When I first moved from Los Angeles to New York there were tons of things that shocked me. The size of cockroaches. The smell of an empty subway car. The amount of under-boob sweat I produced on a humid August day. The pace at which all New Yorkers insist on walking even if they are headed to their own funeral.
But one culture shock trumps all the rest.
The New York gym culture.
Sure, there’s gym culture in Los Angeles but not really because people just go outside and hike, surf, ski or run 365 days a year because, well, you can run 365 days a year with the weather in Los Angeles.
I was an active individual who considered herself “in-shape” but had never stepped foot in a gym until a few years ago when I showed up to a HIIT class in loose Target leggings and a ratty shirt that sometimes doubled as a rag when I spilled things in my kitchen — yes my wardrobe is that close to my kitchen because, hi, New York.
I was so confused because I thought we were there to get gross and sweaty — which I’m great a doing — while the rest of the women could have been on their way to their birthday party and not looked that out of a place.
What shocked me the most is that all my fellow ladies had dainty little diamond necklaces on. Diamonds are for jewelry boxes. Not boxing classes where you pay Hank thirty dollars to tell you you’re doing a burpee wrong. (Look. It’s called a burpee. I don’t think there’s any right way to do it. Just throw yourself on the ground already and call it a day!)
Fast forward three years and now I am one of those women with a dainty diamond necklace while producing enough sweat to water the Mojave Desert.
My approach to diamonds and my understanding of the New York lifestyle.
Yep. I got over being precious with diamonds and waiting for someone else to buy them for me. I now buy myself what I call “my everyday diamonds.” Yep, with every career achievement, I get myself a piece of jewelry. Something to commemorate myself. And honestly, as vain as it may be, it’s nice to look down and see your achievements shinning back at you. I always thought this luxury was out of my budget, but welcome to my little diamond secret: Adina Reyter, where you can buy a diamond necklace for the price of J Brand jeans.
Adina’s jewelry is the kind of jewelry you can put on and forget about in the best of ways. It can travel with you through rain, shine and sweat without constantly reminding your that it’s there (the best kind of jewelry if you ask me). Adina’s jewelry never impedes with my active day and that’s why I keep going back for more.
Also, I now know why those women wore those necklaces to the gym. They literally don’t have the time or patience to take them on and off. I know this because I no longer have the time and patience to take my jewelry on and off. There were days in my life were I matched my jewelry to my wardrobe every. damn. day. But those days are long gone. Now I like to invest in a few pieces I can layer on and keep on for weeks at a time. And honestly now that I think about, I can describe the jewelry the other ladies in the studio wear everyday with my eyes closed because it’s the one consistent thing in all of our wardrobes.
Pia has a dainty silver necklace she sometimes fiddles with when she’s thinking. Tori wears a green gemstone ring everyday and gold, square edged hoops when her hair is off her face. Vanessa has a stack of rings and bracelets I drool over daily (they epitomize “elusive-Art-Director-cool if you ask me). Emily has a collection of thing gold rings and a delicate diamond baguette necklace with a matching engagement ring that suits her laid back elegance. Brittany has been wearing a bold, almost cocktail-like ring that was her Grandmother’s and suits her perfectly in an unexpected way. Caitlin has killer wedding rings I’mm constantly distracted by and an iconic Cartier nail bracelet, all of which she never takes off because she will promptly loose. And Mary rocks these gold earrings that no one else could wear like she does, so we were all devastated when she might have recently broken one but then all felt a sense of relief when she fixed it with Gorilla Glue.
Along with my Adina pieces, I’m wearing my great-grandmother’s engagement diamonds (which are the most modest of diamonds one could imagine as she was a fisherman’s wife). My grandfather had the diamonds re-set into a pinky ring for my grandmother as a wedding day present and then re-sized the ring for me a few years ago.
I think it says a lot that everyone in the Atelier has a jewelry routine. It’s just one more way to define your style in a timeless way (and save yourself the time and hassle of arguing with the clasp of bracelet every morning).