jean Campbell tells us how to age gracefully (or not) with the help of that ancient beauty secret–beaded bracelets.  Even though I'm still in the single bracelet phase of life, I'm happy to know that I can look forward to even more beads in my future! –Michelle Mach, Beading Daily editor 

Knock Knock

Do you remember those old lotion commercials that said something like "Because you don’t want to age gracefully"?

Yes, that is my wrist under all those bracelets! 

I remember being really offended by that. Granted, I was in my twenties, with a tight little body and boobs above my beltline. So aging gracefully seemed like something I could do. The dignified thing.

Then I aged. And as I have done so, I see that I haven’t done it as gracefully as I imagined. I haven’t let myself go gray. I spackle my crow’s feet smooth. I strap on an underwire and sometimes Spanks. And I own a baby-doll top for goodness sakes! My twenties were a lifetime ago, but I seem to be kicking and screaming to get back there.

Does any of this sound familiar? If so, welcome to the psychotic little club. If not, well, you’re either a forty-plus woman who’s more balanced and mature than I certainly am, or you’re young enough to not care how important it is to do your Kegel exercises.

It may be a bit cliché (especially on this website), but one of the things I have to keep me young is beading. I mean it. Yeah, I need magnifiers and bright lights to bead now, but it keeps my mind sharp (I think?) and makes me slow down.

Because I’ve been beading for so long I’ve got a pretty big jewelry box, and I’ve been mining it more often lately. I’ve taken on an eccentricity—wearing bracelets. And I don’t just mean one tasteful bracelet to complement an outfit, as I would have done twenty years ago. Now I wear two or more on one arm, whether I’m wearing my low-rise jeans and a tank top (Mom? Are you really going out like that?) or sweats.

Bracelets kind of whip around while you’re doing life, like mixing up oatmeal or hauling hockey bags or wildly gesticulating as you gossip about your neighbors (three things I did today). For some reason all that glinting and whipping and sparkle reminds me of my youth (disco?). And I figure the more reminders the merrier—thus the proliferation at my wrist. So yeah, another symptom my knock-knock-who’s-there-Queenada-Queena Denial, but it’s a nice one. Better than girdles, that’s for sure!

Tips on Wearing Multiple Bracelets

  • Wear bracelets that have the same general feel. Jumbly tumbly or straight and narrow.  
  • You can easily mix colorways but do it so the colors complement each other.  
  • Chain is still really fashionable, as is anything that’s primarily metal. So throw in at least one bracelet that has a bunch of metal on it. It also looks great to wear primarily chain or metal bracelets and then add one colorful bracelet to the mix.  
  • Follow the lead of your outfit but don’t get too hung up on being matchy, matchy. That’s not what this is about. 


Jean Campbell is the contributing editor of Beading Daily and writes about beading and life every Wednesday.   If you have comments or questions for Jean, please post them on the website.

Post a Comment