Now that I’m basically ancient, almost everything makes me nostalgic these days. Juicy Couture velour sweatsuits, Abercrombie mini skirts in every color of the rainbow, tie-dye soffee shorts, and most importantly, Tiffany, are a few of my favorite things (Oprah style, only I’m not giving any away because ew). Real talk: If your entire being wasn’t covered head-to-toe in Tiffany jewelry throughout your middle school career, you were struggling socially. Nothing said popular like a borderline hideous chain link silver necklace (or “Juicy” written on your booty). Before you had a Breakfast at Tiffany’s poster hanging prominently in your dorm room, you considered yourself the poster girl for Tiffany & Co, natch.
If you were a truly pretty and popular middle schooler, your arms, neck, and ears could be returned to Tiffany & Co. at any given moment. It’s unclear if we thought we’d actually need our remains returned to Tiffany at some point in our lives. Seriously, as pre-teens did we think we’d get so blackout drunk that we’d want our parents to come pick us up at Tiffany after a particularly wild and crazy middle school dance, a la Spring Break senior year?
Most importantly, every single piece of T & Co. jewelry needed to say your full name. I guess we figured that since literally every single one of our classmates had the same unique jewels, we needed to differentiate ourselves because ~InDiViDuAlItY~ amirite? Unfortunately, our early onset monogram addiction means that you can’t sell back the ridiculously overpriced Tiffany of your youth today (unless you have it melted into something pretty or trade cash for gold).
Tiffany & Co. was the ultimate jewelry selection of the middle school basic, like its counterpart Yurman is today. By monogramming it, you were preparing for sorority life — or for your untimely demise (whichever came first). That little blue box meant you were the proud recipient of popularity. If your middle school boyf (by that I mean his parents, obviously) gave you said robin’s egg, it guaranteed a long life of gold digging ahead of you. In fact, you probably started designing your engagement ring on the website immediately. You were basically the Anna Nicole Smith of your middle school.
If you were the proud owner of one of the more obscure pieces, you were probably a self-proclaimed trendsetter for tweens everywhere. The Venetian link bracelet was the perfect not-too-Tiffany addition to your arm candy (let’s be honest, you would totally Instagram that today). The pyramid made it kind of trendy, so it could still creep under the JAP radar. It was less indie than say, the Bean, which literally no one wanted (but it was without fail the one your uncool relatives gave you). If you had any of the less TIFFANY Tiffany pieces, you’re probably so alternative these days, now that you’ve traded it in for overpriced Etsy.
Now, there are some girls that still openly rock the Elsa Peretti open heart jewelry. I’m not saying it’s not pretty, I’m just saying that they deserve shade. It’s the equivalent of wearing So Lows instead of yoga pants. If you were lucky enough to have parents that were lax and let you double pierce your ears, you’d rock multiple heart situations. If your parents were into cruel and unusual punishment and insisted on buying you fakes, then you probably should’ve called the authorities immediately because the only time a fake is acceptable is when alcohol’s involved. Anyone who was anyone had at least one open heart on their body, and if you didn’t have the real thing, you probably have daddy issues.
Did we all have dog tags because middle school was basically war? Whether your personal collection was from your birthday after your friends pooled their (parental) resources, or a bat mitzvah bash where you received three of the same engraved toggles (so no exchange), Tiffany jewelry was the ticket to the Mean Girls clique of your youthful dreams.