This Valentine's Day, love isn't just in the air.
It's around our necks, dangling from our wrists, and wrapped around our fingers in a sweet, subtle cursive oozing with femininity and mindfulness.
Where does it come from?
Our latest obsession with love has its roots in monograms - everything from coins to handkerchiefs - which traces its history to the ancient Greeks. The Victorian era gave us the classic monogrammed necklace that featured the initial of the surname in the center, with the first and middle initials on either side.
In the 1980s, inner-city fashion trends took the initials out of monogramming. Gold nameplates emerged that featured women's names in curlicue script or italics. In 1998, Sarah Jessica Parker took the nameplate mainstream with her Sex and the City character's "Carrie" necklace. Throughout the 2008 SATC movie, a lovelorn Bradshaw switched out her nameplate for a "love" key chain.
And love became something fashionable girls could literally hold on to.
During the early 2000s, L.A. fine-jewelry designer Rosanne Karmes introduced a love collection as part of her popular Sydney Evan line. It featured love necklaces, rings, and bracelets in lowercase script that celebrities scooped up. Now, with mindfulness among the industry's most trendy buzzwords, love is popping up on necks everywhere.
Who is wearing them?
Jennifer Lopez on The Voice, Katy Perry, Rihanna, and every other cool girl who wants to appear sweet.
Would Elizabeth wear it?
I would totally layer a love necklace over the "Elizabeth" name chain I've had since 1990.
Should you wear it?
Who am I to discourage someone from choosing love?
"Her Gift of Love Charm," Chamilia a Swarovski Co., $40, at www.chamilia.com; Ruby Love necklace, Gabriel New York, $125, at Bernie Robbins Jewelers; gold-and-diamond love ring, $860, Sydney Evan, at Bernie Robbins Jewelers; Love in infinity symbol, Alex Woo, $598, at www.alexwoo.com; Love in all caps, Capsul Jewelry, $155, www.capsuljewelry.com