Trends: Pen Necklaces

Do any of my growing-up-in-the-90s friends remember this PBS show called Ghostwriter? It’s about a group of Brooklyn teens who solve mysteries with the help of a dot of light and two apostrophes, or Ghostwriter.


That's Ghostwriter sneaking inside the "O" of his name.

Aptly named Ghostwriter because “he’s a ghost and he writes to us,” Ghostwriter communicates with the kids by forming words and sentences with letters and text he can find nearby. This show was my show. I wanted to move to Brooklyn, have a posse of best friends, and be a part of a secret mystery fighting society where initiation ended by anointing the new member with a pen necklace. The pen necklace was meant for convenience so that any time Ghostwriter began “talking” to them, the kids would be ready to respond.

I thought the pen necklace was the coolest thing ever. Like friendship bracelet, making your own lanyard keychain cool. Meaning, REALLY COOL. It overtook my love of bringing a black and white marbled notebook everywhere I went a la Harriet the Spy. I don’t know why it had that effect on me. But I guess even as a nine-year-old, there was something satisfying about whipping out a pen at a moment’s notice, and from a loop of string dangling around my neck no less! Come on, that’s smart right?

Fast forward some years later to Mad Men. Boom. Boom. Boom. That sound is Joan Holloway pounding through the office in her hottest outfit wearing a motherfucking gold pen necklace. Gold pen necklace. GOLD PEN NECKLACE.

Don't mess.

Don't mess.

I didn’t know pen necklaces dated back to the sixties. I didn’t know they could be so elegant. But they can and they are mean and people need to start wearing this along with caftans. Seriously, guys, the thought of stepping outside from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in this southern California valley heat makes me wince.

When I was in Monterey I hit up this fancy schmancy pen/stationary shop in the hope of finding a pen necklace but nothing. By the way, some of these pens are insane. Like, insanely out of my budget. A Cartier pen for $300. For real? I mean, I understand it’s all about craftmanship and it will last you forever ladeedah but $300? Dang. That is a world I will never understand but kind of want to experience. You know, for 15 minutes because I imagine cushy living like that is easy to get accustomed to and 15 minutes is enough to let the guilt start settling in.

But back to the topic at hand. I Googled “pen necklaces” and guess what guys and dolls, you can get your own vintage-inspired Joan Holloway gold pen necklace from 1928 Jewelry!

1960s Vintage Inspired Gold Tone Pen Necklace, 1928 Jewelry

1960s Vintage Inspired Gold Tone Pen Necklace, 1928 Jewelry

The one Christina Hendricks wears on the show was actually found at the famous Pasadena flea market at the Rose Bowl so I’m sure if you wanted the real thing you could hit up a flea market near you. But at $20 a pop and without the relentless thrift hunting, I’m willing to take inspired to the real thing. All my Joan Holloways, writers, practical but stylish folks, or anyone who wants to look fly as hell as you sign off your checks and balances, you all need to buckle on this pen necklace train and work it. I know I will.

Gold tone pen necklace for $20. Also comes in emerald and gold and ruby and gold hue tones for $28. Buy here!



  1. ghostwriter was my favorite show everrrrr!!! that and today’s special, which no one seems to remember other than me. thank you so much for bringing me back to a time when merely writing things down was cool.

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