Like dozens of other early 2000s trends, puka shell jewelry returned with a vengeance about a year ago. The necklaces, once reserved for people coming back from vacation in Hawaii or attending a Dave Matthews Band concert, have infiltrated the wardrobes of every Instagram influencer, with no signs of stopping.
Despite this, I resisted the trend for a solid year and a half. I was above it all, I thought. I didn’t wear them in 2004, so why would I succumb to it now, I lied. But nostalgic fashion has a funny way of creeping up on you. Soon, a replica becomes and iteration and you find yourself lusting over a gold plated puka necklace that cost half your rent…or something like that.
Puka shells aren’t the only relic I can’t stop lusting after. Small brands like SVNR, Alison Fry and Notte have recently started creating shell and bead accessories that are the perfect mix of five-year-old crafter meets 20-something fashion lover. In choker form, a shell necklace hits the 2004 inspiration nose on the head, but when placed on an elegant hoop or a long colorful dangle earring, it’s the perfect accessory for a T-shirt and jeans.
While my resistance to the trend may have lasted until its death, I’m fully ready to lean into it as we head into Festival Season™. Call me Lindsay Lohan desperately wanting to be in The Little Mermaid remake, but I wear shells now and I’m not sorry for it.